Illegal Logging

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Illegal Logging: Background and Issues
Summary
Illegal logging is a pervasive problem throughout the world, affecting countries that produce, export, and import wood and wood products. Illegal logging 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, illegal logging represents over half of timber production and exports. The World Bank estimates that illegal logging costs governments approximately $15 billion annually in lost royalties. Illegal logging may stimulate corruption, collusion, and other crimes within governments, and has been linked to the purchase of weapons in regional conflicts in Africa. Illegal logging,
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U.S. Laws That Address Illegal Logging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Foreign Policy on Illegal Logging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Free Trade Agreements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
List of Tables
Table 1. Estimates of Illegal Logging in Foreign Countries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 “Hardwoods” is a term commonly used for trees in the phylum Anthophyta (angiosperms, or flowering plants), because the dominant hardwood tree species of temperate climates
(oaks and maples) are harder (more dense) than the major “softwood” species (pines, firs, and spruces), trees of the order Coniferales (conifers). However, some “hardwood” species
(e.g., aspen and poplar) are much softer (less dense) than many “softwoods.” In this report,
“hardwood” is used to indicate angiosperms, while “softwood” (or conifer) is used for coniferous species.
2
Seneca Creek Associates, LLC, and Wood Resources International, LLC, “Illegal”
Logging and Global Wood Markets:The Competitive Impacts on the U.S. Wood Products
Industry, prepared for American Forest & Paper Association (November 2004), 154 pp.
Hereafter referred to as Illegal Logging and Global Markets.
3
World Bank, A Revised Forest Strategy for the World Bank Group (Washington, DC:
October 31, 2002).
4
For example, logging illegally within designated park boundaries could lead
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