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  • Can the production of wild forest foods be sustained in timber concessions?

Can the production of wild forest foods be sustained in timber concessions?

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Can the production of wild forest foods be sustained in timber concessions? Logging and the availability of edible caterpillars hosted by sapelli (Entandrophragma cylindricum) and tali (Erythrophleum suaveolens) trees in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Sapelli (Entandrophragma cylindricum) and tali (Erythrophleum suaveolens) are among the most important timber species harvested from Congo Basin forests. They also host edible caterpillars, Imbrasia oyemensis and Cirina forda, respectively, which are important to the nutrition and income of rural and urban populations. This study evaluated the density of these tree species within a 10 km radius around each of 4 villages and in the 2012 annual cutting areas of two timber concessions in the region of Kisangani (DRC). Sapelli and tali trees ≥20 cm dbh and their stumps were identified and measured on 21 five ha plots around each village and 20 five ha plots on each concession. Around villages and on concessions, sapelli trees occurred at densities of 0.048 ± 0.008 harvestable trees (≥80 cm dbh) ha −1 and 0.135 ± 0.019 precommercial trees ha −1. Harvestable tali trees (≥60 cm dbh) were seven times more abundant at 0.347 ± 0.032 ha −1, while pre-commercial tali trees occurred at densities of 0.329 ± 0.033 trees ha −1. Between 25% and 40% of the harvestable sapelli trees had been logged as compared to < 3% of the harvestable tali trees. Production per tree, derived from another study, was extrapolated to estimate caterpillar yields on a half circle of 15,700 ha within 10 km of villages, using these estimates of tree densities. Depending on the village, yields were estimated as 11.6–34.5 Mg year −1 of I. oyemensis from sapelli trees, and 65.8–80.9 Mg year −1 of C. forda from tali trees, an average of 0.74–2.2 kg ha −1 year and 4.2–5.2 kg ha −1 year, fresh weight, respectively (0.23–0.68 kg ha −1 year −1 and 1.3–1.6 kg ha −1 year −1, dry weight, respectively). Harvestable trees yielded more caterpillars, providing most of the C. forda caterpillars. However, because harvestable sapelli trees occurred at low densities, the bulk of I. oyemensis caterpillar production would be hosted on precommercial trees. Logging practices that reject poorly formed or hollow trees and guidelines that call for high minimum diameter limits and retention of seed trees or prohibit logging on slopes or riparian zones, safeguard edible caterpillar production. Multiple resource management for multiple stakeholders would require more deliberate planning and management approaches based on negotiations with local communities and approaches like setting aside collection zones or collection trees that would be protected from logging.

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  • Legalizing Cameroon’s timber production chain

Legalizing Cameroon’s timber production chain

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By Leona Liu, originally posted at CIFOR’s Forests News

A recent study presents the most comprehensive scientific analysis of illegal logging to date. Its findings indicate that one third of tropical timber traded globally comes from illegal deforestation.

“Forestry crime including corporate crimes and illegal logging account for up to $152 billion every year, more than all official development aid combined,” said Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment, one of the partner organizations supporting the assessment.

More than 40 scientists around the world, including several scientists from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), produced the report. The study was coordinated by the International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO) in association with the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF).

Researchers found that bilateral trade agreements between producer and consumer countries- like the European Union’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Action Plan (FLEGT), which requires timber products imported into the EU be legally sourced – have prompted shifts in the timber trade from industrial export-oriented markets to small-scale logging operations for the domestic market.

This pattern can be observed in Cameroon, Africa’s largest exporter of tropical hardwood to the EU, most of which is sawn timber that goes to Italy and Spain. Due to a lack of government regulation concerning the domestic wood sector, approximately half of the country’s timber is sold on the black market.

Timber produced for domestic consumption is generally absent from official statistics and produced without a valid permit. But now, under a voluntary partnership agreement signed with the EU under FLEGT, Cameroon is developing the systems needed to control, verify and license legal timber.

This video documents the challenges facing small-scale loggers in Cameroon. The country’s entire domestic timber sector is marked by informal practices, from felling trees to selling sawnwood. Although informal methods do not respect all the national regulations, they do not necessarily break the law either. This is why researchers prefer the word ‘informal’ to ‘illegal.’

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  • Organized Forest Crime: A Criminological Analysis with Suggestions from Timber Forensics

Organized Forest Crime: A Criminological Analysis with Suggestions from Timber Forensics

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Authors: van Solinge, T.B.; Zuidema, P.; Vlam, M.; Cerutti, P.O.; Yemelin, V.

It was only during the first decade of this century that illegal timber was recognised as a transnational crime problem by international law enforcement organizations and academic criminologists. In 2008 the World Bank asked INTERPOL to look at illegal logging from the perspective of international criminal justice. This led to INTERPOL’s first project on illegal logging, the Chainsaw Project.

Series: IUFRO World Series no. 35

Publisher: Vienna, Austria, International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)

Publication Year: 2016

ISBN: 978-3-902762-70-2

ISSN: 1016-3263

Source: Daniela Kleinschmit, Stephanie Mansourian, Christoph Wildburger, Andre Purret (eds.) Illegal Logging and Related Timber Trade – Dimensions, Drivers, Impacts and Responses: A Global Scientific Rapid Response Assessment Report. 81-96, CIFOR’s library

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  • Multiple and Intertwined Impacts of Illegal Forest Activities

Multiple and Intertwined Impacts of Illegal Forest Activities

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Authors: Pacheco, P.; Cerutti, P.O.; Edwards, D.P.; Lescuyer, G.; Mejia, E.; Navarro, G.; Obidzinski, K.; Pokorny, B.; Sist, P.

There have been numerous country-level studies and attempts to quantify illegal logging and related timber trade. A few reports have offered some global assessments about illegal logging but they are fragmented and fail to provide a detailed assessment of the impacts of illegal forest activities (see Lawson and MacFaul, 2010; Lawson, 2014; Hoare, 2015). In addition, because of their nature, some illegal forest activities as well as their impacts are hard to estimate (Tacconi, 2007).

Series: IUFRO World Series no. 35

Publisher: Vienna, Austria, International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)

Publication Year: 2016

ISBN: 978-3-902762-70-2

ISSN: 1016-3263

Source: Daniela Kleinschmit, Stephanie Mansourian, Christoph Wildburger, Andre Purret (eds.) Illegal Logging and Related Timber Trade – Dimensions, Drivers, Impacts and Responses: A Global Scientific Rapid Response Assessment Report. 99-116, CIFOR’s library

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  • Drivers of Illegal and Destructive Forest Use

Drivers of Illegal and Destructive Forest Use

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Authors: Pokorny, B.; Pacheco, P.; Cerutti, P.O.; van Solinge, T.B.; Kissinger, G.; Tacconi, L.

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.

Series: IUFRO World Series no. 35

Publisher: Vienna, Austria, International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)

Publication Year: 2016

ISBN: 978-3-902762-70-2

ISSN: 1016-3263

Source: Daniela Kleinschmit, Stephanie Mansourian, Christoph Wildburger, Andre Purret (eds.) Illegal Logging and Related Timber Trade – Dimensions, Drivers, Impacts and Responses: A Global Scientific Rapid Response Assessment Report. 61-78, CIFOR’s library

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  • Global Governance Approaches to Addressing Illegal Logging: Uptake and Lessons Learnt

Global Governance Approaches to Addressing Illegal Logging: Uptake and Lessons Learnt

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Authors: Cashore, B.; Leipold, S.; Cerutti, P.O.; Bueno, G.; Carodenuto, S.; Xiaoqian, C.; de Jong, W.; Denvir, A.; Hansen, C.; Humphreys, D.; McGinley, K.; Nathan, I.; Overdevest, C.; Rodrigues, R.J.; Sotirov, M.; Stone, M.W.; Tegegne, Y.T.; Visseren-Hamakers, I.; Winkel, G.; Yemelin, V.; Zeitlin, J.

One of the most challenging tasks facing development agencies, trade ministries, environmental groups, social activists and forest-focused business interests seeking to ameliorate illegal logging and related timber trade is to identify and nurture promising global governance interventions capable of helping improve compliance to governmental policies and laws at national, subnational and local levels. This question is especially acute for developing countries constrained by capacity challenges and “weak states” (Risse, 2011). This chapter seeks to shed light on this task by asking four related questions: How do we understand the emergence of illegal logging as a matter of global interest? What are the types of global interventions designed to improve domestic legal compliance? How haveindividual states responded to these global efforts? What are the prospects for future impacts and evolution?

Series: IUFRO World Series no. 35

Publisher: International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), Vienna, Austria

Publication Year: 2016

ISBN: 978-3-902762-70-2

ISSN: 1016-3263

Source: Daniela Kleinschmit, Stephanie Mansourian, Christoph Wildburger, Andre Purret (eds.) Illegal Logging and Related Timber Trade – Dimensions, Drivers, Impacts and Responses: A Global Scientific Rapid Response Assessment Report. 119-131, CIFOR’s library

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  • Defining Illegal Forest Activities and Illegal Logging

Defining Illegal Forest Activities and Illegal Logging

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Authors: Tacconi, L.; Cerutti, P.O.; Leipold, S.; Rodrigues, R.J.; Savaresi, A.; Phuc, T.; Xiaoxue, W.

A dictionary definition of the term illegal tells us that it means something “not allowed by the law”.1 According to the same dictionary, a law is “the system of rules of a particular country, group or area of activity”. To further clarify the meaning of illegal, it is also useful to consider its synonyms, which include “criminal”, “illegitimate” and “irregular”.2 The term “criminal act” is often used interchangeably with the term “illegal act”. However, the former has a more markedly negative connotation, as it refers to an act that is sanctioned under criminal law. Furthermore, a crime may be carried out by someone whose activities are normally legal, such as a logging company, or by a criminal organization whose main goal is to carry out criminal acts, as discussed in Chapter 5. The term “irregular”, on the other hand, refers to “a behaviour or action not according to usual rules or what is expected” 1. It may refer, for instance, to an action that deviates from a certain procedure specified in a voluntary code of conduct that does not have the status of law. Though not a synonym, the term “informal” has also become quite prominent in recent discussions about illegality in the forest sector. It deserves some qualification to avoid conflation with the term “illegal” and it will be considered in the following section.

Series: IUFRO World Series no. 35

Publisher: Vienna, Austria, International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)

Publication Year: 2016

ISBN: 978-3-902762-70-2

ISSN: 1016-3263

Source: Daniela Kleinschmit, Stephanie Mansourian, Christoph Wildburger, Andre Purret (eds.) Illegal Logging and Related Timber Trade – Dimensions, Drivers, Impacts and Responses: A Global Scientific Rapid Response Assessment Report. 23-35, CIFOR’s library

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  • Amazonia's best and worst areas for carbon recovery revealed

Amazonia’s best and worst areas for carbon recovery revealed

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10050176886_1a7ca4748d_zThe first mapping of carbon recovery in Amazonian forests following emissions released by commercial logging activities has been published in the journal eLife.

The findings suggest that, in some of the forests disturbed by logging, surviving trees may be more reliable for storing carbon emissions than newly ‘recruited’ trees (juveniles that naturally regenerate in the logged forests).

Amazonia, the largest tropical forest globally, holds 30% of the carbon stored in the earth’s forests. Logging releases a significant amount of this carbon — a key component of climate change – into the atmosphere, which is then recovered by surviving trees and new recruits.

The Tropical managed Forest Observatory is a product of partnerships within FTA. Click on image to see more.
The Tropical managed Forest Observatory is a product of partnerships within FTA. Click on image to see more.

No investigations of post-logging carbon dynamics have previously been carried out Amazon-wide. Now, researchers from the Tropical managed Forest Observatory, which forms part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, have created a unique modelling approach to estimate accurately how the different forest environments impact carbon changes in surviving and newly recruited trees during post-logging carbon recovery.

“We studied long-term data from 133 permanent forest plots from 13 experimentally disturbed sites across Amazonia to model the changes in the aboveground carbon stocks in the first decades after logging,” says first author and PhD student Camille Piponiot from UMR Écologie des Forêts de Guyane in Kourou, French Guiana.

“We looked at regional differences in climate, soils, and initial aboveground biomass within the forests and linked these with the changes in carbon stocks caused by both newly recruited and surviving trees to predict the carbon recovery potential Amazon-wide.”

Their model reveals that carbon recovery is highest in the Guiana Shield in northeastern South America, and also in the western regions of the Amazonian forests, due mainly to the high carbon gain of trees that survived logging activity. In contrast, recovery is lower in the south.

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Unamat forest, Puerto Maldonado, Madre de Dios, Peru. Photo: Marco Simola/CIFOR

Piponiot explains: “Forests of the Guiana Shield are generally dense and grow on nutrient-poor soils, where wood productivity is constrained by competition for key nutrients. Short pulses of nutrients released from readily decomposed stems, twigs, and leaves of trees damaged and killed by logging explain the substantial but limited-duration increase in the growth of surviving trees.

“In the southern Amazon, on the other hand, high seasonal water stress is the main constraint on carbon recovery. Stress-tolerant trees are generally poor competitors and this may explain the slower carbon accumulation in survivors in this region.”

Principal Investigator and senior author of the study, Bruno Hérault, from Cirad, adds: “As climate change continues, we can also expect to see increases in droughts and fires that will further disturb the Amazonian forests. Betting on newly recruited trees to store carbon in some of the forests disturbed by logging might be a risky gamble, as most of them are pioneer trees highly vulnerable to water stress. Trees that survive logging activities may therefore be more reliable in accumulating carbon in these disturbed forests.”

Hérault concludes: “While our study focuses mainly on carbon recovery after logging, our findings may also give useful clues to predict the forests’ responses to carbon loss from fires and other events brought on by climate change, which is ironically caused in part by mass disturbance and deforestation.”


The paper ‘Carbon recovery dynamics following disturbance by selective logging in Amazonian forests‘ can be freely accessed online. Contents, including text, figures, and data, are free to reuse under a CC BY 4.0 license.

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  • Incentives and Constraints of Community and Smallholder Forestry

Incentives and Constraints of Community and Smallholder Forestry

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Authors: de Jong, W.; Galloway, G.; Katila, P.; Pacheco, P.

This editorial introduces the special issue: Incentives and constraints of community and smallholder forestry. The special issue contains nine papers, listed in a table in the main text. The editorial reviews briefly some key elements of our current understanding of community and smallholder forestry. The editorial also briefly introduces the nine papers of the special issue and points out how they link to the debate among academics and specialists on community and smallholder forestry. Finally, the editorial highlights the new elements that the nine papers contribute to our understanding of community and smallholder forestry, before it concludes at the end.

Publication Year: 2016

ISSN: 1999-4907

Source: Forests 7(9): 209

DOI: 10.3390/f7090209

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  • Quantifying Illegal Logging and Related Timber Trade

Quantifying Illegal Logging and Related Timber Trade

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Authors: Jianbang, G.; Cerutti, P.O.; Masiero, M.; Pettenella, D.; Andrighetto, N.; Dawson, T.

Understanding the magnitude of illegal logging and related timber trade as well as illegal trade flows is critical to addressing the problem. This chapter provides an overview of the estimates of illegal logging and related international timber trade, as well as providing a summary and comparison of estimation methods. Major legal and illegal international timber trade flows are portrayed along with domestic, regional and global wood products markets, and supply chains representing key agents in producer, processing and consumer countries. The chapter also presents financial flows associated with illegal logging and timber trade. Finally, data gaps are identified, and new developments in illegal logging and timber trade are discussed along with possible solutions.

Series: IUFRO World Series no. 35

Publisher: Vienna, Austria, International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)

Publication Year: 2016

ISBN: 978-3-902762-70-2

ISSN: 1016-3263

Source: CIFOR’s library


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