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Green carbon, black trade: illegal logging, tax fraud and laundering in the world's tropical forests

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C. Nellemann
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Between 50 to 90 per cent of logging in key tropical countries of the Amazon basin, central Africa and south east Asia is being carried out by organised crime, thus threatening efforts to combat climate change, deforestation, conserve wildlife and eradicate poverty. This rapid response report estimates that the illegal logging trade is worth between USD 30 to 100 billion annually and hampers efforts related to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). According to the report, criminal groups are now combining traditional tactics, such as bribes, with new strategies, including hacking government websites. The report concludes that without an internationally coordinated enforcement effort, illegal loggers and cartels will continue to shift operations from one haven to another to pursue their profitable trade at the expense of the environment, local economies and the lives of indigenous peoples.