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Illegal Forest Production and Trade

Illegal Forest Production and Trade

Resource information

Date of publication
June 2016
Resource Language
ISBN / Resource ID

This paper looks at the evidence on the
magnitude and impacts of forest illegal acts, examines the
vulnerabilities of the forest sector, and proposes a
strategy for combating forest crime. Forest crime
prominently includes illegal logging but acts against the
law also affect other sector operations such as forest
products transport, industrial processing, and trade. Almost
universally, criminal exploitation of forest products and
commerce prevail as large amounts are unlawfully harvested,
traded against regulations in domestic markets or smuggled
across borders, often with the willing participation of
corrupt forest service officials and border police. Illegal
activities do not stop at the forest. They travel down the
line to operations related to transportation, national and
international trade of forest products. A particular form of
illegal forest activity, corruption, has come to the
forefront of the international debate on forests and is now
being openly discussed in various fora because of the
increasing awareness of the immense costs associated with
it. In this paper, corrupt deeds are illegal actions
that:(i) engage public officials; (ii) involve public
property and power; (iii) are perpetrated for private gain;
(iv) are intentional acts; and (v) are surreptitious.
Illegal activities are main threat to global resources. A
wide variety of illegal acts, including, among others,
illegal logging, illegal trade, arson and unauthorized
occupation of forestlands, take place in all kinds of
forests, in developing and industrialized economies. Often
illegal activities are associated with corruption, involving
the willing participation of government officers, usually in
complicity with parties of the private sector, in schemes to
abuse public property. Illegal acts generate a number of
undesirable economic impacts, harm the environment and the
most vulnerable sectors of society. To conclude, the
improvement of the policy and legislative framework and the
proper enforcement of the law may be the most important
issue in the future management of forest resources worldwide.

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