Good News for Forests – A Decline in Illegal Logging

A new report by London-based think tank Chatham House indicates that illegal logging is down 22 percent worldwide since 2002. This decrease may have kept between 1.2 billion and 14.6 billion metric tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere, thereby reducing the impact of deforestation on global climate change.

Reasons for this decline vary by country; a 50-75 percent reduction in Brazil is partially the result of a government crackdown on illegal logging led by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, while a 75 percent reduction in Indonesia has been aided by pressure from nonprofit organizations. Not only does this decline in illegal activity leave more forests standing and resources intact, but continuing to reduce deforestation is thought to be a more cost-effective climate change mitigation activity than the carbon trade.

This is exciting news for us here at CI, as we have been working for more than 20 years to reduce tropical deforestation that threatens our resources, species and, ultimately, livelihoods. However, we haven’t won the battle yet. Illegal logging in Indonesia may be falling, but in nearby Papua New Guinea and other countries, it continues at a dangerous rate. Even nations currently boasting success could easily reverse course, as shifts in political control often cause policy reform.

For the fate of the world’s forests, this decline in illegal logging is a promising sign…but much remains to be done.


  1. Gene Yakub says

    I find it hard to believe this statistic. Which countries have you used? You are tranquilising a situation which is still extremely bad and allowing people to feel a false sense of comfort which will prevent attention to this enormous problem.

  2. Louise says

    deforestation is continuing in India. Esp in Goa which is a biodiversity spot. There is tree cutting, hill cutting, massive areas of agricultural land being converted to residential or commercial land. buildings and hotels are being constructed on a large scale, there is a ship rusting near a popular beach that has caused erosion of the beach. strip mining is causing ground water pollution. I would like to know what can be done and how. I look forward to a response

  3. julie says

    visit us to see us helping interneational animal rescue to save the oreangutan

    see about the problems of palm oil use

    send a gift and help the forest

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