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.

The Indonesia military was an active participant in illegal logging activities within the country between 1999 and 2006, according to a study by the Center for East Asia Cooperation Studies at the University of Indonesia

Source:  AFP, “Indonesian military behind illegal logging: study,” Google News, January 29, 2010.

Authorities seized 2,700 cubic meters of illegally logged wood in Cambodia in 2009, up 400 cubic meters from 2008.

From 2006 till 2009, the Ministry of Agriculture has seized more than 11,000 chainsaws from illegal loggers and destroyed over 3,000 of them.

In addition, about 2,000 kilograms of dead and alive animals were confiscated from wildlife traffickers in Cambodia in 2009.

Source:  Khouth Sophakchakrya, “Illegal logging and wildlife trafficking prosecutions up,”Phnom Penh Post, January 7, 2010.

Illegal logging in Albania exceeds legal logging by a factor of 10, according to the World Bank.

Source:  Elvis Nabolli, “Illegal Logging Ravages Albania’s Forests,” Balkan Insight, December 16, 2009.


Illegal logging leads to 150 to 250 cubic meters of rosewood worth an estimated $800,000 to be harvested in Madagascar each day.

Source:  Global Witness and The Environnemental Investigation Agency, “Illegal Malagasy timber trade worth $800,000 a day, new report reveals,” Press Release, November 26, 2009.

Illegal logging in Russia is controlled by organized crime syndicates that lead to control of over one third of all logging activities within the country.

Source:  Alfonso Daniels, “Battling Siberia’s devastating illegal logging trade,” BBC News, November 27, 2009.

Illegal logging in Kenya lead to over a quarter of the Mau Forest to be lost between 1989 to 2009.

Source:  Pete Browne, “With Land Evictions, Kenya Aims to Reduce Impacts on Important Ecosystem,” New York Times, Green Inc, November 23, 2009.

Illegal logging in Madagascar lead to $100 Million worth of forest to be cut down in 2009. Most of the timber was shipped to China to make furniture.

Source:  David Smith, “Madagascar’s lemurs in danger from political turmoil and ‘timber mafia’,” Guardian, November 17, 2009.

Black market cocaine cultivation in Colombia has lead to the loss of 2.2 million hectares of tropical forests in the country.

For each hectares of cocaine that is grown, three hectares of forests is illegally logged and clear.

For each gram of cocaine consumed, four square meters of the rain forest in Colombia was illegally logged and destroyed.

(Additional cocaine facts and statistics.)

Source:  Jamie Doward, “Colombia’s endangered species at the mercy of jungle drug cartels,” Observer, October 25, 2009.

Illegal logging in Vietnam cut down 3,200 acres, or 1,300 hectares of forest in the first half of 2009.

Source:  Marth Ann Overland, “After Typhoon, Illegal Logging Back in Spotlight in Vietnam,” Time, October 22, 2009.

Illegal logging in China lead to $3.8 Billion worth of timber to have been imported into the United States in 2008.

Source:  Martin Petty, “US, Europe demand fuels illegal China-Myanmar timber trade,” Reuters, October 21, 2009.