Illegal logging in Northwest Russia : export taxes as a means to prevent illegal operations
Abstract: The North-West of Russia is a region, where most of the Russian forest products export to Europe is originated. There are also several publications and papers which have indicated that illegal logging and the export of this illegally harvested wood are a major problem in this particular region. In an attempt to stimulate the domestic processing industry as well as reducing the amount of illegally harvested wood, Russia have decided to implement export taxes on round wood.The purpose of this thesis was to examine if Russia’s proposed export taxes on round wood would decrease the amount of illegally harvested wood in this region.The method elected for this study was a literature study. The method of export taxes as a means to stop illegal operations in the forest sector has been conducted before, and the results from these countries have been analyzed and used to predict a likely outcome for the amount of illegally harvested wood due to this trade restriction.The results from other countries show that export taxes have not reduced the illegal logging in a significant way. What we have seen in other countries is that the deforestation rate has gone down and at best we can assume that illegal operations are a part of this deforestation, and thus would be reduced in a small amount. There are however no evidence that supports that fact. Given the purpose of Russia’s export taxes, which is to stimulate the domestic wood processing industry as well as decreasing the amount of illegally harvested wood I have reached the conclusion that the export taxes will not affect the amount of illegally harvested wood in North-West Russia. Instead, the illegally harvested wood will support the growing needs of the increased domestic processing.
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