Issues: Timber trade and illegal logging

Rain forest timber awaiting conveyance down the Kinabatangan river. East Sabah. Borneo. Malaysia. rel=
Rain forest timber awaiting conveyance down the Kinabatangan river. East Sabah. Borneo. Malaysia.
© WWF-Canon / Gerald S. CUBITT

Domesticated elephants used to destroy their forest

The international timber trade is now the primary cause of forest degradation and loss of forest biodiversity. Because of these activities, the rapidly disappearing forest home of wild elephants is being further undermined. Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand are among the countries having an important, but as yet unquantified, effect on elephant and rhino habitat through their illegal logging activities.
Elephants brought to log forest
Besides losing their habitat to logging, domesticated elephants are also used to carry out illegal logging activities. These animals are often severely misused and in many cases, overworked. Cases of elephants being "worked to death" have been recorded in Cambodia.

Harsh reality of law enforcement
Recent attempts to clamp down on illegal logging activities and corruption in Vietnam have resulted in forest officers being killed and injured in the line of duty. Some progress has been made with officials involved in illegal logging being removed from their posts and in some cases, jailed.

However, 22,000 cases of illegal logging activities were detected in the country in the first six months of 2000 and so was a corresponding increase in logging enforcement related violence in this period.

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