ILLEGAL TIMBER FROM THE BRAZILIAN AMAZON SOLD ALL OVER THE WORLD

Posted by churdo (169 posts) -

Amazon timber is all over the U.S. You can find it in hardwood flooring at national retailers like Lumber Liquidators and in walkways at landmarks like Atlantic City, Miami Beach, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Much of this wood comes from Pará State, Brazil’s largest timber producer and exporter. It is estimated that 78% of the timber logged in Pará is taken illegally.

Just last month, I joined my Brazilian colleagues in Pará State to do some field research, speak with locals, and fly over some of the most threatened areas in the Amazon.

The scale of the problem in the Brazilian Amazon is incredible. We witnessed logging trucks racing along dirt roads to remove trees for sawmills. And we spoke with many locals who confirmed that criminals throughout the state continue to buy and sell illegal timber with impunity.

Controlling illegal logging is fundamental to saving the Amazon. Predatory logging sets the stage for deforestation in remote areas of the forest and threatens protected areas, including biological reserves and indigenous lands. Predatory logging threatens communities who depend upon and live in the forest. And it endangers animals like the jaguar. Meanwhile, it releases heavy amounts of climate pollution. Deforestation and forest degradation via logging is amongst the greatest contributors to climate change.

Barges loaded with timber in the tropical rainforest of Pará state.

Loggers particularly focus on the most valuable tree species like Ipe, which some have described as the next Mahogany. Ipe is very rare and fickle in terms of the conditions required for it to grow. A recent study concluded that it may be logged into extinction if things don’t change.

Greenpeace’s recent investigation has documented the pervasive fraud and then tracked the fraud from tree to tabletop. Our team outlined common scams such as overestimating the number of valuable species in forests, falsifying information for chain of custody documents, and applying for logging permits in areas already deforested, all in order to sell timber of illegal origins with official documents. Criminals are easily able to generate the official documentation fraudulently and then use the documents to launder illegal wood.

The documentation is legal but the timber isn’t. I often compare it to a teenager using his older brother’s ID to buy alcohol.

Importers of Amazon timber in the U.S. are part of the problem. Lumber Liquidators provides a striking example. One of the company’s suppliers, Pampa Exportacoes is connected to our case studies of forest crime and has been fined over 1 million USD in environmental fines. Furthermore, its sawmill suppliers have been fined roughly 79 million USD in environmental fines within the past five years. Finding that Lumber Liquidators is sourcing from tainted sources was not too surprising considering that Lumber Liquidators is already under investigation for importing illegal timber through Chinese factory suppliers in violation of the Lacey Act.

You can send a message yourself to Lumber Liquidators to tell them to cut ties with Forest Criminals here.

Content extracted from Greenpeace.org.

#1 Edited by 4myAmuzumament (1743 posts) -

Nothing wrong with a few trees being used as a resource. It's not like the Amazon is going to stay in it's underdeveloped state forever.

#2 Edited by BossPerson (9432 posts) -

Nothing wrong with a few trees being used as a resource. It's not like the Amazon is going to stay in it's underdeveloped state forever.

exactly. development and resource rape is where its at

#3 Posted by Masculus (2823 posts) -

Hard to take Greenpeace seriously. One thing is true: Ipe is an excellent material for furnitures.

#4 Posted by foxhound_fox (87364 posts) -

Then Brazil is going to have to start building some more legitimate economic avenues for these people to make money. The reason why people do illegal things like this is because there is money in it. If they could make more money doing something legal, they would. They go where the money goes.

#5 Posted by churdo (169 posts) -

@foxhound_fox:

There are political and economical issues, many people who opposed the logging companies were murdered like Jose Claudio R. da Silva and his wife or even the american Dorothy Stang.

A bunch of these logging companies came from outside Brazil, or they are funded by foreign investors.

You can fit Britain into amazon nearly 24 times. If we can´t even control social issues in cities like new york, do you think that would be any easier to control such huge rainforest like Amazon ?

Amazon rainforest is an international issue and is important to us all.

#6 Edited by churdo (169 posts) -

@4myAmuzumament:

There are sustainable ways of logging, the real impact comes from illegal logging, amazon is far from untouched:

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/WorldOfChange/deforestation.php

#7 Edited by RadecSupreme (4630 posts) -

@churdo: This is completely fucked up. These people could give a rats ass about the survival rate of the coming generations due to our lack of efficiency and greed. These people need to be stopped. The biggest fault with humankind is we ignore the long term...

#8 Edited by playmynutz (5980 posts) -

Preach.

#10 Posted by churdo (169 posts) -

@churdo: This is completely fucked up. These people could give a rates ass about the survival rate of the coming generations due to our lack of efficiency and greed. These people need to be stopped. The biggest fault with humankind is we ignore the long term...

I agree with you, we realize our mistakes when it's too late.

(Had to "rebuild" this message, i screwed the last one with wrong quotes, sorry.)

#11 Edited by 4myAmuzumament (1743 posts) -

@churdo said:

Amazon rainforest is [...] important to us all.

In what ways? There are other animals, forests, and ecosystems all over the world and the Amazon isn't really all that important/special to preserve over the development of mankind. There are so many resources there and we should use them.

#12 Edited by churdo (169 posts) -

@4myAmuzumament said:

@churdo said:

Amazon rainforest is an international issue and is important to us all.

In what ways? There are other animals, forests, and ecosystems all over the world and the Amazon isn't really all that important/special to preserve over the development of mankind. There are so many resources there and we should use them.

We won´t keep developing if every planet resource is exhausted.

Every ecosystem is important for the climate balance and to sustain any form of life on earth - including mankind.

Maybe this link will clarify why rainforests like Amazon and Congo are important:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/programmes/080508_why_amazon_important.shtml

#13 Posted by iwilson1296 (2214 posts) -

"WE DIDN"T LISTEN!!"

#14 Posted by jasean79 (2338 posts) -

My guitar is made from Brazilian Rosewood. I know for a fact that they don't use that type of wood anymore in the manufacturing of instruments because of the scarcity of it. Don't know if this is considered illegal timber, but then again my guitar is 14 years old.

#15 Edited by jun_aka_pekto (15887 posts) -

My wife is from the Philippines and has a family lumber business there. They have sections of land with trees planted for paper and others for hardwood. Some of the trees for paper sections are harvested while others are replanted with saplings. It's a continual cycle.

On a smaller scale, the trees for hardwood gets harvested except for those which reach a certain height. Once they reach that height, they're untouchable. Basically, the oldest trees cannot be cut down. But the younger, shorter trees are fair game.

They used to have problems with Greenpeace in the past. But, I think the local communist guerillas scared the treehuggers away.

#16 Edited by Boddicker (2411 posts) -

Meh. Real life.

#17 Posted by thegerg (14650 posts) -

@churdo: This is completely fucked up. These people could give a rats ass about the survival rate of the coming generations due to our lack of efficiency and greed. These people need to be stopped. The biggest fault with humankind is we ignore the long term...

"These people need to be stopped."

The people buying the product need to stop. Cracking down on the supply side of the equation does nothing but keep poor third-world loggers from feeding their families.

#18 Edited by churdo (169 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@RadecSupreme said:

@churdo: This is completely fucked up. These people could give a rats ass about the survival rate of the coming generations due to our lack of efficiency and greed. These people need to be stopped. The biggest fault with humankind is we ignore the long term...

"These people need to be stopped."

The people buying the product need to stop. Cracking down on the supply side of the equation does nothing but keep poor third-world loggers from feeding their families.

The big problem is the illegal exploitation, there are ways of sustainable logging (like @jun_aka_pekto mentioned few messages above):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/ecosystems/human_uses_rainforest_rev5.shtml

#19 Posted by BluRayHiDef (10837 posts) -

This is good, because the less trees there are, the less oxygen there is, which means less Human life can be sustained. Hopefully, so many trees are destroyed that Humanity's numbers dwindle significantly or entirely. If there are no Humans, the Earth can finally be restored to a completely natural and healthy state.

#20 Posted by darkmark91 (2851 posts) -

I thought the whole point of the Kindle Reader was to "cut down on trees." Well I guess they still need those trees to ship your stuff out in the cardboard boxes.

#21 Posted by Nibroc420 (13567 posts) -

Brazilian Timber makes the softest Toilet Paper.

#22 Posted by Korvus (2922 posts) -

This is good, because the less trees there are, the less oxygen there is, which means less Human life can be sustained. Hopefully, so many trees are destroyed that Humanity's numbers dwindle significantly or entirely. If there are no Humans, the Earth can finally be restored to a completely natural and healthy state.

I like that people give the "no Humans" speech and yet are still around bugging others instead of leading by example...

#23 Posted by churdo (169 posts) -

If someone like to act more directly, you can talk with the Lumber Liquidators.

Make a call to Lumber Liquidators headquarters at 1-888-369-5791.

Worried you won't know what to say? Before you are connected, you will hear a message giving you talking points!

#24 Edited by magicalclick (22374 posts) -

@BluRayHiDef:

Nope, you will have to pay for oxygen way before that happens.