TNRC Blog Podcast Uncovering corrupt schemes in the forest sector: The role of investigations

Uncovering corrupt schemes in the forest sector: The role of investigations

The Corruption Tapes is a podcast series led by TNRC consortium partner the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre that invites researchers and practitioners to a conversation about some of the most pressing anti-corruption issues in the world of biodiversity and conservation. In this latest episode, U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre and TNRC team members Aled Williams and Sophie Lemaître are joined by Lisa Handy, Director for Forest Campaigns at the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Samuel Nguiffo, founder and Director of the Centre for Environment and Development (CED) in Cameroon. They discuss how investigations can help shine a light on corruption in the forest sector, catalyze enforcement and illustrate concrete actions to tackle corrupt practices.

Allocating logging licenses to the company that pays the most, handing in fake documents, paying bribes to get the timber past customs. Corruption occurs at every step of the timber supply chain. Estimates show that illegal timber worth somewhere between 51 and 152 billion US dollars annually goes under the radar of authorities worldwide. There is too little law enforcement and too many actors ignoring the problem, argues Sophie Lemaître. The illegal logging facilitated by corruption is a disaster for local economies, for biodiversity and a grave threat to the climate.

In this episode, experts discuss important developments that are taking place at international, country and local levels, and make the case for better traceability systems, an increased focus on due diligence, and more resources to support forest monitors and enforcement officials.

Listen to the podcast above, or you can read more from U4 here.


Image attribution: © / Jen Guyton / WWF; © Brian J. Skerry / National Geographic Stock / WWF; © Georgina Goodwin / Shoot The Earth / WWF-UK; © Hkun Lat / WWF-Aus