Amazon timber industry declares ban on illegal logging
July 18, 2008
The Brazilian state of Pará today announced a ban on the sales of illegally logged timber from the Amazon rainforests.
Pará is the world’s largest producer of Amazon timber.
The agreement, which was signed by the influential Association of Timber Exports Industries and the Pará Federation of Industries, is known as the “Pact for Legal and Sustainable Timber.” It is similar to the Brazilian soy moratorium under which soy producers agreed to stop trading in soy grown on newly deforested land. The soy ban has been in place since July 2006.
The Pact for Legal and Sustainable Timber take aims at illicit harvesting in Pará’s logging industry. As much as 80 percent of timber produced in the Amazon is illegal.
Pará timber producers hope the initiative will allow the industry to continue exporting timber to U.S. and European markets. Both America and the E.U. are considering bans on wood that comes from sustainable or illegal markets.
Greenpeace, an environmental group that helped orchestrate the soy ban, welcomed the announcement.
“In a country where intention and action don’t always meet, the implementation of this agreement by industry and Government will be vital for establishing effective protection for the forests while preserving jobs”, said Paulo Adario, Greenpeace Amazon Campaign Director. It will benefit local communities and promote legal and sustainable logging activities .”