Against the Law: The G8 and the illegal timber trade

Publication - 3 January, 2000
Illegal and destructive logging is threatening the future of the world´s last remaining ancient forests. Since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, a host of international agreements have aimed to protect these ancient forests. Most recently, the G8 group of leading nations have made public commitments to promote sustainable forest management1. Yet these attempts are being undermined by the ever growing problem of the illegal production and trade of wood and wood products across the globe. Estimates for the amount of logs produced or traded illegally throughout the forest regions of the world range from 20 to 80 percent.

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Executive summary: Illegal and destructive logging is threatening the future of the world´s last remaining ancient forests. Since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, a host of international agreements have aimed to protect these ancient forests. Most recently, the G8 group of leading nations have made public commitments to promote sustainable forest management.Yet these attempts are being undermined by the ever growing problem of the illegal production and trade of wood and wood products across the globe. Estimates for the amount of logs produced or traded illegally throughout the forest regions of the world range from 20 to 80 per cent. In the Philippines, experts predict the nation´s forests could be destroyed by 2025 because of illegal logging. In Indonesia, millions of dollars in taxes and royalties are lost each year due to the smuggling, theft and looting of timber. Illegal logging has become the norm rather than the exception in the Brazilian Amazon.Despite public commitments to address the problem of illegal logging, the G8 countries remain among the largest importers of wood products from regions where illegal production and trade of forest products is still commonplace. In this briefing, Greenpeace looks at the role played by the G8 countries in the illegal timber trade, and highlights case studies.In the run-up to its 2000 Summit in Okinawa, Greenpeace demands that G8 governments:• DO NOT buy illegal timber products • DO NOT fund forest destruction through aid for unsustainable forestry • DO NOT allow G8 countries be markets for illegal timber • DO buy wood products from sustainable certified forests • DO provide urgent assistance to forest countries to tackle illegal logging • DO increase the capacity for monitoring and transparency throughout the production and transport of wood and wood products globally

Num. pages: 12

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