EU and US policies designed to reduce demand for illegal timber have helped cut illegal imports to those markets. These reforms and the EU’s partnership agreements with producer countries have prompted improvements in forest governance and a fall in large-scale illegal timber production.

But growth of demand in emerging markets means that the progressive policies of so-called ‘sensitive markets’ are now less influential.

China is now the world’s largest importer and consumer of wood based products, as well as a key-processing hub. India, South Korea, and Vietnam are also growing markets. The increasing role of small-scale producers, whose activities often fall outside legal frameworks, and a rapid increase in illegal forest conversion, also present new challenges.