Thailand

Thailand

About 30% of Thailand is forested, and most of the country's remaining natural forests are now protected. Thailand has experienced a decreasing rate of deforestation over the past three decades. For the period 2010-15 the forest area increased due to the expansion of timber plantations (FAO, 2015).

Thailand is a regional manufacturing hub for wood-based products and it is a major supplier of furniture and other wood-based products to China, the EU, Japan and the US. Most of the timber to supply the processing industry either comes from domestic plantations or is imported, mainly from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar (EFI).

About one fifth of Thailand's wood imports is estimated to have been illegally sourced. However, the majority of this wood is consumed within the country – most of the timber used for exports coming from domestic plantations which are at a lower risk of being illegal. Until recently, the government’s response to the issue of illegal logging has been weak. However, in 2013 negotiations were launched with the EU for a voluntary partnership agreement (VPA) (Chatham House, 2014 ; EFI).