Deforestation is caused by bad forest governance.
Illegal logging and destructive forest conversion are directly connected to corruption and crime, cronyism, curbs on transparency and accountability, selective law enforcement, elitist land tenure and compromised judiciaries, and often involve state officials and security apparatus.
Limited civil society participation in decision-making processes affecting forests exacerbates these problems.
Since 1999, EIA and its local partners have been in the vanguard of worldwide forest governance reform.
EIA’s groundbreaking forest investigations and lobbying have consistently uncovered serious failings in forest governance, forcing governments and industry to acknowledge the problem and address it.
EIA has also significantly contributed to the development of the European Union’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance & Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan. This incorporates Voluntary Partnership Agreements designed to curb illegal timber exports to the EU from countries such as Indonesia, and the EU Timber Regulation which explicitly prohibits the placement of illegal timber on its markets.
EIA was also instrumental in the amendment of the US Lacey Act, prohibiting illegal timber trade in the United States.
Such overdue reforms have substantially transformed timber trade in the world’s most valuable markets and are essential for the success of other forest conservation initiatives, such as REDD.