Illegal Logging

Galleher has a firm policy of sourcing legal wood in compliance with the US Lacey Act and is an industry leader in managing and mitigating the risk that wood may be illegal. Among many other things, we work with suppliers to substitute FSC®(FSC-C092805)-certified products or components for those that come from countries where illegal logging may be a problem.

Why is illegal logging a problem?

Illegal logging is most prevalent in parts of the world that still have large areas of forest and where law enforcement and governance is weak. i.e. many countries in Latin America, SE Asia, and Africa, as well as the Russian Far East. The negative impacts of illegal logging include environmental, economic and social aspects.

Environmental impacts include the loss or degradation of forests, as illegal logging tends to be associated with forest mining rather than management. This can result in the loss of habitats and biodiversity. For example, illegal logging is threatening the survival of some of the world’s most endangered primates including orangutans in Indonesia and the Siberian tiger.

Illegal logging is also linked to deforestation and forest degradation which has implications for climate change, since forests play a crucial role in both mitigating against and adapting to climate change. Illegal logging in just nine forest producer countries is estimated to have released 210 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 2013.

Illegal logging can result in the loss of government revenue. Such losses can be significant. It has been estimated that the Indonesian government lost $7 billion between 2007 and 2011 due to illegal logging and forest sector mismanagement. Loss of revenue undermines efforts to place the forest sector on a more sustainable footing, as lost revenue cannot be reinvested in the sector.

Furthermore, because illegal logging is often unsustainable, future sources of employment and export revenues are not realized.

Illegal logging also distorts global markets and undermines incentives for sustainable forest management, as illegal timber is often cheaper than legal timber. A study published in 2004 estimated that illegal products were depressing world prices by between 7% and 16%.

The social impacts of illegal logging are diverse. Illegal logging undermines the rule of law and is often associated with corruption. It may also entail a lack of recognition of the land and resource use rights of forest communities, or of the rights of other concession-holders. This can have negative impacts on the livelihoods of local people and result in conflict. The revenues from illegal logging may also fund national and regional conflicts, as has been the case in Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Source: Illegal Logging Portal