Illegal Logging in South Eastern Europe and Ukraine: Governance, Implementation, Enforcement

Illegal Logging in South Eastern Europe and Ukraine: Governance, Implementation, Enforcement

Source of funding

Federal Government of Belgium, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)

Name of client/donor

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation

Overall project value

EUR 183,080


January 2009 – June 2011

Beneficiary countries

Albania | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Kosovo* | Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia | Montenegro | Serbia | Ukraine

Number of staff


Illegal logging is frequently associated with transnational organised crime, breakdowns in institutional controls and ineffective institutions, and can increase tensions across borders and with the international community. The effects of illegal logging are wide ranging and include loss of habitats and biodiversity; erosion and land degradation; desertification and climate change; social disruption; and economic impacts on tourism, recreation and persons with traditional lifestyles. Illegal logging also leads to the erosion and degradation of river basins and affects water quality.

The project aimed to identify concrete actions by which key actors can close the gaps in legislation, policy, implementation and enforcement in order to reduce or eliminate illegal logging in South Eastern Europe (SEE) and Ukraine. A further objective was to enhance dialogue and cooperation between SEE countries.

The project focused on fact-finding and assessment by environmental and law enforcement experts; the elaboration of diagnostic audits and peer reviews for use in focusing international capacity-building efforts; and the organisation of conferences and events to raise awareness.

Activities carried out under the project included:

  • assessing current forestry regimes in SEE countries and Ukraine (evaluating the magnitude and extent of illegal logging activities, existing institutional structures, policy formation and implementation, resources and incentives, enforcement, corruption and legitimacy); and drawing conclusions and recommendations;
  • producing diagnostic audits/peer reviews of countries legal, institutional and policy framework in order to evaluate their capacities to address illegal logging according to international standards;
  • identifying concrete actions to be taken;
  • linking the current project with potential international training activities in the field of environmental crime;
  • drafting an action plan and elaborating concrete recommendations and a regional roadmap for combating illegal logging; and
  • organising conferences and events.


A project website was created, where the fact-finding reports and diagnostic audits for the individual countries are available for download. A regional report for SEE is also available, summarising the main findings and conclusions.

  • Assessment and report writing
  • Legal support
  • Publication
  • Awareness raising
  • Events organisation