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 2010, illegal logging was estimated to make up between 40 to 55 percent of all of Indonesia’s harvested timber.

The illegal logging activity is down from the estimated 73 to 88 percent of illegally logged timber in 2007.

Source: Jennifer Macey, “Illegal loggers turn elephant protectors in Indonesia,” ABC Online, June 15, 2010.

Illegal logging accounts for up to 10 percent of all timber imported into Australia.

Source: Tom Arup, “Call to ban timber logged illegally,” Sydney Morning Herald, June 1, 2010.

Illegal logging provides up to 10 percent of all wood imported into the United States.

Source: Rosanne Skirble, “US Law Curbs Illegal Logging,” Voice of America, May 28, 2010.

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Illegal logging in the South American Andes between 1990 and 2010 led up to 2.4 million hectares of rainforest to be cut down in order to grow coca.

The illegal logging of the forests was done in order to create land needed to plant coca and to contribute to the cocaine production industry. These types of illegal logging connected to drug trafficking represented up to 25 percent of the area’s deforestation.

(More cocaine facts and statistics.)

Source:  Brenden Borrell, “The Greenest High,” Slate May 4, 2010.

The World Wildlife Fund found that Ireland imports up to $26 Million (20 Million Euros) in timber that was cut from illegal logging each year.

Source:  Frank McDonanld, “Blood on our hands: Ireland’s role in illegal logging,” Irish Times, April 29, 2010.

Illegal logging in Indonesia between 2000 and 2004 led to trees being cut down illegally at a rate of 80 percent, or 4 out of 5 trees.

In total, the country losses around 1 million hectares of land each year to unauthorized logging.

Indonesia has about 120 million hectares of rainforest, the third largest area in the world.

Source: Fidelis E Satriastanti, “Forest of Problems Hinders Illegal Logging Fight,” Jakarta Globe, April 28, 2010.

Source:  “Taskforce sets sights on illegal logging mafia allegations,” Jakarta Post, April 19, 2010.

The Honduras Government losses an estimated $7 Million a year in federal tax revenue due to illegal logging activities within the country. Local municipalities alone lose an estimated $1.6 Million in local tax revenue each year from criminal logging.

Source:  Tierramérica, “Forest Corruption a Major Challenge,” IPS, February 17, 2010.

During the 1980s, illegal logging activities in the Philippines created losses of up to $1.8 Billion a year.

Source: “Towards a strategy for better law compliance in the forest sector, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Best Practices for improving law compliance in the forest sector, 2005, Ch.3.

Illegal logging in Papua New Guinea could consist of up to 70 to 90 percent of all logging. Major illegal logging activities are conducted by international companies.

Source:  Andreas Schloenhardt, “The illegal trade in timber and timber products in the Asia-Pacific region,” Australian Institute of Criminology, Research and public policy series no. 89, January 2008, page 70.

The economic impact of illegal logging  in Russia is estimated to be $2 Billion, according to the WWF.

Source:  Andreas Schloenhardt, “The illegal trade in timber and timber products in the Asia-Pacific region,” Australian Institute of Criminology, Research and public policy series no. 89, January 2008, page 67.