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Illegal Amazon timber passed off as eco-certified in massive wood laundering scheme

mongabay.com
July 12, 2009





A Brazilian federal prosecutor is leading an investigation into charges that illegal timber from the state of Pará is being laundered as "eco-certified" wood and exported to markets in the United States, Europe, and Asia, reports Sunday's edition of O Globo.

Prosecutor Bruno Valente Soares has found evidence to suggest that timber companies are doctoring paperwork and using other methods to disguise timber that is being illegally cut from reserves and indigenous lands. International buyers pay a premium for certified timber, which they can market as being more sustainable than other wood. The timber goes to furniture makers and construction companies abroad.

The scheme allegedly involves up to 3,000 companies across Pará's timber sector, writes Liana Mello.

In recent years Pará has emerged as a major timber supplier and producer of agricultural products. It has had the highest deforestation rate of any state in the Brazilian Amazon since 2006, account for 43 percent of total forest loss.

The piece in O Globo is based on a report published in Portuguese here





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CITATION:
mongabay.com (July 12, 2009).

Illegal Amazon timber passed off as eco-certified in massive wood laundering scheme.

http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0712-amazon_timber.html