Countries and Regions
By focusing on field evidence and legal frameworks in deforestation and forest degradation hot spots around the globe, the EIA works to shut down networks that trade in illicit wood products and agricultural commodities driving large-scale deforestation.
Countries and Regions
Illegal logging causes irreparable harm to the environment and communities around the world. Operations are often enabled through human rights abuses, including violence against impoverished local communities, forced labor in logging camps, and the polluting of precious water supplies. A 2012 World Bank study underscores that "an area of forest the size of a football field is clear-cut by illegal loggers around the globe” every two seconds, destroying biodiversity. Further, it ”estimates that illegal logging in some countries accounts for as much as 90 percent of all logging and generates approximately US$10 - 15 billion annually in criminal proceeds.” EIA investigates, documents, and exposes illegal logging and associated trade around the world. We then use that information to hold consuming countries to account for their role in driving the illegal timber trade and support governance reform efforts in forest producer countries.
Based on evidence from the ground, carefully collected through a combination of local sources and international trade research, EIA develops country-specific strategies to disseminate and deploy results from investigations in ways that drive policy change to stop illegality and corruption and establish the oversight and transparency necessary to enable the transformation of supply chains. We focus on countries whose forests are important to global climate mitigation, as well as key processing and consuming markets worldwide.
Support for Local Advocacy and Capacity Building
Raising the capacity of civil society to monitor and advocate on natural resource use in forested countries is a key part of EIA’s work to promote good forest governance. Civil society on the ground and forest dependent communities has an opportunity to leverage changes in commodity markets, such as new prohibitions on illegal timber in the U.S., Europe, and Australia, to improve their participation in local forest governance. New market and supply chain requirements for due diligence empower local communities to contribute information about sourcing practices and violations in the forest. Coordinated campaigns with in-country activists have illustrated how forest-dependent communities can play a leading role in improving their access to markets, improving transparency, fighting corruption, and fostering poverty-alleviating development.
See more on EIA’s Community Forest Monitoring work, here.
Impacts and Results
Spurred international attention and action on the Peruvian forest sector’s rampant illegality in The Laundering Machine (2012) and supported participation of indigenous and local partners in advocacy around revised forestry laws and regulations.
Exposed for first time pervasive corruption and illegality in Honduran forests by working with local partners, generating new political will for reform of the country’s forest law.
Helped establish measures against the massive flows of illegally-logged rosewood and ebony out of Madagascar by bringing international spotlight to surging rosewood demand.
Monitored implementation of unprecedented Forest Governance Annex to reform the Peruvian forest sector in the bilateral Peru Trade Promotion Agreement with the United States.
Increased attention to the issue of illegal logging and associated trade by China’s government, acknowledging that China plays a role in the international illegal timber trade and is participating in the international dialogue to address illegal timber imports.
Supported allies in local civil society, shared experiences, and advanced policy reform in Australia and Japan.
Revealed critical loopholes in EUTR regarding timber sourcing within Europe by illustrating the role of EU demand in fueling illegal logging in Romania’s forests.
Brought systematic evidence of illegal logging to the Romanian and international public, stimulating political changes to address illegal logging and corruption among the Romanian government and powerful companies.
In-depth investigative reporting on the illegal timber trade in Russia’s “wild east” led to the central government newly focused on stopping illegal logging and related organized crime in remote eastern Russia, evidenced by a new roundwood law instituting stronger controls on tracking timber along supply chains.
Following the profile of Russian oak (Quercus mongolica) and Manchurian ash (Fraxinus mandshurica) in EIA’s report Liquidating the Forests, Russia led an effort to list these species on CITES Appendix III to combat illegal international trade in these species.
- Uncover the illegal timber trade and expansion of agricultural commodities devastating the forests of the Congo Basin, West Africa, and Madagascar
- Reveal the scale of illegal logging and corruption in Russia and Romania, and build momentum for improved enforcement and forest sector reform
- Curb illegal logging, and stop deforestation caused by the production of commodities such as palm oil across Peru, Colombia, and Honduras
- Expose evidence of illegal timber supply chains in China and Japan, and promote solutions