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
(12/12/2008) Computer hackers are helping illegal loggers destroy the Amazon rainforest by breaking into the Brazilian government’s timber tracking system and altering the records so as to increase logging allocations, reports Greenpeace.
(10/16/2008) Brazilian researchers are closer to developing a way to establish large-scale mahogany plantations, reports the ITTO in its bi-monthly update. Scientists at the Federal Rural University of Amazonia (UFRA) have found that planting a matrix of mahogany with cedar reduces the incidence of the Hypsipyla grandella caterpillar, a chief pest of mahogany that has doomed previous attempts to reforest with the valuable hardwood species.
(08/10/2008) Smugglers are using the ornamental fish trade to traffic cocaine and illegally logged timber according to a report from Sérgio Abranches of O Eco, a leading Brazilian environmental web site.
(07/31/2008) Between June 2000 and June 2008, more than 150,000 square kilometers of rainforest were cleared in the Brazilian Amazon. While deforestation rates have slowed since 2004, forest loss is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. This is a look at past, current and potential future drivers of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.
(07/23/2008) Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva signed two decrees Tuesday to rein in illegal forest clearing in the Amazon, reports the Associated Press (AP).
(07/18/2008) The Brazilian state of Pará today announced a ban on the sales of illegally logged timber from the Amazon rainforests.
(04/29/2008) Regular columnist and co-creator of Brazil’s environmental news website, O Eco, Sergio Abranches has great credibility in Brazil’s eco-awakening. A professor of political science, Abranches uses his unique talents to reach a widening audience in Brazil for environmental, energy, and climate change news and discussion. He speaks expertly on any number of topics: from Amazonian deforestation to the current food crises to economic and political transformations for a warming world.