FAO Forestry Paper 145


Best practices for improving law compliance in the forest sector

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
International Tropical Timber Organization
Rome, 2005

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

ISBN 92-5-105381-2

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© FAO 2005

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1. Introduction

2. Illegal activities in the forest sector and their root causes

What are illegal activities?

Root causes of illegal activities

3. Towards a strategy for better law compliance in the forest sector

Consequences of illegal activities and corruption

Need for a strategic approach

4. Rationalizing the policy and legal environment

Assessing the underlying causes of non-compliance

Increasing clarity, transparency and consistency of forest and
forest-related legislation

Minimizing bureaucracy, streamlining legal procedures and simplifying regulations

Securing forest land ownership rights

Ensuring that in-country industrial capacity does not exceed
sustainable supplies

Improving cross-sectoral linkages and collaboration

Increasing the competitiveness of legal operations

Enhancing the capacity of the judiciary to act effectively on forestry
law matters

5. Building institutional capacity for law compliance

Increasing public forest administration focus

Increasing operational capacity to detect and suppress forest crime

Improving interagency linkages

Public-private partnerships in forest law enforcement

Access to international support

6. Improving data and knowledge

Monitoring and assessment of forest resources

Establishing standards of legality

Improving data and knowledge for preventing forest crime

Improving data and knowledge for detecting forest crime

Improving data and knowledge for detecting illegal international
trade in wood products

Public awareness building

7. The political economy of forest sector law compliance

Understanding power relationships

Building wide support for reforms


Annex 1 Corporate codes of conduct

Annex 2 Certification

Annex 3 International initiatives