It is estimated that between 50%-90% of Africa’s trade in tropical timber and products is illegal which has a significant negative impact on any national economy. It is well-documented that economic activities operating outside the law impact the economy, exacerbate poverty and worsen the quality of forest management.
Global resource use could double by 2050, representing an opportunity for tropical timber producers, according to a study published by ITTO. It forecasts that tropical industrial roundwood production will increase substantially by mid-century but says the sector needs a boost if it is to maximize its contribution to carbon-neutral production.
Timber harvest from tropical regions generates seven billion dollars annually in exports and is estimated to occur across 20% of the area of remaining tropical forests. This timber harvesting is estimated to account for more than one in eight of all greenhouse gas emissions from tropical forests. Yet there is currently no means to independently estimate extracted volumes and associated greenhouse gas emissions.