26 June 2014
Member countries of the East African Community announced in Nairobi Wednesday that they will work together, along with INTERPOL and UN agencies, to curb the illegal timber trade that is stripping East Africa of one of its most valuable natural resources.
High-level government representatives of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania said at the first United Nations Environment Assemble (UNEA) said they recognize that illegal logging must be mitigated, and forests managed sustainably, in order to reduce emissions from forest loss. As such, a key goal of the initiative is to curb illegal logging and trade in East Africa as a way to address deforestation and subsequently reduce emissions from forests.
Illegal logging degrades forests, causes economic loss, destroys biodiversity and livelihoods, promotes corruption, and funds armed conflict. The economic costs of illegal logging are staggering. Including processing, an estimated US$30-100 billion is lost to the global economy through illegal logging every year, making the trade in illegally harvested timber highly damaging to national and regional economies.
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