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African Log Bans Matter

Investments by Chinese companies in Africa’s forest sector have boomed in recent years, often playing a significant role in national economies, rural communities and stimulating technological transfer, especially related to timber processing. Unfortunately, the win-win vision developed by Chinese and African governments is undermined by certain businessmen who are taking a radically different approach. The latter do not hesitate to bypass African national laws or take advantage of complicated if not confusing regula-tions, usually helped by accomplices in the local administrations, in order to supply logs to the manufacturing sector in China.

EIA’s recent analysis shows that, from January 2014 to March 2018, over 89 percent of African log exports to China – worth over 6.7 billion dollars – originated from countries with total or partial log export bans. Many African countries have passed laws limiting or prohibiting the export of logs in an effort to promote domestic processing and to gain more control over illegal logging. Violations of log export bans have negative impacts on fragile economies, communities, and unique ecosystems all over Africa.

The ongoing dialogue under the auspice of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum (FOCAC), one of the most important South-South platforms, offers a unique opportunity for African countries and China to make African log bans effective and forests matter.

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Recent Blog Posts

South Korea Says "아니요" (No) to Illegal Timber
11/08/2018
South Korea has joined the ranks of countries prohibiting the import of illegal timber.
Not One More: Another Activist Silenced by Arrest in Madagascar
06/07/2018
Christopher Magnenjiky was arrested for obscure and unjust reasons mid-May 2018

Recent Reports

Authorized Plunder
12/12/2018
A new report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Authorized Plunder, documents how the sale of 180,000 rosewood logs in Guinea-Bissau, enabled by the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), is fueled by high-level corruption, encourages illegal logging, and threatens local communities.
New legal risks for Japanese timber sourcing from Eastern Europe
09/28/2018
Eastern Europe’s Carpathian Mountains may seem remote for most Japanese, but lumber stolen from these ancient forests permeates Japan’s housebuilding sector. New reports from Romania and Ukraine reveal the extent of illegal logging, corruption, and bribery practiced by some of Europe’s largest wood processors.

Recent Press Releases

Alert: The Peruvian Government backs down in the fight against illegal logging
12/18/2018
While the Agency for Supervision of Forest Resources and Wildlife (Osinfor) has continued to identify illegal harvest and trade of timber in Peru, providing key information that has compelled other agencies to recognize and act upon the seriousness of illegality in the Peruvian forestry sector, on Wednesday, December 12 the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (PCM) approved a Supreme Decree that undermines the independence of Osinfor by removing it from the PCM and relocating it within the Ministry of Environment (MINAM).
Alerta: El Gobierno Peruano retrocede en la lucha contra la Tala Ilegal
12/14/2018
Mientras el Organismo de Supervisión de los Recursos Forestales y de Fauna Silvestre (Osinfor) continúa identificando la extracción y comercio de madera ilegal en el Perú y difundiendo información clave que obliga a otras autoridades a reconocer la grave situación de ilegalidad en el sector forestal peruano y a tomar acciones, el Consejo de Ministros aprobó el miércoles 12 un Decreto Supremo que corta la imprescindible independencia del Osinfor al retirarlo de la Presidencia del Consejo de Ministros (PCM) y reubicarlo bajo el Ministerio de Ambiente (MINAM).

Recent Videos

The 'S' Files
02/16/2017
EIA's series of videos exposing Holzindustrie Schweighofer's involvement in illegal logging in Romania,
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