A study from UK-based think-tank Chatham House report that the trade in illegal timber has fallen. According to the report, "Illegal Logging and Related Trade: Indicators of the Global Response", in some of the world's largest timber- producing countries' specifically Indonesia and Brazil - the trade in illegal has fallen by as much as 75 per cent.

The results are noteworthy for a number of reasons. First, the European Parliament recently passed a measure on the sale of illegal forest products within the EU. A report that states illegal logging had fallen so dramatically without any official measures in place other than the EU Voluntary Partnership Agreements - which are still at the negotiating stage in many countries -- seems unusual. Second, the report bases its assessment on a number of indicators, one of which is "expert perceptions" of various aspects of illegal logging. On nearly all counts, experts agreed that there had been less than a slight improvement in the extent of illegal logging over the past five years. This is at odds with the clear findings of the report - a fall of 75 per cent in two of the world's largest timber producing nations is nothing short of remarkable.


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