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President's Initaitive Against Illegal Logging

Goal, Strategies and Priorities

The goal of the Initiative is to assist developing countries to combat illegal logging, the sale (including for export) of illegally harvested timber products, and corruption in the forest sector. Focusing on three critical regions-Congo Basin, Amazon Basin and Central America and South and South East Asia-the Initiative will emphasize identifying and reducing threats to protected forest areas and other high value conservation forests from illegal logging through four key strategies:

  • Good Governance - Building country capacity to establish and strengthen legal regimes and enforcement of laws affecting forest management, especially those aimed at illegal logging;
  • Community-Based Actions - Enhancing community involvement in forest governance and related wildlife issues;
  • Technology Transfer - Developing integrated monitoring systems and building in-country capacity to monitor forest activity and compliance with laws, including using remote-sensing and ground-based technologies to monitor changes in forest conditions; and
  • Harnessing Market Forces - Promoting good business practices, transparent markets and legal trade, including incountry capacity to implement obligations under CITES.

Building a Foundation for Action with Partners

Implementation of the following actions totaling up to $15 million in 2003 will build the foundation for action with partner countries and stakeholders in 2004 and beyond.

Actions in the Congo Basin

  • Integrating remote sensing and ground-based monitoring of forests
  • Enhancing training and capacity building for forest monitoring and law enforcement, including protection of wildlife
  • Introducing reduced impact-logging techniques
  • Co-sponsoring an Africa-wide Forest Law and Governance Ministerial Conference

Actions in the Amazon Basin and Central America

  • Supporting compliance with the new CITES Appendix II listing of bigleaf mahogany
  • Assessing and testing of forest monitoring technologies
  • Technical assistance and training
  • Strengthening protected area management and capacity building for legal logging operators
  • Promoting actions on forest law enforcement and governance

Actions in South and Southeast Asia

  • Community-based forest management and protection
  • Promoting eco-governance, transparency and accountability in the forest sector
  • Addressing illegal logging threatening orangutan habitat
  • Follow-up to the South Asia Ministerial Conference on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance held in Bali in 2001

Global Actions

  • Facilitating partnerships under USAID's Sustainable Forest Products Global Alliance to develop legally sourced forest products
  • Funding projects through the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) to improve tropical timber export and import data
  • Identifying possible actions domestically and in cooperation with timber exporting and importing countries and interested stakeholders to reinforce efforts to eliminate illegal logging consistent with international obligations and administration trade and environmental policies
  • Assessing international timber markets to better understand financial investments, supply routes and trans-shipment methods
  • Addressing forest law enforcement in bilateral agreements, including, where appropriate, within the framework of free trade agreements
  • Engaging US embassies in raising awareness and promoting action with host countries

Initial U.S. Partners:

Departments of State (lead agency), Treasury, Justice, Interior - Fish and Wildlife Service, Agriculture - Forest Service, Commerce and Homeland Security, US Agency for International Development, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, White House Council on Environmental Quality, Office of the US Trade Representative, Smithsonian Institution, US-based industry and conservation groups.

"Illegal logging and bad environmental management equate to billions of dollars each year in lost revenue-billions, billions of dollars that, instead, could be used by governments to build schools, to get rid of debt, or to lift millions out of misery and poverty."
-Secretary of State Colin Powell, Earth Day remarks, April 22, 2003.