Improving Forest Governance and Tackling Illegal Logging and Deforestation

Forests make a vital contribution to tackling climate change and supporting sustainable development and green growth. However this precious resource is under threat from illegal logging and deforestation. 

In response to this, a range of initiatives and policies have emerged aimed at improving governance of the forest sector and tackling corruption and inequity. Many of these have targeted illegal logging, which results from weak governance and also undermines efforts to reform the sector.

The project

Chatham House has been working on forest governance, illegal logging and deforestation since 2000, undertaking in-depth research and analysis and bringing together experts and stakeholders at meetings and conferences. We also host the Illegal Logging Portal, a website with the latest news, research and events related to these issues.
 
The aim of our work is to identify policy options that will enable the forestry sector to play a positive role in achieving sustainable development. In particular, it aims to establish: 
  • More effective implementation of existing measures to tackle the illegal timber trade;
  • Robust policy responses by new and emerging consumers of the illegal timber trade;
  • Stronger global policy responses to reduce the drivers for illegal forest conversion.

Our work

Much of our work focuses on efforts to tackle the international trade in illegal timber. This includes the Indicators of Illegal Logging Project, which investigates the nature and extent of illegal logging and the associated trade in illegal timber, as well as the effectiveness of the response to this issue by both the government and the private sector.
 
Additionally, our research examines the policy nexus between illegal logging, deforestation, sustainable development and green growth. This is in response to growing pressure from other land-use sectors on forests, and it includes exploring those policy measures aimed at reducing deforestation associated with agriculture and mining.
 
We are also working on improving understanding of the environmental impacts of the international trade in natural resources particularly the effect on forests. This includes the development of Chatham House’s Resource Trade Database which enables assessments of the environmental impacts of the production and trade of natural resources.

Contacts

Alison Hoare

+ 44 (0)207 314 3651

Explore our work on Forest Governance, Illegal Logging and Deforestation

Latest (72)
Research Event

Next Steps for the Indicators of Illegal Logging

Wood workers in Indonesia. Photo: EU FLEGT and REDD facilities.
Expert comment

Forest Governance Provides UK With a Valuable Model for Expanding Sustainable Trade

A view of a forest land clearing in South Aceh, Indonesia. Photo: Getty Images
Expert comment

Forest Governance: How Indonesia and Vietnam are Responding to Illegal Logging

Research Event

Illegal Logging Update and Stakeholder Consultation Meeting Number 27

Research Event

Integrating FLEGT and the Sustainable Development Goals

Soy plantation in Amazon rainforest near Santarem, Brazil. Photo: Ricardo Beliel/Brazil Photos/LightRocket via Getty Images.
Research paper

Managing the Risk of Stranded Assets in Agriculture and Forestry

Research Event

Illegal Logging Update and Stakeholder Consultation Meeting Number 26

A member of the Flona Tapajos Cooperative prepares to cut a tree inside their 'authorized maneuvre area' 80 km from Santarem, northern Brazil, 27 November 2009. Photo: Antonio Scorza/AFP/Getty Images.
Research paper

Improving Legality Among Small-Scale Forest Enterprises: The Role of National-Level Indicators Within the SDGs

An employee arranges packages of instant ramen noodles a store in Seoul, South Korea. Photo: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images.
Research paper

Agricultural Commodity Supply Chains: Trade, Consumption and Deforestation

Research Event

Estimating Levels of Illegal Logging and the Related Trade: Lessons from the Indicators Project

Workers sort cocoa fruits near the Mendoa Chocolates plant in the state of Bahia near Ilheus, Brazil, on 29 May 2015. Photo: Paulo Fridman/Bloomberg via Getty Images.
Research paper

Reducing Deforestation in Agricultural Commodity Supply Chains: Using Public Procurement Policy

An Indonesian customs officer inspects a shipment of 18 containers of illegal logs intended for export to China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Photo by Getty Images.
Expert comment

China is Both a Major Cause and Potential Solution to Illegal Logging

Photo: iStock
Chatham House Report

Tackling Illegal Logging and the Related Trade: What Progress and Where Next?

Research Event

Illegal Logging Update and Stakeholder Consultation Number 25

Research Event

The Impact of Mining on Forests: Information Needs for Effective Policy Responses

Research Event

Green Public Procurement and Consumer Awareness in the FLEGT Action Plan

Research Event

FLEGT Action Plan Governance Progress: Transparency, Accountability, Equity

Research Event

Voluntary Partnership Agreements in the FLEGT Action Plan - UK Consultation

Research Event

Legal Aquisition of CITES Timber: Lessons from the Congo Basin

Pallisco logging company's FSC timber operations in Mindourou, Cameroon. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.
Research paper

Illegal Logging and Related Trade: The Response in Cameroon

Pages

Past events (29)
Research Event

Next Steps for the Indicators of Illegal Logging

Research Event

Illegal Logging Update and Stakeholder Consultation Meeting Number 27

Research Event

Integrating FLEGT and the Sustainable Development Goals

Research Event

Illegal Logging Update and Stakeholder Consultation Meeting Number 26

Research Event

Estimating Levels of Illegal Logging and the Related Trade: Lessons from the Indicators Project

Research Event

Illegal Logging Update and Stakeholder Consultation Number 25

Research Event

The Impact of Mining on Forests: Information Needs for Effective Policy Responses

Research Event

Green Public Procurement and Consumer Awareness in the FLEGT Action Plan

Research Event

FLEGT Action Plan Governance Progress: Transparency, Accountability, Equity

Research Event

Voluntary Partnership Agreements in the FLEGT Action Plan - UK Consultation

Research Event

Legal Aquisition of CITES Timber: Lessons from the Congo Basin

Research Event

EUTR Workshop: Substantiated Concerns and Producer Country Cooperation

Research Event

Transatlantic Dialogue on Reducing Deforestation in Supply Chains of Agricultural Commodities

Research Event

Illegal Logging Update and Stakeholder Consultation Meeting Number 24

Small-scale and Community Forest Producers: Challenges and Opportunities of Legality Verification

Research Event

Illegal Logging Update and Stakeholder Consultation Meeting Number 23

Research Event

Illegal Logging Stakeholder Consultation and Update Meeting Number 22

Illegal Logging Update and Stakeholder Consultation Number 19

Research Event

Illegal Logging Update and Stakeholder Consultation Number 18

Research Event

Illegal Logging Update and Stakeholder Consultation Number 17

Pages