Wildlife Trade Specialists

Forest at the base of Mount Cameroon © A. Walmsley / TRAFFIC

timber species protecting threatened tree species from illegal logging and unsustainable trade

Forest at the base of Mount Cameroon © A. Walmsley / TRAFFIC


protecting people and forests

Timber is the world’s most valuable wildlife commodity in trade. The FAO estimated the total value of global exports of timber products in 2016 to be worth a staggering US$227 billion.

When managed legally and sustainably, timber trade can be an invaluable source of revenue to both local communities and entire nations. However, in certain countries, particularly those in Africa and South America, between 50 and 90% of timber is harvested and traded illegally. Government mismanagement, weak enforcement and corruption are all factors resulting in dangerous levels of deforestation, habitat loss and loss of revenue.

between 10–30%

of global timber trade is conducted illegally


147 million m3

of sawnwood was exported globally in 2016


are in high consumer demand throughout China and neighbouring countries/territories

at least 350,000

trees were illegally felled in Madagascar between 2010–2015


of Mozambique's timber exported to China in 2013 was generated through illegal logging

Chen Hin Keong, TRAFFIC's Timber trade Programme Leader

Unless a global, unrelenting push towards sustainable harvesting and trade in tree species is made right now, illegal logging could see the end of the world's most beautiful forests

Chen Hin Keong, TRAFFIC's Timber trade Programme Leader

key timber species and uses

talking timber trade

Timber trade

Timber trade

Protecting the world's forests and those who need them

Sustainable timber trade
Sustainable timber trade

We're working to help promote legal and responsible timber trade. By strengthening local knowledge, national regulation and enforcement capacity, we're helping to protect our world's forests and those they support.

more on sustainable timber trade


The FairWild Foundation was established in 2008 to promote the sustainable use of wild-collected plant ingredients in trade and ensure a fair deal for the communities who harvest them.

more about FairWild