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Justice for Forests: Improving Criminal Justice Efforts to Combat Illegal Logging

by: Marilyne Pereira Goncalves, Melissa Panjer, Theodore S. Greenberg, William B. Magrath
Price: $22.00   *Geographic discounts available!

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World Bank Studies
English; Paperback; 56 pages; 7x10
Published April 4, 2012 by World Bank
ISBN: 978-0-8213-8978-2; SKU: 18978

Every two seconds, across the world, an area of forest the size of a football field is clear-cut by illegal loggers. Estimates suggest that this criminal activity generates approximately US $10-15 bn annually worldwide—funds that are unregulated, untaxed, and often remain in the hands of organized criminal syndicates, and the corrupt officials that protect them. Efforts to combat illegal logging have thus far focused on preventive actions, and actions to improve the detection of illegal logging. However, the deterrant effect of a more punitive approach, through the investigation, prosecution and condemnation of those involved in illegal logging operations, as well as the confiscation of the benefits generated by this crime, has yet to be fully captured.

This paper calls for the inclusion of criminal justice as part of domestic and international strategies to combat illegal logging. Accordingly, drawing on experience gained from dealing with other types of crime (money laundering, corruption, etc.), the authors put forward a combination of top down and bottom up policy and operational recommendations to enhance the efficiency of the criminal justice system in tackling the special feature of forest crime (i.e. linkages with corruption at the highest level of government, organized-crime nature, international dimension of illegal logging operations…). Such recommendations include the integration of illegal logging as part of timber-rich countries’ criminal justice strategies, with a focus on 'following the money trail', the fostering of international and domestic cooperation among policy makers, law enforcement authorities and other key stakeholders, effective use of existing laws and international standards on money laundering including for financial institutions to exercise enhanced due diligence on Politically Exposed Persons and the mobilization of the private sector.

  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 lbs (0.14 kgs)

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