Illegal Logging

Chatham House has been working on illegal logging and deforestation since 2000, undertaking in-depth research and analysis and bringing together experts and stakeholders at meetings and conferences.

Forests support water systems and food production and are critical in combating climate change, so good forest governance is essential for sustainable management of this important resource.

Much of our work focuses on efforts to tackle the international trade in illegal timber, especially 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.
 

Explore Forestry

Latest (92)
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

21 April 2016: Timbers seized from illegal loggers in East Aceh, Indonesia. Photo: Getty Images.
Expert comment

Action on Forest Governance Can Play a Critical Role in Britain’s Post-Brexit International Development Strategy

Collected logs along a river in West Kalimantan province, Indonesia. Photo by Getty Images.
Expert comment

How the New Indonesia-EU FLEGT Licence Can Contribute to the Sustainable Development Agenda

Dalbergia nigra. Photo by Mauricio Mercadante. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Expert comment

CITES Conference Marks Major Breakthrough in Battle Against Endangered Rosewood Trade

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

Corporate Members

Stranded Assets: Risks for High Carbon Investments in a Low Carbon World

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

Girls look on as a logging truck disembarks from a ferry in the Amazonian state of Para, Brazil. Photo via Getty Images.
Expert comment

Sustainable Development Goals Can Transform Small-Scale Forestry

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

Research Event

Corporate Reporting on Forest Impacts: Building on Best Practice to Promote Legal and Sustainable Supply Chains

Research Event

Stranded Assets in Forests and Agriculture

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

Pages

Research & Publications (42)
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

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

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

Photo: iStock
Chatham House Report

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

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

A truck hauls fresh timber from mountainous terrain in the Limbang area of Sarawak, Borneo. Photo by Yvan Cohen/LightRocket via Getty Images.
Research paper

Illegal Logging and Related Trade: The Response in Malaysia

Two plantation workers tie logs to load a forest train at the lumber storage yard in Wangqing County of Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, Jilin Province, China. Photo by China Photos/Getty Images.
Research paper

Trade in Illegal Timber: The Response in China

A motoryclist rides past a private wood processing workshop in HanoI, Vietnam. Photo by HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images.
Research paper

Trade in Illegal Timber: The Response in Vietnam

A worker unloads timber in La Rochelle, western France, after Greenpeace activists climbed on cranes at the harbor to stop the Safmarine Sahara cargo ship from docking and wrote 'illegal timber' on its hull. Photo: XAVIER LEOTY / AFP / Getty Images.
Research paper

Trade in Illegal Timber: The Response in France

The word 'Illegal' is seen on tree trunks as Greenpeace activists demonstrate against the illegal importation of timber. Photo: XAVIER LEOTY / AFP / Getty Images.
Research paper

Trade in Illegal Timber: The Response in the United Kingdom

Uncut lumber sits stacked in the yard at the sawmill of the Doll Lumber Co. in Southington, Ohio, US. Photo by Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images.
Research paper

Trade in Illegal Timber: The Response in the United States

Photo: iStockphoto
Research paper

Trade in Illegal Timber: The Response in the Netherlands

A timber company's vehicle driving down a dirt road. Photo by BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images.
Research Paper Appendix

Methodology for Estimating Levels of Illegal Timber- and Paper-sector Imports: Estimates for China, France, Japan, the Netherlands, the UK, the US and Vietnam

A worker walks near a log to be processed at the Okikura Lumber Mill facility, Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi / Bloomberg via Getty Images.
Research paper

Trade in Illegal Timber: The Response in Japan

Timber and logging railroad used to transport logs made by illegal loggers at Kerumutan protected tropical rainforest on July 12, 2014 in Riau province, Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images.
Research paper

Illegal Logging and Related Trade: The Response in Indonesia

View of a tree in a deforested area in the middle of the Amazon jungle during an overflight by Greenpeace activists over areas of illegal exploitation of timber in the state of Para, Brazil. Photo by RAPHAEL ALVES/AFP/Getty Images.
Research paper

Illegal Logging and Related Trade: The Response in Brazil

Exotic species of hardwood timber harvested from Ghana's rain forests, at a sawmill in Kumasi, in the Ashanti Region in Ghana. Photo by Education Images/UIG via Getty Images.
Research paper

Illegal Logging and Related Trade: The Response in Ghana

This aerial picture shows a logging site inside a forest in Boulikhamsai. Photo by HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images.
Research paper

Illegal Logging and Related Trade: The Response in Lao PDR

Logging and timber production and transportation at Craignure on the Isle of Mull in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
Research paper

Promoting Legal and Sustainable Timber: Using Public Procurement Policy

Pages

Past events (39)
Research Event

Next Steps for the Indicators of Illegal Logging

Research Event

Illegal Logging Update and Stakeholder Consultation Meeting Number 26

Corporate Members

Stranded Assets: Risks for High Carbon Investments in a Low Carbon World

Research Event

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

Research Event

Corporate Reporting on Forest Impacts: Building on Best Practice to Promote Legal and Sustainable Supply Chains

Research Event

Stranded Assets in Forests and Agriculture

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

Tackling the Illegal Rosewood Trade in Madagascar

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

Financial Crime in the Forest Sector: An Indonesia-UK Dialogue

Research Event

Illegal Logging Update and Stakeholder Consultation Meeting Number 23

Research Event

US and EU Policy Options for Trade in Agricultural Commodities: Building on the Expertise of the Forest Sector

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