This latest assessment of international efforts to improve forest governance and tackle illegal logging is based on studies undertaken in nineteen countries between 2013 and 2014. The findings show a mixed picture. At the national level progress is clearly evident.
Chatham House’s first assessment of international progress in tackling illegal logging was encouraging. Published in 2010, it found that concerted efforts in the early 2000s to improve law enforcement had resulted in a significant decline in illegal logging in many countries.
The conviction and subsequent pardon of 155 Chinese nationals in July for illegal logging in Myanmar threw a spotlight on how massive volumes of timber stolen from the county’s precious frontier forests have been flowing unhindered into China for decades.
A recent report, Who Watches the Watchmen, by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) with Malaysian NGO Grassrootsreveals major flaws in the system of scrutiny which underpins the RSPO’s guarantee of sustainable production of palm oil.