What prevents Ukraine from effectively combating forest crime?
During 2019-2020, WWF-Ukraine, as part of the EU Forest Crime Initiative project, conducted a comprehensive gap analysis to better understand forest crime, law enforcement challenges, and regulations needed to combat crime at the regional level.
What is the forest crime situation in Ukraine and the world?
In Ukraine and around the world, forest crime is a significant problem associated with organized crime and corruption. It includes illegal activities in the forest sector, covering the entire supply chain: from logging (illegal logging) and transportation to processing, sales, trade, imports, and exports. Criminal offenses that facilitate such activities, including document fraud, corruption, and money laundering, are also forest crimes. At each of these stages, law violations may involve representatives of relevant companies and government regulatory authorities.
In financial terms, environmental crime is the third largest crime area in the world, the lion's share of which is forest crime. In 2018, it amounted to 110-281 billion dollars, including forest crimes and illegal logging, to 51-152 billion dollars.
Indicators of illegal logging extent in Ukraine vary depending on the assessment method and definition of the concept of illegal logging: the values range from 0.1% to 20-30%. According to the State Agency of Forest Resources, in 2016, illegal logging amounted to 27,000 cubic meters, i.e. 0.17% of the total amount of wood. According to independent experts and non-governmental organizations, this figure may be approximately 3.2-4.8 million cubic meters of wood.