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Ruining our future: forms/models of organized crime in illegal logging in the Republic of North Macedonia

Countering Environmental Corruption: Detect, Analyze and Incentivize EU for citizens, active citizenship and public interest Programs Publications Vertical opposition to illegal logging in North Macedonia

Ruining our future: forms/models of organized crime in illegal logging in the Republic of North Macedonia

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We are pleased to inform you that EUROTHINK – Center for European Strategies today published the research “Destroying our future: forms/models of organized crime in illegal logging in the Republic of North Macedonia”.

Since 2001, the state has been under attack by the “forest mafia” whose criminal activity is estimated at approximately 60 million euros per year. But despite this situation, and the legal framework that classifies the illegal cutting of trees as a crime, the number of proceedings initiated against known and unknown perpetrators is overwhelmingly low. In addition, the trend of halving the number of procedures from year to year, which was determined through received data provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, Public Enterprise of National Forests, Ministry of Interior, is of concern, as well as the competent basic public prosecutor’s offices in the country.

The research detects two key factors driving illegal logging: poverty and improper management. Namely, the most vulnerable citizens are at additional risk of conflict with the law and confiscation of the wood bought by the wood thieves, for a relatively lower price. On the other hand, the challenge of forest management is the result of several factors such as the lack of human resources and appropriate equipment of forest rangers, overlap of institutional powers and inadequate supervision.

The report relies on research of existing literature, analysis of the legal framework, processing of data obtained through free access to public information from competent institutions and 29 semi-structured interviews with multiple categories of respondents. The research was prepared with the support of the Resilience Fund of the Global Initiative to Combat Transnational Organized Crime.

The report is available at the link below:

English language

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