After southeast Asia and South America, large quantities of tropical hardwoods are imported in the U.S. from African countries.

Estimates from government and non-governmental sources there are that 35 – 90% of logging in Africa (depending on the country of origin) is done illegally.

In 1990, UN FAO estimated that only around 12% of the rainforests of West Africa remained. In 1997, this figure had fallen to 10%. Between 1990 – 1995 this region depleted 2.5 million hectares of forest.

Additionally, loggers not only open up formerly inacessible forests to clearing for agriculture but also to illegal hunting of “bushmeat”. It’s hard to overstate the bushmeat problem. Loggers pay hunters and supply them with guns, then transport hunters to the forests and them and their “catch” back to towns where the meat is sold to restaurants for wealthy consumers and tourists seeking a taste of exotic Africa. This illegal trade in bushmeat, fueled by unsustainable and often illegal logging has devastated Africa’s wildlife populations of chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, duikers, pangolins and others endangered animals.

Logging in rainforests and the consequent activities which acompany or follow it, whether done legally or not is almost entirely a nightmare of high-grading, road-building, peripheral forest damage, species extinction and consequent deforestation.