Meaning of Illegal Logging
The term illegal logging covers a broad range of unlawful activities carried out in the harvesting, transport and sale of timber products such as felling, conversion, transport, sale and export. It includes such activities as illegal felling of trees in forest reserves, felling in excess of allocated limits, felling of protected or endangered species, illegal processing and exports, the avoidance of taxes, and misleading declaration to customs.
The Problem of Illegal Logging
Illegal logging is an undesirable economic activity as it does a lot of harm to the environment, the local communities where the timber is sourced and the economies of producing nations. Major importers of timber such as the nations of the European Union seem to have little chance of putting a halt to this illegal trade because it is technically difficult to distinguish illegally sourced timber from the legitimate ones. It then becomes difficult to develop or implement a legal framework within which the illegal trade in timber can be stopped. Efforts are currently being made by scientists to develop scientific methods that can be used to determine the geographic origin of timber. Also trade restrictions cannot be imposed because they would be in direct violation of the principle of non-discrimination by the World Trade Organization (WTO). A way of working round this is for any two nations to enter into bilateral trade agreements aimed at curbing the menace of illegal logging.
Estimates of annual losses to national economies from illegal logging are in excess of ten billion US dollars. It is difficult to give exact figures because of the secretive nature of illegal activities but estimates show that more than 50% of the logging done globally is illegal. Most of these illegal logging activities takes place in areas of forests that are vulnerable such as the Amazon jungle, the rainforests of Central Africa, Russia and South East Asia.
Covering up the Problem?
There seems to be an unwritten agreement by critical stakeholders in the lumbering business such as governments, customs agents and timber companies to understate the statistics of illegal logging for a variety of reasons bordering on reputation and business confidence. Most governments for instance feel that if the estimates are too high it would indicate weak government control while timber companies for a similar reason feel that high figures could cause a loss of confidence by trade partners which would be bad for their business.
Deforestation is the act of cutting down or burning all the trees in an area. It seems that some people are thriving on the suffering of others by using the forests for urban use, and logging industries.??While the poor need these forests as a basic means of survival, others are cutting down these forests to send to other countries as part of the logging industry.?? Anyone can contribute to deforestation, especially in developing countries.??Some believe that deforestation is a problem that needs to be addressed. They believe that deforestation is the cause of much of the suffering and poverty, while other people believe it is necessary in order to improve an economy and keep up with what products from the forest are needed.??They believe deforestation is a natural and that all of the problems associated with deforestation will work themselves out eventually.
With Collective Good Problems regards in long and short term of conservation and logging within the Amazon Rainforest. With the positive side, loggers get jobs and opportunities in the logging industry creating more jobs for people. On the negative side, this causes problems in the Amazon due to cutting down trees, causing carbon emissions to rise which is creating warmer weather. So how can we help both sides? I will be discussing collective good problems on how some organizations can help and address on how to assist on Brazilian farmers while helping in the survival of the rainforest.
What might be done to assist Brazilian farmers and indigenous peoples while also ensuring the survival of the Amazon rainforest? This is the collective good problem. Farmers are just trying to put food on the table for their families. A better approach to address the needs of the poor may be improving existing agricultural projects and promoting cultivation techniques such a permaculture which adds a mix of crops to the farmer’s palette that both enables the farm to diversify their income stream and enhance degraded soils by restoring nutrients. Another important part of helping poor farmers is helping them gain formal title to their land. Right now, in places where it is difficult to gain ownership rights to land and where land is relatively open and abundant, there is little incentive to maintain or improve holdings. Once local people have a stake in the land they are farming, they will have an interest in using it efficiently instead of moving on to areas of forest. Also creation of credit facilities for farmers to both save their earnings and borrow in times of need is also important to improving their quality of life. Indigenous people depend on healthy forests for their food, water, shelter and income. The Nature Conservancy is helping by using its forest protection work on the ground to make the case that reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (a strategy known as REDD) must involve and address the concerns of indigenous people. Conservancy projects have reduced emissions from deforestation and helped local communities: settle disputes with outside corporate interests receive recognition and legal standing from national governments. By working in partnership with indigenous peoples, policies and programs can be developed that benefit both local people and forest health. In Brazil, the Conservancy is working with the people of three legally recognized indigenous areas to sustainably manage illegal logging in their rainforest.
Does the international community have an obligation to assist Brazil? I would say Yes. If they have the ability to destroy the world’s forests, they also have the power to help save them. Companies can make an impact by introducing zero-deforestation policies that require suppliers to produce commodities such as timber and paper fiber in a way that has a minimal impact on natural forests and the climate. The international community must also urgently commit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation in tropical forest developing nations. Forests for Climate is a landmark proposal for an international funding to protect forests. Developing countries with tropical forests that choose to participate in Forests for Climate would make commitments to protecting their forests and in exchange would have the opportunity to receive funding for capacity-building efforts and for national-level reductions in deforestation emissions. This would provide a strong incentive for developing countries to continually improve their forest protection programs.
How do questions around global agricultural trade and global warming play out in Brazil’s economic development? Deforestation is affected by agricultural output prices. When trade affects these prices, it will also affect deforestation rates. When a country enters international markets, local prices get closer to international prices. So, if trade brings local agricultural prices upwards, deforestation will increase but if trade leads to price reductions, deforestation will decrease. Trade can potentially increase or decrease deforestation depending on the effects on local prices. Those countries that have advantage producing agricultural good and timber goods are the ones that will potentially be more affected by increases in trade. Brazilian agricultural and forest sectors are vulnerable to global warming since considerable production is currently undertaken under high-temperature conditions. Among the several consequences, falling farming incomes may have a negative impact on economic development, may increase poverty and reduce the ability of households to invest in a better future.
Illegal logging is the harvest, transportation, purchase or sale of timber in violation of laws. This is causing damage to forests and local communities. This contributes to deforestation and global warming. It causes loss of biodiversity and undermines the rule of law. Illegal logging leads to environmental degradation, and disrupted trade. Furthermore, the illegal trade of forest resources undermines international security, and is frequently associated with corruption, money laundering, human rights abuses. Often many small farmers will each clear a few acres to feed their families by cutting down trees and burning them in a process known as ‘slash and burn’ agriculture. Logging operations, which provide the world’s wood and paper products, also cut countless trees each year. Loggers, some of them acting illegally, also build roads to access more and more remote forests which lead to further deforestation. Enforced was the Brazils federal council of engineering and agronomy (CONFEA) which suspends the professional licenses of forestry engineers accused by authorities of being involved in illegalities, and cancel licenses of those convicted . Also with illegal logging and cutting down of trees has an effect on the Carbon Cycle also known as the Greenhouse gas effect and global warming. When it is released in the air it causes warmer climate which cause global warming.
Deforestation is a serious global issue, and we should be aware of the problem. We should focus on solving its fundamental cause. There has to be ways to stop illegal logging. We have to find ways in helping the people while ensuring the protection of the rainforest and to enforce laws for illegal logging in brazil. We will be able to gradually decrease the rate of deforestation, thereby diminishing the environmental threat. Therefore, we will only be able to effectively stop the process of deforestation by understanding the issue.