Over 30 officials from Gabon, Cameroon, the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo were in Libreville May 15-19 to participate in a Congo Basin Regional Workshop on Combatting Timber Trafficking.
The participants include prosecutors, judges, and forestry crimes investigators, many of whom attended an initial training held in Douala, Cameroon in 2016.
Trainers came from the U.S. Department of Justice, the US Forest Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Environmental and Scientific Affairs provided funding for the workshop.
Illegal logging and timber trafficking is a transnational crime
In a March 2017 report titled “Transnational Crime and the Developing World,” the NGO Global Financial Integrity identified the trade in illegally logged timber as the third most lucrative form of transnational crime worldwide, following only counterfeiting and illegal drug trafficking. The report also estimated that 50-90% of the timber from Central Africa is acquired illegally.