This paper accompanies a series of Chatham House assessments on China, France, Japan, the Netherlands, the UK, the US and Vietnam and provides details on how the estimates of the level of illegality of imports of wood-based products into those countries were derived. The assessments are part of a research project that monitored levels of illegal logging and related trade in selected consumer, producer and processing countries in order to evaluate the effectiveness of efforts to tackle this problem.
The paper describes the methodology for estimating the levels of wood-based products at high risk of illegality that are being imported into consumer and processing countries. The methodology was developed in order to provide quantitative estimates of the scale of such imports and to assess how they have changed over time. The figures adopted for the assessments are based on the best available evidence; but, given the challenges of quantifying levels of illegal logging and the limited information available for some countries, they should not be regarded as definitive. Rather, they indicate the likely levels of illegality and, perhaps more important, how they may have changed over time.