U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.


What is the state of information on corruption in the forestry sector? How is the situation in relation to particular regions? Are there best practices to learn from?


To explore the state of information on corruption in the forestry sector.


1. Corruption in the forestry sector
2. State of information on corruption and forestry
3. Best practice approaches
4. Further reading


Corruption in forestry undermines not only the profitability and sustainability of the world’s forest resources, but also weakens broader governance systems in countries where it occurs. Finding ways to deal with these issues is challenging due to the limited research in this area. The secretive nature of corruption also means that robust and comprehensive data on corrupt activities in the forest sector is difficult to generate. Where it is discussed, corruption is often considered primarily as an element of forest governance. This is despite evidence that corruption in the forestry sector may have impacts far beyond this individual sector and may be a key factor in the inability of countries to deal with illegal logging. Though many forest-rich countries have appropriate laws and knowledge of forest science, this does not necessarily translate into good forest management practices. Part of the explanation for this appears to be that corruption impedes enforcement and implementation of such good practices.

In order to deal with corruption in the forestry sector, the nature of the problem must be understood and its importance recognised. Increasing transparency and participation are key measures that should be adopted as part of a holistic approach to strengthening forest governance systems. Initiatives that include multilateral cooperation and engage the people and institutions concerned with good forest governance will have the greatest chance of success.


Merrin Layden, Transparency International, [email protected]


Robin Hodess Ph.D., Transparency International, [email protected]




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