namibia circle - oist

Namibia’s desert circles mirror skin cells

The strange desert ‘fairy circles’ of Namibia have thrown up another mystery to their existence. Far from being random happenings the pattern of their occurrences seem to mirror the pattern of skin cells. What causes these circles is still a puzzle though. The ‘fairy circles’ of Namibia are large circles of bare ground surrounded by […]

deforrestation by definition

New Investigative Report Exposes Illegal Deforestation of Peruvian Amazon for Palm Oil Cultivation

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) have launched a new report, Deforestation by Definition, exposing the ongoing and looming threat of illegal deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon due to installation of agro-industrial monoculture plantations, such as oil palm. Both national and international actors have requested tens of thousands of hectares of forested public land in the […]


Massive reforms to China’s forestry industry put in motion

The Chinese authorities have put in motion major reforms to the forestry sector which will include a ban on logging of natural forests in important areas and ordering state forestry plantations to cut back harvesting by 20% each year. In addition the authorities have announced a major reforestation programme that will see 6.6 million hectares […]

Indra Kailani

Environmental groups protest over Indonesian activist murder

The London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is one of 25 organisations to send a joint letter of protest over the murder of Indonesian activist Indra Kailani, killed in a confrontation with security staff employed by a subsidiary of Indonesia’s largest pulp and paper company. The letter, below and online at, has been sent today […]

landsat data

Deforestation rate soars 62% since 1990’s

A new satellite based study has shown that deforestation rates have soared by 62% since the 1990’s. During the 2000-2010 period 6.5 million hectares of primary forest was lost each year. An area equivalent to Norway being cleared every 5 years. The new study overturns claims by the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) who said […]


Permitting Crime: How Palm Oil Expansion Drives Illegal Logging in Indonesia

The clear-cutting of forests to make way for oil palm plantations is driving a wave of illegal logging in Indonesia, fundamentally undermining efforts to bring much-needed reform to the nation’s forestry and timber sectors.  A new report released by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Permitting Crime: How palm oil expansion drives illegal logging in Indonesia, […]

Timber smugglers won’t heed China’s voluntary guidelines

Massive flows of illegal timber stolen from forests around the world will not be stemmed by voluntary industry guidelines currently being developed by the Chinese Government, environmentalists have warned. In formal comments recently submitted to the Chinese Government and published today, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has recommended the guidelines be replaced with a principled […]

US$20 million peruvian hardwoods seized in international operation

An international operation involving Interpol and the World Customs Organisation (WCO) has seen US$20.6 million of illegal timber confiscated that had originated from Peru’s forests. Law enforcement officers from Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Peru took part in the operation and they were supported by Interpol offices spanning South America including the National Central […]

93% of logging in Mozambique is illegal

Insatiable Chinese demand for timber is driving a grossly unsustainable illegal logging and timber smuggling crisis which threatens to undermine Mozambique’s forest resources. Launching the new report First Class Crisis today, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) revealed that a staggering 93 per cent of logging in Mozambique during 2013 was illegal. Research, undercover investigations and […]

Myanmar’s rosewoods in crisis as Chinese imports rise 6 fold in 3 years

Myanmar’s precious rosewood tree species are heading for imminent commercial extinction at the hands of China’s multi-billion dollar rosewood furniture boom. The illegal trade in rosewood species is driven by the expanding wealthy elites in China and their desire for the high-end Ming and Qing dynasty reproduction furniture collectively known as ‘hongmu’. In the briefing […]

UK government clarifies protection of public forest estate

The UK government has clarified the position of the public forests estate in relation to the Infrastructure Bill. Public owned forests will not be part of the land that the government is seeking to release to boost much-needed housing in the country. Public forests will be protected from being transferred to the Homes and Communities […]

New initiative to protect Africa’s forests

A new multi-national initiative has been launched at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) to try and protect what remains of east African forests and combat an illegal timber trade thought to be worth up to US$100 billion a year. The new action will involve Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda working together with Interpol and various UN […]

7 rangers killed in Ghana last year with total since 2011 now 69

Dr Samuel Afari Dartey, Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission of Ghana announced yesterday that since 2011 his service had lost 69 wildlife rangers and forest guards. This is an increase of 7 since the announcement last year at the launch of the new re-vamped forest service. While the number of rangers killed has fallen on […]

Indonesian cop is jailed for eight years for major timber smuggling racket

Indonesian cop is jailed for eight years for major timber smuggling racket

Timber-smuggling Indonesian police officer Labora Sitorus has been jailed for eight years after a legal appeal overturned the shockingly lenient verdict handed down earlier this year by a court in West Papua. Low-ranking Sitorus was originally charged with illegal logging, fuel smuggling and money laundering but the Sorong-based officer was in February found guilty of just […]

72% of Myanmar’s timber exports go ‘unlogged’

New analysis of the Myanmar Government’s forestry and trade data points to a multi-billion dollar illegal logging and exports black hole – indicating widespread criminality and official corruption. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) today released the new briefing Data Corruption: Exposing the true scale of logging in Myanmar, scrutinising official figures on log harvests and […]