Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 01/2011

Corruption in Logging Licenses & Concessions

March 2010

Transparency International


Corruption is one of the main drivers of illegal logging. It runs through the whole timber production and marketing chain. Corruption in logging is fuelled by a range of factors, such as the lack of institutional capacity to monitor and enforce existing legal and policy frameworks, low transparency and accountability, and overall weak governance. In most countries, the government is legally the largest landowner and the key actor overseeing national logging matters. The majority of the global timber trade, estimated at US$ 120 billion annually, is produced as a result of government contracts. These are often assigned through public tendering processes and include licenses and concessions. Licenses and concessions refer to contracts extended to companies for the use and cutting of forests. The only difference is that concessions also give a contractor access to a demarcated piece of land for extraction or processing of timber.