A study published in Nature reported that the deforestation rate in Indonesia is the highest in the world. Between 2000 and 2012, Indonesia lost 6.02 million hectares of forest due to logging and other clearing activities. According to the researchers from the University of Maryland, up to 40 percent of the deforestation in Indonesia was due to illegal logging.
Environmental officials and wildlife protection charities are concerned about the loss of forests in Indonesia. The country’s forests are home to 10 percent of the world’s plants, 12 percent of its mammals, 16 percent of its reptiles and 17 percent of its bird species.
According to media reports, security agents in Thailand killed at least 69 loggers from Cambodia in 2013 who were attempting to illegally cut down timber in Thailand.
The rate of violence between loggers and security and environmental protection officials in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar have increased in recent years due to the demand for luxury furniture in China. The Siamese rosewood, which is found in the Mekong area, is used to make high-end furniture in China. Between 2000 and 2014, an estimated $2.4 Billion worth of precious timber has been imported to China to meet the demand. The Siamese rosewood is sold for thousands of dollars per cubic meter, with illegal loggers able to make hundreds of dollars per day cutting down the trees.
(All illegal logging statistics.)
Source: AFP, “China demand for luxury furniture ‘decimating rosewood’,” GlobalPost, May 12, 2014.
Between 1982 to 2012, an estimated 80 million cubic meters of wood was illegally logged in Romania, according to the Minister Delegate for Water and Forests. The illegal logging activities caused $6.8 Million (€5 Billion) in damage.
From 2007 to 2012, the rate of the illegal logging in Romania doubled, with illegal logging now occurring at twice the rate of reforestation and regeneration.
The legal timber industry in Romania is worth $5.5 Billion (€4 Billion).
Source: AFP, “Massive logging leaves deep scars in Eastern Europe,” Google News, February 23, 2014.
According to international experts, $250 Million worth of timber is illegally logged in Mozambique each year. The amount of timber that is illegally cut down in the country accounts for nearly two-thirds of all logging activities in Mozambique.
Between 2000 and 2012, over two million hectares of forest has been cut down in Mozambique.
(More illegal logging statistics.)
Source: “Illegal logging surges in Mozambique,” Mongabay.com, February 25, 2014.
Illegal logging activities was the top economic related crime in Laos in 2013, according to media reports.
Out of a total of 559 fraud or economic related crimes reported in Laos, 257 cases were related to illegal logging, or 46 percent of all cases.
During the investigations, security services seized 671,000 cubic meters of processed wood, 4.5 million cubic meters of logs, 15 chainsaws, 20 vehicles and 3 motorbikes. A total of $550,000 in cash was also recovered.
Laos has 24 protected national forests across the country.
Source: “Illegal Logging Tops Economic Crime In Laos Last Year,” Bernama, February 18, 2014.