News

    Illegal Logging Down by One Quarter Worldwide

    Illegal Logging Down by One Quarter Worldwide
    Illegal Logging Down by One Quarter Worldwide

    Multimedia

    Good news has emerged this month for the world's forests.  A new report from the London-based research group Chatham House says illegal logging is down by over 20 percent globally and by much more than that in some of the countries worst affected by the problem.  The news comes only weeks after the European Parliament voted in new laws banning imports of illegally-harvested wood.  

    Forests are home to two-thirds of the world's land animals and some 60 million indigenous people depend on them for their livelihood.  But in recent decades, the world's forests have been stripped of trees at a rapid pace. Illegal logging has played a big part.

    However, it looks as if the tide may be turning.  A new report says more than 17 million hectares of forest have been saved in recent years because of a major clampdown on illegal logging.

    "Brazil, Cameroon, and Indonesia have all reduced illegal logging significantly - one of our indicators suggest that the illegal logging in each of those countries may have been reduced by anywhere from half to three-quarters," noted Sam Lawson, the report's lead author.  "Illegal logging is down and that has important impacts in terms of trying to prevent deforestation."

    Illegal logging is down in part because export countries are cracking down on the problem.
    In Cameroon, independent monitoring of forest law enforcement has helped.  Lawson says consumer countries are also having a big impact.

    "The most important step is one they're only beginning to take now and that's to prohibit the import and sale of timber which was illegally sourced in the country of origin," added Lawson.  "That's something the US did in 2008 and it's something the European Union is now in the process of doing."

    The crackdown has meant a 20 percent downturn in illegal logging. And Lawson says that is real progress he says. But the starting point was so high that even now the problem remains widespread.

    In Indonesia 80 percent of the logs harvested in 2001 were cut illegally.  Today, the number is still 40 percent.  Part of the problem is that a number of big importers, such as China and Japan, are not doing enough to stop the import and sale of illegal timber.

    And Lawson says producing countries have only taken the first steps towards regulating the industry.

    "Some of the easiest wins have already been won - you know, the low hanging fruit have been picked," Lawson explained.  "So it's going to get increasingly difficult to make gains."

    That's bad news for the environment, he says, because deforestation produces around 17 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

    David Ritter from Greenpeace says ending illegal logging will slow down global warming.

    "Illegal logging is such a big problem simply because of the size of it. We're talking about a vast number of trees that are taken out of forests every year, which are contributing to that one-fifth of global emissions that comes from deforestation and contributing to the loss of wildlife, contributing to the loss of people's livelihoods and contributing to the loss of revenue from governments," noted Ritter.

    Even after a decade-long decline in illegal logging, Ritter says, there's still a long way to go.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora