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Bolivian Exports of Wooden Flooring: What Do We Know About the Risks of Illegal Logging and Trade?

By Marigold Norman and Alfredo Rodriguez Zunino
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South America’s wood products industry is known for its production of flooring, molding, and strip products made from high value species such as cumaru (Dipteryx spp.), ipê (Handroanthus spp.; Tabebuia spp.), and many other lesser-known species. In 2019, South American companies exported more than US$946 million of flooring products – accounting for 20 percent of the global trade. Brazil and Peru are the top two Amazon exporters of flooring and have been subject to significant media and NGO scrutiny focused on the soaring deforestation rates in the Amazon, as well as rising concerns about illegal logging, facilitated by corruption and fraud in their respective forest sectors. Bolivia, however, the third most significant Amazon exporter of flooring, has received significantly less attention or scrutiny on its forest sector and international trade risks.

This briefing summarizes what we know about potential illegalities associated with Bolivia’s exported flooring products, and implications for trade with global markets.