The European Union is by far the largest destination for Ukrainian wood exports. According to the recent report, Complicit in Corruption published by the British NGO Earthsight, in 2017 at least 40% of this wood was logged or traded illegally, with the aid of corruption. Ukraine is now the largest supplier of such high-risk timber to the EU. A large part of this timber comes from magnificent and often ancient forests in the Carpathian mountains. A new threat now hangs over this mountain range. Local politicians and murky investors have announced their intention to establish an immense ski resort in the Svydovets massif with over 60 hotels, 120 restaurants, 33 ski-lifts, 230 km of ski runs and even an aerodrome. The future tourist complex would be able to receive up to 28.000 tourists at the same time. It would affect 14.000 hectares of the massif and destroy up to 1500 hectares of forests.

Last year was the second-worst on record for tropical tree cover loss, according to new data from the University of Maryland, released today on Global Forest Watch. In total, the tropics experienced 15.8 million hectares (39.0 million acres) of tree cover loss in 2017, an area the size of Bangladesh. That’s the equivalent of losing 40 football fields of trees every minute for an entire year.

The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has decided to allow oil exploration in two protected wildlife parks, Virunga and Salonga. The move is strongly opposed by environmental activists, who say drilling would place wildlife at risk and contribute to global warming.

A group of Indonesian  NGOs released today a report that brings to light the obscure structure of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), one of the major paper producers in the world. This structure has been used by APP to deny its responsibility in a case of deforestation recently raised by Greenpeace, that led the organisation to stop the engagement with the company. 

The people of Estonia struggling to prevent a huge ‘biorefinery’, which would consume a quarter of Estonia’s wood supply and pollute the country’s second largest river, have today received support from concerned organisations all over the world. Estonian civil society groups, the City of Tartu, the former prime minister and many prominent scientists have already made public statements of their opposition and tomorrow, thousands of Estonians will take to the streets to protest the proposed Est-For pulp mill and energy plant and demand that the government show it a red light. Today, the Environmental Paper Network (EPN) is releasing a discussion document: "Bio-refinery: new name, dirty old story" detailing the concerns of civil society, scientists and politicians about the proposed ‘Est-For’ pulp mill and energy plant.