Monday, March 26, 2012

Illegal Logging in South Eastern Europe: Regional Report -- REC

Illegal Logging in South Eastern Europe: Regional Report (English) -- published by the Regional Environmental Center finds that [from the Executive Summary] "in South Eastern Europe, the forestry sector has significant untapped potential that could contribute to the social and economic development of a large stratum of the population. It is therefore vital to identify trends, such as illegal logging, that prevent the realisation of the full potential of forestry in the region.

There are general patterns that can be discerned in the analysed countries:

• sizeable state-owned forest areas, and areas (especially near borders) particularly vulnerable to the illegal harvesting of timber;

• a mix of young and old forests, with a tendency towards a decrease in high-quality forests;

• a lack of reliable and aggregate data on forests and forest management structures; and

• the recent loss of substantial forest areas, through clear cutting and forest fires.

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