REM Mandated Independent Forest Monitoring

Strengthening forest governance with governments and civil society

Tackling illegal logging

Illegal logging is a multi-billion euro industry that threatens forests globally, perpetuates corruption and poor governance, and intensifies climate change. Illegal logging benefits a few illicit actors at great social, environmental, and financial cost to the rest of the world.

We compare what should be happening according to law to what actually is happening. From that we identify specific drivers and enablers of illegal activity and poor governance with the end goal of finding viable solutions. Forest governance problems are complex. Viable solutions must be based on underlying issues, not just the proximate problem. The REM model for Mandated Independent Monitoring of Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (IM-FLEG) has proven to be an effective approach to identifying underlying issues and fostering governance reform through a two pronged approach:

  • By conducting field investigations, often in collaboration with forest authorities and/or civil society, to collect reliable data on logging illegalities and governance problems
  • By establishing a platform allowing the government, donors, and civil society to review field investigation results and identify solutions, often in the context of wider forest governance reform programmes such as FLEGT-VPA


Open Timber Portal

The OTP is an online platform hosted and maintained by the World Resources Institute (WRI). It supports application of demand side measures against illegal logging like the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) by serving as a one-stop-shop of reliable data on the logging sector. REM works with WRI to integrate Independent Forest Monitoring data into the OTP, which also includes data from WRI Forest Atlases and documents provided by logging companies.

Cost of illegality

"The scale of illegal timber trade is significant. According to some estimates, illegal timber trade accounts globally for up to 100 billion USD annually." (IUFRO), Jun 2016 


REM Forest Projects

Since 2005 to today, REM has implemented in-country Mandated Independent Monitoring projects in Cameroon, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo and short term missions and training in Liberia, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Vietnam. See our Location page for details.

REM investigation

Independent Monitoring Approach

By engaging the government in the process of reform using credible field data, a transparent and productive relationship between actors is established paving the way for real reform. For more information on REM’s approach to independent monitoring click here.

FORESTS are also about PEOPLE

1.6 billion rural people are dependent upon forests to some extent...There are an estimated 500 million forest-dependent people (Report by Forest Peoples Programme, estimates: World Bank, Rainforest Foundation, World Rainforest Movement)