Illegal logging and the international trade in illegally logged timber is a major problem for many timber-producing countries in the developing world. It causes environmental damage, costs governments billions of dollars in lost revenue, promotes corruption, undermines the rule of law and good governance and funds armed conflict.
It retards sustainable development in some of the poorest countries of the world. Consumer countries like Ireland contribute to these problems by importing timber and wood products without ensuring that they are legally sourced. While in recent years, producer and consumer countries alike have paid increasing attention to illegal logging the problem is still widespread.
Throughout the world, ancient forests are in crisis. Many of the plants and animals that live in these forests face extinction. Many of the peoples and cultures who depend on these forests for their way of life are under threat.