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Stealing the Last Forest

Romania is home to Europe's last remaining virgin forests and some of the continent's largest populations of bears, wolves, and lynx. Theseforests are under serious threat due to rampant illegal logging. Over a multi-year investigation, EIA documented this illegal logging and found a major driver behind this destruction was an Austrian-based timber and wood processing company known as Holzindustrie Schweighofer.

Earlier this year, EIA released a video documenting how Schweighofer willingly and knowingly accepted illegally harvested timber and incentivized additional cutting through a bonus system. The company is the largest buyer of softwood timber in Romania, responsible for processing around 40% of the country's total annual softwood production. It then sells this processed timber to nearly every European Union member state, to popular biomass companies, to be used as bio-fuel and lumber.

EIA's report, Stealing the Last Forest: Austria's Largest Timber Company, Land Rights, and Corruption in Romania, provides new evidence to Schweighofer's illegal business practices and documents the many types of illegalities prevailing in Romania's forests. In nearly every case investigated, the illicit wood arrived at Schweighofer’s mills. The report also identifies Europe's largest buyers of Schweighofer's products.

Read the full report in English here.

To read in Romanian, click here.

To read in German, click here.

View all Reports

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Recent Reports

Illegal Logging in Rodna Mountains National Park, Northern Romania, October 2017
11/27/2017
EIA Investigators found clear cases of illegal logging, linked to the Austrian Timber company Holzindustrie Schweighofer, in Romania's Rodna Mountains National Park
"Open Door" to Traffickers - An EIA/AVG briefing about Malagasy rosewoods, ebonies and palisanders for CITES SC69
11/24/2017
EIA/AVG concur with Madagascar that “much remains to be done” in the implementation of the CITES action plan on Malagasy ebonies (Diospyros spp.), palisanders and rosewoods (Dalbergia spp.).

Recent Press Releases

EIA report ties Schweighofer to illegal logging in Romanian national park
12/05/2017
In a recent field investigation in Romania, EIA found evidence of illegal logging in Romania’s second-largest national park linked to the Austrian timber giant Holzindustrie Schweighofer. The FSC considers whether to uphold timber giant’s de-certification.
Historic Endangered Timber Smuggling Case Revealed Between Nigeria and China
11/09/2017
One of the largest timber smuggling operations in history is revealed today by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) in a report that shows how over 1.4 million illegal rosewood logs from Nigeria, worth US$300 million, were laundered into China.

Recent Videos

The 'S' Files
02/16/2017
EIA's series of videos exposing Holzindustrie Schweighofer's involvement in illegal logging in Romania,
The 'S' Files, Case #3: Depot Deception
12/21/2016
The latest in EIA's video series, The 'S' Files, Depot Deception shows that Holzindustrie Schweighofer, one of the largest timber companies in Europe, appears to be systematically...
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