Illegal logging and related trade occurs when timber is harvested, transported, processed, bought or sold in violation of national or sub-national laws.
Illegal logging exists because of increasing demand for timber, paper and derivative products, including packaging.
Illegal logging not only leaves an obvious mark of destruction on forests – gaping holes where ancient trees once stood – it strips the economic livelihood of local communities and responsible companies.
There's also another cost – lost revenue that may have been generated from legal logging of forests. When trees are cut without the right permits and are smuggled abroad, governments lose out financially in several ways, including lost revenue from taxes and duties and the costs of efforts to manage illegal logging.
According to the World Bank, 80% of the wood exported by Peru is illegal. The United States government estimates that this percentage is even higher. In Peru, according to the Ministry of the Environment, illegal logging is one of the main causes of deforestation and forest degradation and contributes to the continuous loss of the ecosystem services provided by the forest, including carbon stocks. By 2016, deforestation in Peru generated more than 50% of all Peruvian greenhouse gas emissions. The high percentage of Illegal logging also prevents Peru from becoming an exportation leader, despite of its ideal conditions to do so: Peru is one of the 10 countries with the largest area of forest, the country with the second largest extension of Amazonian forests and the fourth largest in tropical forests.
The current wood market is about US $ 240 billion out of which Peruvian exports represent only 0.06%. It is expected that by 2035 it will reach US $ 283 million but based of the evolution of our market it would seem that even keeping that market share could be hard. Between 2005 and 2015, wood exports from Peru remained at less than 200 million dollars, even being reduced by 1%. On the contrary, our imports tripled, going from US $ 400 million to US $ 1,200 million. Peru has great logging potential not only because of its biophysical conditions, but also because it already has a legal framework that promotes the sector.