Illegal Logging

News, information and statistics about illegal logging and the destruction of forests. Data about the illegal timber trade is collected from various wildlife charities, environmental protection agencies and other criminal justice information.

In the first half of 2011, over 800 hectares of forest was destroy in Vietnam in 2,900 cases of illegal logging.

Source: “Illegal loggers destroy 800ha of forest,” Viet Nam News, July 6, 2011.

88 percent of all logging activity in Indonesia is considered to be illegal.

Tax revenues of $3.5 Billion (30.3 Trillion Indonesian Rupiahs) are lost each year to illegal logging.

Source: “88 percent of logging illegal: ICW,” Jakarta Post, June 23, 2011.

More than 1,150 activist have been killed in Brazil in a 20 year time span for protesting illegal logging, according to the watchdog group Catholic Land Pastoral.

Ranchers, loggers and farmers are believed to have hired hitmen in order to continue their unauthorized logging activities.

Source: Associated Press, “Brazil promises to increase protection of rural activists in Amazon after spate of killings,” Washington Post, May 30, 2011.


Illegal logging and deforestation in Brazil caused 1,848 sq km of rainforest to be destroyed in 2010, up from 1,455 sq km in 2009.

Source: Tom Phillips, “Brazil forms ‘crisis cabinet’ following unexpected deforestation surge,” Guardian, May 20, 2011.

Illegal logging in Malaysia caused losses of $3 Million (8.95 Million Malaysian Ringgits) in 2010.

Source: Bernama, “RM745m lost to illegal logging, sand mining,” New Straits Times, April 29, 2011.

Illegal logging and illegal mining on the Indonesian island of Borneo costs the country up to $36.4 Billion.

Up to 1,236 mining firms and 537 oil palm plantation companies are believed to be operating illegally on the island.

Source: “Illegal Logging, Mining Ravages Kalimantan, Costs Indonesia $36.4b,” Jakarta Globe, April 28, 2011.

Cables released by Wikileaks revealed that the Peruvian Government knew that between 70 to 90 percent of all mahogany exported from Peru in 2005 was illegally logged. Most of the exports were destined for the United States.

Source: Catherine de Lange, “Wikileaks reveals endangered hardwood on sale in US,” New Scientist, March 8, 2011.

Illegal logging in Brunei lead to over $1 Million in losses in 2009.

Source: Brunei Times, “Organised crime hurting Brunei forests,” Asia One, February 13, 2011.

Illegal logging in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan consists of the majority of logging activity. According to the government, 20 percent of companies operating in the region have legitimate permits, with the rest committing illegal logging activities. In addition, only 2 percent of miners have permits as well.

Source: “Indonesia admits illegal logging beyond its control,” Radio Australia, February 4, 2011.

For every single orangutan that is rescued in the wild, between 2 to 3 are killed by wildlife traffickers or illegal logging activities.

Source: Sarah Arnold, “Facts about orangutans,” Daily Mirror, January 30, 2011.