BRUSSELS -- Despite a new law governing the timber trade in the European Union, a survey conducted by the World Wildlife Fund shows many countries are failing to halt the entry of illegal wood into EU markets.
Only 11 of the EU’s 28 member states have adopted legislation the environmental organization deems “robust enough to control the legality of timber and timber products.” The remaining states have passed either weak laws regulating timber, or have adopted no legislation.
Illegal forestry results in lost revenues estimated at 7 billion euros per year, the WWF reported. In 2011 the EU accounted for 35 percent, or €37.8 billion of the global trade of primary timber products.
Illegal logging accounts for 30 percent of the global timber trade and contributes to more than 50 percent of tropical deforestation in Central Africa, the Amazon and Asia, the WWF reported.
The World Bank estimates that every two seconds, an area of forest the size of a football field is clear-cut by illegal loggers around the globe, WWF Forest Policy Officer, Anke Schulmeister said.
Earlier this month the EU released a scorecard on the implementation of forestry legislation.
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