Mind the moratorium: Ending criminality and corruption in Africa’s logging sector

2018-10-15

Logging moratoria – or bans on the felling, transportation and export of forest and wood products – have been widely used in Africa as a means of preventing the degradation of natural forests, often with considerable support from the international community. However, their impact has almost universally fallen far short of expectations. Violations range from the questionable issuance of exceptions and the sale of concessions despite there being a ban in place, to continued illicit and artisanal logging. Evidence suggests that moratoria are increasingly being used to allow influential political and business elites to consolidate control over the logging sector in their own favour, rather than for their stated development objectives. This brief argues that it is time for a sharp reconsideration of the value of moratoria as a tool for forest governance in Africa.

About the authors

Tuesday Reitano is deputy director of the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime. She previously worked for 10 years in the UN System, including at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and the UN Development Programme, in particular focusing on issues of governance, justice and conflict transition in Africa.

Kristen Olver is a research assistant with the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime. She is currently completing a MSc in Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism at University College, London. Prior to joining the Global Initiative, Kristen worked as a legislative aide in the senate in Canada, and was a junior communications consultant for the United Nations Development Programme in Rwanda.

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