Featured Policy

The United States’ Lacey Act Protect and Replenish our Forests

The United States has become the first country in the world to place an outright, criminally enforceable ban on the import of illegally harvested timber, addressing this issue both nationally and internationally from the demand side. Illegal logging and the international trade in illegal timber has been recognised as a major global problem in environmental, social and economic terms particularly for timber-producing countries of the developing world. It causes environmental damage, costs governments billions of dollars in lost revenue, promotes corruption, undermines the rule of law and good governance and funds armed conflict. Consumer countries contribute to these problems by importing timber and wood products without ensuring that they are legally sourced. A study by the Union of Concerned Scientists, in October 2015 confirmed that US imports of illegal wood have declined significantly since the Lacey Act was amended in 2008.
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