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Industrial Forest Use

Industrial logging is one of the main causes of deforestation and a major contributor to climate change. The irreversible loss of the world’s remaining natural forests is being driven by industry practices based on blind faith and vested interests.

Global Witness seeks to change how the international community views and uses natural forests. We expose the false claims of the logging and donor industries to try to stem the flow of billions of dollars a year that currently subsidise forest destruction. We carry out investigations in collaboration with local partners in forested countries to try to change the status quo.

Past efforts to reform the logging industry through voluntary certification and marginal reforms have failed spectacularly. Even selective logging opens forests up to severe degradation, fire risk, illegal logging, and wildlife poaching, and makes the ultimate conversion of forests more likely. In the Brazilian Amazon, for example, a third of the forest area that was “selectively” logged in the year 2000 was completely cleared by 2004. Roads exact a particularly heavy price.

A new paradigm is needed if the world is to retain the remaining areas of natural forest for both local and global benefit. This is why it is vital that any mechanisms designed within international climate negotiations reward good forest stewardship rather than subsidising the logging industry further.

The Danish timber giant Dalhoff Larsen and Horneman (DLH), a company accused of buying conflict timber during Liberia’s civil war, has been stripped... more
Danish timber giant Dalhoff Larsen and Horneman (DLH) has been expelled from the world’s leading timber certifier, the Forest Stewardship Council,... more
Gold smuggled out of the Democratic Republic of Congo, some from rebel areas, has been sold on the international market through Uganda and the United... more
Diamond billionaire Beny Steinmetz has failed in a bid to force Global Witness to hand over source material gathered in a corruption investigation... more