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Illegal logging threatens certified timber trade and sustainable development

Illegal logging and trade grew to threatening dimensions at the beginning of the century, especially in tropical countries. A study by Chatham House estimated the global damage from illegal logging to timber producing countries at USD 15-20 billion annually. The consequences are deforestation, loss of biodiversity, increase in carbon emissions, but also often conflicts with indigenous peoples, violence, and human rights abuses. It is up to the producing as well as importing countries to prevent illegal logging and trade, as set out in the G8 Action Programme on Forests. Since then, various measures by governments and the private sector have been initiated. Implementation of these measures has started to produce results, but governments have been sluggish in implementing them.