The Lao PDR is listed as one of the six countries with the worst illegal logging record in the Asia-Pacific region in the past fifteen years, according to a recent joint-survey by Transparency International and Global Witness.
The six countries - Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Laos, and Papua New Guinea - are said to have lost over 10 million hectares to illegal loggings for the past 15 years, resulting in more than ten billion dollars in lost revenues for all governments concerned. The report says the major cause for sustainable logging for illegal trade in those countries is widespread corruption within the governments.
Although Laos ranks fifth but illegal logging there is becoming increasingly widespread, with a projected loss of more than six million hectares in the next ten years. In 1992, forest areas make up 48% of Laos land mass. They are now estimated to be less than 40%. Over the past year, authorities have seized more than three million cubic meters of illegal timber.
Listen to our Laos Today report for further details in Lao.