Institute for Environmental Security
Advancing Global Environmental Security through
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Stemming Illegal Logging and Timber Trade
An Overview of the European Union FLEGT Action Plan
20 November 2008
Over the last four decades, there was a global recognition of the damage to world forests caused by illegal logging and the related trade in illegally produced timber products. Not only does it play an important role in raising the rate of deforestation but it is also a major contributor to global CO2 emissions. More generally, it underlines the rate at which the Earth resources are being plundered and emphasizes a certain loss of control of human being over his own future.
The European Union, as a major timber-consuming market, understands that the EU's demand for timber, and the subsequent money flow there from, perpetuates the negative effects of illegal logging. In an effort to tackle illegal logging and trade in illegally produced timber, the European Union has set up a EU Action Plan for Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (EU FLEGT Action Plan). The EU recognises that illegal logging poses a threat to wild fauna and flora, to the indigenous people living in the forests of timber-producing countries, the depressing effect on the economies of timber-producing countries, and the fact that profits of illegal logging often flow back to corrupt regimes and conflict zones.
Realised in the framework of the IES Pathfinder Project, the purpose of this report, requested by Mr. Serge Bronkhorst, is to give an overview of the EU FLEGT Action Plan to tackle illegal logging and trade in illegally produced timber. This comprehensive overview includes an analysis of the main principles underlying the EU FLEGT Action Plan and a series of annexes with official texts.