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Accounting for Trees
November 2nd, 2010
Recently I wrote a post on illegal logging—a type of illicit financial flow—and the practice’s adverse effects on development. I noted that as with other, more widely understood, types of illicit financial flows, illegal trans-boundary logging can undermine political legitimacy, rob developing countries of tax revenue, and exacerbate conflicts. Moreover this practice can rob developing countries of a resource that—unlike drugs and minerals—has value even as it remains stationary, as 1.2 billion people depend on forests for wood, fuel, fodder and food. One reason deforestation and loss of biodiversity are such alarming problems is that the full costs...
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The International Trade in Illegally Logged Timber
October 27th, 2010
When it comes to illegal, transboundary smuggling, the study of illicit financial flows generally focuses on problems that are on a massive scale worldwide, for example the illegal drug trade, smuggling of precious metals and gems, and human trafficking. On these subjects, there is a wealth of literature and organizations devoted to understanding and eradicating their damaging effects on development. There are other types of illicit cross-boarder movements of goods, however, which are not discussed as widely, but which may be just as harmful to development. One example is illegal logging, a practice which strips developing countries of a...
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