Transnational illegal logging, especially logging of protected species within protected areas, causes many irreparable harms, including decreasing biodiversity, increasing carbon emissions, deforestation, and economic and social harms to the communities where the illegal logging occurs. The United States is one of the world’s largest consumers of wood products and thus drives the illegal logging industry far beyond our borders. Illegal logging is facilitated by corruption and bribery within many contexts, including bribes from those engaged in illegal logging to police, officials, regulators, and customs and export officials who are entrusted with the task of preventing illegal logging. No existing methods have succeeded in combating the flow of illegally harvested timber into the United States timber market. This Note suggests that the recently amended Lacey Act, which is intended to be used in illegal logging prosecutions, is not suited for this purpose, as its terms have been interpreted and defined through years of litigation in the wildlife trafficking context. This Note argues that the Department of Justice should begin using the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act’s (“FCPA”) anti-bribery provisions as an alternative method to prosecute those engaged in illegal logging. The expansively drafted FCPA is the perfect tool, as it can be applied to a wide range of actors and conduct that facilitates illegal logging.
Sarah M. Gordon,
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: Prosecute Corruption and End Transnational Illegal Logging,
B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev.