Greenpeace reveals illegal Amazon logging activities

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Greenpeace has revealed the findings of an investigation on timber sourced from the Brazilian Amazon, exposing illegal activities covered up with fake documents and paperwork. Around two-thirds of illegally sourced timber is exported to Europe and the US.

According to the organisation, up to 78% of the timber sourced in the Brazilian state of Parà is estimated to be illegal, meaning that loggers and sawmills use holes in the system to cover illegal activities with fake paperwork, scams and false information

Much of the wood – mostly Amazonian hardwood – is then exported to Europe and the US, where it is used for various purposes.

Rafael Cruz, Greenpeace Brazil spokesperson, said, “Our expose demonstrates that timber from the Brazilian Amazon sold in European and American shops cannot be trusted.  

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    “The checks and balances that are supposed to guarantee the legality of these products are in fact being flagrantly exploited and illegal timber is being laundered for the global market.”

    Greenpeace has called on firms to start labelling Brazilian timber as high risk and called for stronger legislation to stop selling timber of unknown origin.

    Cruz added, “A new approach to the Brazilian Amazon forest is required – one that will truly tackle the excesses of the timber industry, protect biodiversity and the global climate, and provide safeguards and opportunities for forest-dependent communities. 

    “Until such time as these changes are implemented, timber buyers need to know that they might be contributing to Amazon forest destruction.”

    Satellite analysis from last year revealed that deforestation in the Amazon had risen by 88% in 2012.

    Further reading:

    Companies not doing enough to promote sustainable soy

    Converting cattle farms to ‘carbon farms’ could be more profitable

    Global Forest Watch: Deforestation tool launched ‘to change how businesses manage forests’

    Tackling deforestation through REDD+ will cost $12 billion, report warns

    Speed of Amazon deforestation increased by 88% in 2012