...IllegalLogging: Background and Issues Summary Illegallogging is a pervasive problem throughout the world, affecting countries that produce, export, and import wood and wood products. Illegallogging is generally defined as the harvest, transport, purchase, or sale of timber in violation of national laws. In some timber-producing countries in the developing world, illegallogging represents over half of timber production and exports. The World Bank estimates that illegallogging costs governments approximately $15 billion annually in lost royalties. Illegallogging may stimulate corruption, collusion, and other crimes within governments, and has been linked to the purchase of weapons in regional conflicts in Africa. Illegallogging, however, benefits perpetrators by reducing the cost of legal and regulatory compliance of timber harvesting, sometimes resulting in higher profits. Illegallogging in protected areas can lead to degraded forest ecosystems, loss of biodiversity, and indirectly to deforestation and the spread of agrarian activity in some developing countries. Several relevant multilateral and international agreements address illegallogging and illegal timber trade. These...
***Illegal logging is not always a clearly defined term, but can be described as forestry practices or activities connected with wood harvesting, processing and trade that do not conform to law. Illegalities occur right through the chain from source to consumer, the harvesting procedure itself may be illegal, including corrupt means to gain access to forests, extraction without permission or from a protected area, cutting of protected species or extraction of timber in excess of agreed limits. Illegalities may also occur during transport, including illegal processing and export as well as misdeclaration to customs, before the timber enters the legal market. *http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2002/timber_mafia/resources/resources_illegal_logging.htm
***Illegal logging is the harvest, transportation, purchase or sale of timber in violation of laws. The harvesting procedure itself may be illegal, including using corrupt means to gain access to forests; extraction without permission or from a protected area; the cutting of protected species; or the extraction of timber in excess of agreed limits (see Box 1). Illegalities may also occur during transport, such as illegal processing and export; fraudulent declaration to customs; and the avoidance of taxes and other charges. Illegal logging is a pervasive problem, causing enormous damage to forests, local communities and to the economies of producer countries.
Despite the economic importance of trade in timber and forest products, major international timber consumer countries, such as the EU, have no legal means to halt the import of illegally sourced forest products, because the identification of illegally logged or traded timber is technically difficult. Therefore, a legal basis for normative acts against timber imports or other products manufactured out of illegal wood is missing. Scientific methods to pinpoint the geographic origin of timber are currently under development. Possible actions to restrict imports cannot meet with WTO regulations of non-discrimination. They must instead be arranged in bilateral agreements. *http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegal_logging
***Illegal logging occurs when trees are cut down in areas protected by law. Illegal loggers also target various species of trees that are endangered or protected. Forests in many areas of the world are protected, not only because of the species of trees they contain but because of the animals that live there. In many instances, illegal logging takes place with the ultimate goal of selling the harvestedtimber. Furniture, paper, and other wood products made from illegally harvested wood can be found almost anywhere in the world, as many logs are exported using falsified documents. Activities such as creating these false shipping documents and tax fraud relating to the harvesting of trees are also a part of the illegal logging trade.
Illegal logging occurs on most continents and is a major problem in areas like the South American rain forests and throughout Indonesia. Sometimes the goal is not to harvest wood but to clear away protected forests. This happens on a regular basis in rain forests, where trees are cut down for the thin, rich layer of soil beneath them. These areas are used for farming until the nutrient-rich soil is depleted. Billions of dollars are transferred within the illegallogging trade every year. *http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-illegal-logging.htm
***Illegal logging is the harvesting, transporting, processing, buying or selling of timber in violation of national laws. This definition also applies to harvesting wood from protected areas, exporting threatened plant/tree species, and falsifying official documents. It also includes breaking license agreements, tax evasion, corrupting government officials and interfering with access and rights to forest areas. *http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/about_forests/deforestation/forest_illegal_logging