illegal logging

Topics: European Union, Estonia, International trade Pages: 2 (429 words) Published: December 7, 2013
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 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,[2] 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.[3] Possible actions to restrict imports cannot meet with WTO regulations of non-discrimination. They must instead be arranged in bilateral agreements.It is estimated that illegal logging in public lands alone causes losses in assets and revenue in excess of 10 billion USD annually.[4] Although exact figures are difficult to state, given the illegal nature of the activity, decant estimates show that most of the logging, more than half, that is done in the world is illegal most especially in open and vulnerable areas – the Amazon Basin, Central Africa, Southeast Asia, the Russian Federation – is illegal.[5] Available figures and estimations must be dealt with cautiously. Governments may tend to underestimate the situation. High estimates of illegal logging may constitute an embarrassment as these...
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