Logging can be conducted responsibly with limited negative impacts. However, in many parts of the world, primarily the Amazon, South East Asia, and Central Africa, logging is frequently the cause of major human rights abuses and environmental problems. The illegal timber trade is highly lucrative, and according to the UN, is steadily increasing in line with organised criminal networks exploiting new ways to flout the law. Fifteen to 30 per cent of the timber on the global market originates from illegal sources.

Deforestation affects biodiversity, causes erosion and flooding, and threatens species’ survival. Large tracts of land also lose the capacity to contribute to mitigating climate change. In addition to the obvious environmental risks, the forestry sector is also linked to human rights abuses such as modern slavery, (Peru and North Korea), child labour (Vietnam), abuse of indigenous populations, (Brazil and Peru), and the financing of armed conflict (Liberia).

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