World Bank Releases Study on Illegal Logging

World Bank21 March 2012: A World Bank study, titled “Justice for Forests: Improving Criminal Justice Efforts to Combat Illegal Logging,” looks at law enforcement tactics to prevent corruption and prosecute criminal organizations dealing in “dirty money” from illegal logging.

According to the World Bank, illegal logging is controlled by organized crime, accounts in some countries for up to 90% of all logging, and involves “dirty money” that is untaxed and used to pay off corrupt government officials. The World Bank study delves into policy and operational strategies to combat corruption. It aims to inform policy makers and forestry and law enforcement actors how they can use the criminal justice system in fighting illegal logging.

The study opens with an overview of illegal logging and the criminal justice system. It then outlines how the law can be used to better combat forest crime, and suggests ways of strengthening stakeholder engagement in forest law enforcement.

The study underscores that illegal logging has "enormous environmental and societal costs," as it leads to biodiversity loss, increases carbon emissions, causes landslides, and undermines the resource-based livelihoods of rural peoples. [Publication: Justice for Forests: Improving Criminal Justice Efforts to Combat Illegal Logging]