Do you know where your tissue comes from?
In Russia and the Baltic states, unlawful harvesting and other criminal forest activities are causing huge losses to biodiversity, as well as to economy and society. The scale of illegal logging is dramatic, e.g. almost one-third of timber logged in the north-west of Russia and 50% of timber logged in Estonia is illegal.
Russia loses approximately $US1 billion per year to illegal logging and trade, which in turn restricts money available for good harvesting practices, local communities and development. Bad practices put wildlife in Russia's Boreal forests - such as the capercaillie, white-backed woodpecker, Amur tiger and Far Eastern leopard - at high risk.
The problem of illegal logging in the newest EU and candidate countries is still largely unrecognized, and yet uncontrolled and illegal harvesting damages both nature and local communities.
In Indonesia, for example, many of the forest fires in 1998/99 were deliberately lit to destroy native forests and make way for plantations to generate pulp. Fast growing Eucalyptus plantations continue to replace some of the most diverse ecosystems and natural forests.
The dramatic decline of orang-utan populations in South-East Asia is in part due to the destruction of their habitat through forest conversion to plantations and through illegal logging. Nearly 80% per cent of trees in Indonesia are cut illegally, for example.
Some companies have established plantations on land which has been taken by force from indigenous communities, or purchased at prices far below their value.
Plantations can be a good and important source of wood, but they need to be well managed and must not be established at the expense of local and indigenous communities, and by converting irreplaceable rainforests into fast growing tree crops.
In Sweden, 2000 forest-dwelling species have been listed as threatened. In Finland, 700 forest species are classified as endangered as a result of forestry practices that did not show proper care for life in the forest.