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Illegal Trade in Timber and Timber Products in the Asia-Pacific Region

NCJ Number
Andreas Schloenhardt
Date Published
171 pages
This study analyzed the scale of the illegal timber trade in the Asia-Pacific region, which has been spurred by the high demand for timber and timber products around the world.
In addition to reporting on the scale of the illegal timber trade in the Asia-Pacific region, this study identified the process and operating methods of the illegal timber trade. It assessed current trends in the logging, sourcing, trafficking, manufacturing, import, and consumption of illegal timber and timber products. Attention was given to the roles of organized criminal networks and legitimate businesses in this illicit market. On a country-by-country basis, the legal and regulatory mechanisms for preventing and suppressing the trade in illegally sourced timber in the Asia-Pacific region were examined, along with the role of international and regional organizations in this field. An overview is presented of the effectiveness of legislative frameworks that suppress trade at domestic, regional, and international levels. This involves an examination of timber resources, the extent of illegal logging, policies and legislation, and enforcement initiatives. The report advises that policies and regulations are needed in order to strengthen regional and international cooperation. Such cooperation can assist in resolving issues of sovereignty; the sharing of intelligence; and the development of common standards among source, transit, and destination countries. New international mechanisms, based on those developed under the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species, could assist in curtailing the impact and export of illegal timber. Further, more extensive documentation and paper trails that link raw timber with finished products could certify the legitimacy of the production processes. Electronic certification systems would facilitate information-sharing and intelligence collection. The study identified source countries and regions for illegal timber, along with countries that serve as transit and destination points for illegal timber. 30 tables and 118 references