This study reports on a review of independent and external forest monitoring undertaken by the Climate Change, Environment and Forests Programme at the ODI, on behalf of DFID's Policy Division.
The background to the study is the growing importance of international initiatives to combat illegal logging, including the G8 Action Programme on Forests, the US President's Initiative against Illegal Logging and the European Commission's Action Plan for Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT). Initiatives such as these acknowledge the severe governance problems which affect the forest sector in many countries, and which impact negatively on livelihoods, the environment and external trade. The low credibility of established accountability and enforcement mechanisms, including government law enforcement agencies, is seen as one dimension of a problem which urgently needs to be addressed. The UK has played a prominent role in efforts to control illegal logging and associated trade, and has provided support for a number of instances of external monitoring.