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Illegal logging: current issues and opportunities for SIDA/SENSA engagement in Southeast Asia

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M.N. Rosander
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This report provides an overview of the issues, root causes, and driving forces behind the crimes related to illegal logging. The report includes a comprehensive review of existing initiatives to address the challenges of illegal logging in Southeast Asia. The results are derived mainly from a literature review of various publications, websites, and project documents, but also from personal communication through interviews with people working on the issues of illegal logging in the region.
The paper outlines illegal practices in the forest sector, including logging, timber smuggling, tax avoidance, illegal timber processing. Illegal logging can be seen as a symptom of wider problems. In order to combat illegal logging, it is important not only to target the symptom itself, but also to understand and address the underlying causes. The causes are complex and often lie outside the forestry sector.Some of the key drivers and trends behind illegal logging in Asia include:

export-driven growth and expanding demand for cheap forest products
increasing trade
land conversation

However, not all trends in the region are negative. Some positive trends are pushing for increased attention to be paid to the issues of illegal logging. These include:

awareness of and demand for legal wood
increased community management of forests
mechanisms in response to climate change