Illegal logging

Logs smuggled across the land border from Myanmar into Yunnan province, China, April 2012 (c) EIAIllegal logging has a devastating impact on rainforests, destroying wildlife habitats, depriving forest-dependent communities of livelihoods and driving climate change.

Since the 1990s, EIA’s forest campaign has focused on the great forests of South-East Asia, achieving considerable success in contributing to the fall in illegal logging in Indonesia by 75 per cent in the past decade.

EIA uses undercover investigations to expose the criminals at the heart of illegal logging. We have documented the timber mafia ransacking pristine primary forests, exposed government and judicial corruption and followed the trade all the way to the markets of Europe.

Illegal logging has benefitted a handful of rich individuals but costs governments an estimated US$15 billion a year in lost royalties.


EIA’s evidence has been used to pressure governments in forested countries to improve enforcement and governance, and we have also used it to lobby the European Union and European governments to introduce legislation to address the demand for cheap timber which drives illegal logging.

The passing of the EU Timber Regulation in 2010 and the 2011 Voluntary Partnership Agreement between the EU and Indonesia are testament to our success. Find out more.