Timber Transformer  

2. The impacts of illegal logging

Image caption: Legal logging and certification provides anchorage for a whole range of civic values and social integrity.

The numbers tell their own story: 24 million hectares of forest was destroyed in Indonesia between 1990 and 2010.[1] Many more millions of hectares were de-graded. A 2007 United Nations Environment Programme report estimated that 73–88% of timber logged in Indonesia was illegally sourced.

Illegal logging impacts a whole network of interre-lated people, places and cultures:
– Loss or degradation of forests, affecting habitats and biodiversity.
– Wider implications for climate change
– Loss of government revenue
– Undermining the rule of law
– Unsustainable employment and income for communities
– Lack of recognition for the rights  of local people to land and access 

Governance and civic values are undermined as illegality encourages corruption and it effects the economy in three key ways: the economy is deprived of the tax to reinvest in people; illegal logging drives down tim-ber prices for legal loggers; distorts the market and increases the likelihood of conversion to other com-modity land use, such as palm oil, cattle, soy.

It is why Trade stands for the final letter in FLEGT. Trade is a vital component in addressing the problem. The European Union buys 11%, by value, of timber products and paper exported from Indonesia. Indonesia supplies 33% of the EU’s tropical timber imports by value. Establishing a credible system of production and licensing which guarantees the provenance of timber means sustainable use of re-sources and makes it easier for businesses in the EU to import legal timber products. 

[1.] The European Commission