Organised Crime Behind Most Tropical Deforestation: UNEP

"BANGKOK -- Organised crime trade worth billions of dollars is responsible for 50 to 90 percent of illegal logging in parts of the Amazon basin, Central Africa and Southeast Asia, with implications for deforestation, climate change and the well-being of indigenous people, said a report released Thursday."

"'Green Carbon: Black Trade,' by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and INTERPOL, said illegal logging is now worth $30 to $100 billion annually and accounts for 15 to 30 percent of the overall timber trade.

Most wood products with illegal origin are destined for China, while Japan, the EU and the United States are also primary importers.

'Illegal logging is not on the decline, rather it is becoming more advanced as cartels become better organised,' said the heads of UNEP and INTERPOL in the report’s preface."

Thin Lei Win reports for Reuters AlertNet September 27, 2012.

Source: Reuters, 10/02/2012