Drivers of Illegal and Destructive Forest Use

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This chapter reflects upon the drivers of illegal logging and associated timber trade. Much of this discussion is related to a broader debate about the drivers of forest degradation and deforestation (FAO, 2016a; Kissinger et al., 2012; Geist and Lambin, 2001). In this debate illegal logging is primarily interpreted as harvesting of timber for export by logging companies that take advantage of flaws in regulations and law enforcement (Kissinger et al., 2012). This framing has been partly driven by the lobbies of timber importing countries to bring the issue of deforestation within the legality debate, and so to extol those policy measures aimed at improving forest legality as a means to tackle deforestation.

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