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***DEFORESTATION*** High – general

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High – general

Forests declining significantly.

World Resources 99 (World Resources Institute, “Deforestation: The global assault continues”,
Although public awareness of the impact of global deforestation has increased in recent years, it has not slowed the rate of deforestation appreciably. A comprehensive assessment of the state of the world’s forests, recently released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), indicates that total forested area continues to decline significantly. According to the FAO analysis, deforestation was concentrated in the developing world, which lost nearly 200 million hectares between 1980 and 1995. This loss was partially offset by reforestation efforts, new forest plantations, and the gradual regrowth and expansion of forested area in developed countries. The result was a net loss of some 180 million hectares between 1980 and 1995, or an average annual loss of 12 million hectares [1].

High – illegal timber

Deforestation is still a huge problem—US buys a large bulk of illegal timber.

Hood 7/15/2010 (Marlowe, writer for the AFP news agency, “Illegal logging of tropical forests in decline: study”,
Overall, illegal logging remains a serious challenge. In 2009, a total of 100 million cubic metres were illegally harvested in these countries alone. The stakes are high, said lead author Sam Lawson. "Up to a billion of the world's poorest people are dependent on forests, and reductions in illegal logging are helping to protect their livelihoods," he said. The findings also highlight the critical role of forests as a bulkhead against global warming: deviation from 'business as usual' has kept at least 1.2 billion tonnes of heat-trapping CO2 from leaking in the atmosphere, he said. Further efforts on forest preservation are being pursued under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Loss of forestry accounts for between 12 and 20 percent of annual greenhouse-gas emissions. But illegal logging remains a relatively small part of the problem -- conversion of forest land to crops, cattle ranching and urban construction are bigger factors. Globally, about 130,000 square kilometres (50,000 square miles) of mainly tropical forests were lost every year over the last decade, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The Chatham House study estimates that five consumer nations -- the United States, Japan, Britain, France and the Netherlands -- together purchased 17 million cubic metres of illegal timber in 2008 worth about 8.4 billion dollars (6.7 billion euros).

Deforestation high- Illegal logging.

Stokstad 7/15/2010 (Erik, Writer for Science Magazine, “Illegal Logging Has Dropped Dramatically—Or Has It?”,
Everyone agrees that illegal logging remains a problem. Lawson and MacFaul estimate that 100 million cubic meters of timber were harvested illegally last year, and the activity is becoming harder to trace. China remains a huge market, turning the wood into furniture and other products, which are then exported. "China has become a black hole for the tropical timber market," says Laurance. Addressing these problems, the authors conclude, will require "a more profound overhaul of government policy and regulation than has so far occurred."

High – carelessness

Deforestation is rampant—illegal and commercial logging, and carelessness are all major factors

Dawn 6/26/2010 (Editorial, “Rampant deforestation”,
The latest findings of the World Wide Fund for Nature reveal that Pakistan’s already meagre forest cover is being depleted by 2.1 per cent, the highest annual deforestation rate in Asia. Much of this reduction can be attributed to the official policy of changing the status of forest lands and allowing their use for other purposes. According to the WWF, more than 150,000 acres of forest have been lost in this way since the country’s inception in 1947. Encroachers and commercial harvesters, often called the timber mafia, have also played havoc with their authorised as well as illegal felling. Pakistan’s once lush mangrove stands, which serve as natural hatcheries and offer protection against tidal surges, have taken the biggest hit with an annual depletion rate of nearly 2.3 per cent. Estimates vary but it is believed that the mangrove cover along the coast has fallen from nearly 1.5 million acres in 1966 to just about 420,000 acres today, and even this shockingly low count is seen by some as generous. Deforestation, be it in the Indus delta or the mountains, carries severe socio-economic costs. The livelihoods and way of life of local communities that use forests in sustainable ways — collecting fallen branches for fuel, grazing livestock, etc — can be ruined beyond repair by rampant logging. Deforestation is also associated with climate change while Pakistan has already seen an increase in deadly landslides, flash floods and the silting of major dams. All this is preventable and reforestation is the need of the hour. But for that to happen we need rulers who actually care.

AT: Chatham Report

The Chatham report only details the good parts of deforestation; it is actually high despite that report.

Mahr 7/15 (Krista, Reporter for Time and Ecocentric, “Report: Global Illegal Logging on Downswing”,
From the department of (mostly) good news, a major study released today by London-based NGO Chatham House offers one of those rare beasts in the jungle of environmental reports: improvement. The report finds that the collective efforts of government, civil society and the private sector in 12 countries have yielded big reductions in illegal logging in the last 10 years. According to “Illegal Logging and Related Trade: Indicators of the Global Response,” the total global production of illegal timber has dropped 22% since 2002. That reduction was particularly dramatic in three supply countries — Cameroon, the Brazilian Amazon and Indonesia — where illegal activity has dropped an impressive 50 to 75%, saving some 17 million hectares of forest and avoiding the release of at least 1.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide if those tropical forests been cut down. The report examines a large chunk of the food chain of illegal timber, looking at five producer countries (Brazil, Indonesia, Cameroon, Malaysia and Ghana), five consumer countries (U.S., U.K., Japan, France and the Netherlands), and China and Vietnam as transit countries. A lot of the report's good news, not surprisingly, is tempered with the bad news that illegal logging is hardly a thing of the past. Of the producing nations, the reports credits Indonesia as making the greatest gains since Jakarta's major crackdown on the practice in 2005, though the southeast Asian archipelago continues to be dogged by illegal logging, as we've written here before. On the consumer end, the report lauds Japan for halving its own illegal timber imports, but notes that it still imports significantly more illegal timber than the U.S. or European consumer nations, which have more stringent import laws in place. China moves the most illegal timber in the world, importing 20 million cubic meters a year. As co-author Sam Lawson writes in the report's summary: Although increased enforcement has reduced the more blatant forms of illegal logging, more persistent and less easily detected forms are becoming increasingly important, including illegal harvesting by licensed companies within concessions, and the illegal issuance of licences to clear forest for agricultural plantations. Addressing these forms of illegality will require a more profound overhaul of regulations in producer countries.

Deforestation high—the Chatham report is misleading.

Even with declines there is still deforestation now. The Chatham report fails to report his.

The Ecologist 7/15/10 (Environmental magazine, “Campaigners dispute reports of a decline in illegal logging”,

Claims of a decrease in illegal logging mask a growing amount of illegal harvesting by licensed companies and a lack of confidence in methods of measuring logging activity Activists have disputed the conclusions of a new analysis suggesting that quantities of illegally logged timber have dropped by between 50 and 75 per cent in Brazil, Cameroon and Indonesia. A report by Chatham House analysed five timber producing countries and while no improvements could be shown in Ghana or Malaysia, significant decreases in illegal timber exports were estimated in three other countries, in which a combination of government action and NGO campaigning had resulted in more efforts to tackle the problem. However, even with these declines, illegal harvesting was still estimated to make up 35–72 per cent of logging in the Brazilian Amazon, 22–35 per cent in Cameroon, 59–65 per cent in Ghana, 40–61 per cent in Indonesia, and 14–25 per cent in Malaysia.
Corrupted figures—figures are underestimated because the government supports these practices.

The Ecologist 7/15/10 (Environmental magazine, “Campaigners dispute reports of a decline in illegal logging”,

Forest campaigners suggest even these figures may underestimate the scale of the problem because of the growth in government-supported illegal practices. 'The perception is that illegal logging has decreased but the reality is it has not,' said Samuel Nguiffo, director of the Center for Environment and Development (CED) in Cameroon and former Goldman Environmental Prize winner. 'The companies involved have got clever and have been able to adapt to a different system. It's now a political issue for generating cash from licensing from which companies can then gain political protection for their illegal activities. It's very difficult to eradicate when some of those responsible for cutting it out are also benefiting,' he said.
Government policies aren’t strict enough so a lot of the illegal logging has gone unreported.

The Ecologist 7/15/10 (Environmental magazine, “Campaigners dispute reports of a decline in illegal logging”,

The Chatham House report used two methods to calculate the size of the illegal logging sector. First, it compared total consumption with licensed logging, with the difference assumed to be illegal. Secondly, it assessed the countries on a number of policies, including timber tracking, law enforcement, government policy and legislation. Brazil scored well in this assessment but enforcement of new regulations there remains poor. For example, the total value of fines increased eight-fold between 2003 and 2007 but only 2.5 per cent of them have been successfully collected. The report says reductions in illegal logging in Cameroon and Indonesia over the last decade have occurred despite poor policies in both countries and acknowledgements that there is a growing problem of companies abusing their licences and going unpunished. It concluded that addressing corruption and lack of enforcement would require a 'profound overhaul of government policy and regulation'. Nguiffo said a stronger legal framework to allow local communities to challenge illegal logging would make a bigger impact on government corruption

Low – general

Deforestation is decline now

Hance 7/15/2010 (Jeremy, writer for Mongabay, an environmental news agency, “Illegal logging declining worldwide, but still 'major problem'”,
Looking at five of the world's largest tropical timber producers, the study found that the majority of them had seen a significant drop in illegal logging over the last decade. In the Brazilian Amazon, illegal logging plunged by 50-75 percent. According to the report, improved laws and regulations, along with increased enforcement had a major impact in Brazil. The number of enforcement officials dealing with illegal logging in Brazil jumped from 400 in 2003 to 3000 in 2007. However, even with this massive decline, 34 percent of Brazil's timber output is still illegally sourced. Indonesia has seen a 75 percent drop in illegal logging. According to the report improved governance, increases in plantation wood production, and pressure from NGOs have all improved the nation's illegal logging problem, yet 40 percent of Indonesia's wood production is still thought to be illegal. Following through on policies and regulations, as well as lack of enforcement, remain major stumbling blocks in Indonesia. Cameroon has reduced illegal logging by half since 1999. According to the report, the Independent Observer of Forest Law Enforcement and Governance—which monitors the trade—has had a big impact on reducing illegal logging in Cameroon. Pressure from European consumers has also had an impact. As with other nations, enforcement of regulations and laws remains a problem. In addition, the report recommends that Cameroon strengthen its laws. According to the report, the decline in illegal logging in Brazil, Indonesia, and Cameroon has resulted in saving some 17 million hectares of forest from degradation (twice the size of Austria) and saved 1.2 billion tons of carbon from being released into the atmosphere. On the other hand, if these areas had been logged legally they could have brought in over $6 billion in revenue.

Low – studies

Deforestation is declining, new studies prove.

McDermott 7/15/2010 (Matthew, Writer for the Treehugger, Masters Degree at NYU's Center for Global Affairs, “Good News-Bad News: Illegal Logging Declining - But Still a Huge Problem, New Report Says”,
Good news and bad news coming out of the think tank Chatham House today: According to their new report, Illegal Logging and Related Trade, the amount of timber chopped down and produced illegally has fallen 22% since 2002 globally--with some nations seeing as much as a 75% decline. That said, the report also notes that illegal logging remains a major problem, with illegal activities occurring in ways that are less obvious and easy to detect. Indonesia, Brazil, Cameroon All See Big Declines Some of the highlighted improvements: A 50% reduction in illegal timber in Cameroon, a 50-75% drop in Brazil, and a 75% decline in Indonesia (which remains though the world's third-largest greenhouse gas emitter, thanks to rampant deforestation, illegal and legal). In total this level of crime reduction has meant that some 17 million hectares (42 million acres) of forest has been preserved from deforestation and forest degradation.

Low – private sectors

Deforestation is low now, checked by the private sector, and even if it wasn’t, it is good for the US economy.

Lawson 7/15/2010 (Sam, Associate Fellow, Energy, Environment and Development Programme, “The Global Response to Illegal Logging”,
Over the last two years, Chatham House has carried out an in-depth study of the response to illegal logging and related trade in twelve producer, processing and consumer countries. Our findings demonstrate that actions taken by governments, civil society and the private sector over the last ten years have been extensive and had a considerable impact. Illegal logging is estimated to have fallen by between 50 and 75 per cent during the last decade in Cameroon, the Brazilian Amazon and Indonesia, while imports of illegally sourced wood to the seven consumer and processing countries studied are down 30 per cent from their peak in 2004. As a result, we estimate that up to 17 million hectares of forest have been protected from degradation and at least 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions avoided. Alternatively, if the trees saved were legally logged this could bring in US.5 billion in additional revenues to the countries concerned - twice what the world gives in aid for primary education each year.

Low – opposition

Deforestation declining—tightened regulations and international opposition

NY Times 7/19/10 (John Collins Rudolf, “Is the Tide Turning on Deforestation?”,
Now signs are growing that international efforts to clamp down on illegal logging and strengthen timber harvesting regulations are succeeding in slowing the destruction of these forests. In Brazil in particular, an overhaul of logging laws and a new zeal in enforcement have led to a significant drop not only in illegal logging but also in overall deforestation rates in the Amazon, according to satellite data from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research. Bob Walker, a professor of geography at Michigan State University and an expert on deforestation in the Amazon, witnessed the crackdown on illegal logging during a recent trip into an area of once-rampant deforestation – Brazil’s so-called soy highway, where large swaths of forest have been transformed into soybean fields in recent decades. “You had tens of thousands of loggers who were out of work — people were not happy,” Mr. Walker said in an interview. “A lot of the sawmills went broke. I was amazed to see it.” The decline in illegal logging and total deforestation is also being witnessed in major timber-producing countries like Indonesia, Cameroon, Malaysia and Ghana, according to a new report by Chatham House, a British think tank. “Illegal logging” remains a somewhat nebulous term in many producer countries because of weak or limited regulations. Yet international pressure on nations like Cameroon, where an independent regulator financed by a coalition of donor countries now oversees the timber trade, have resulted in tighter controls over logging in general and reductions in overall deforestation and clear-cutting.

Low – global warming

Efforts to tackle deforestation have worked, successfully helping the fight against global warming.

Guardian 7/15/10 (David Adam, “Illegal logging of tropical rainforests down by up to 75%”.
Efforts to tackle illegal destruction of the world's rainforests have been a success, according to a new report that details a significant fall in unauthorised logging. The Chatham House study, released today, says that illegal logging has dropped by between 50 and 75% across Cameroon, Indonesia and the Brazilian Amazon over the last decade; globally it has dropped by one-fifth since 2002. The study credits actions taken by governments and pressure groups for the improvement, as well as greater responsibility across the private sector. Sam Lawson, associate fellow at Chatham House and lead author of the report, said: "Up to a billion of the world's poorest people are dependent on forests, and reductions in illegal logging are helping to protect their livelihoods." The fall in illegal logging, if continued, could save billions of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and help the fight against global warming, the report says. The change over the last decade has seen 17m hectares of forest saved from degradation, preventing the release of 1.2bn tonnes of CO2 emissions. Viewed another way, if the trees saved were legally logged and sold, this could bring an extra US$6.5bn in additional income to the forest nations.

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