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  • Archive for April, 2012

    US firms still importing illegal timber from Amazon

    2012 - 04.12

    The results of a multi-year investigation into US timber import practices by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has found that at least 20 US businesses have imported timber from protected species in the past few years.

    The report states that between 2008 and 2010, millions of dollars worth of timber from protected mahogany and cedar trees in the Peruvian Amazon made its way to the US on some 120 shipments. The report did not hold back from blasting those responsible, stating: “Sometimes intentionally, sometimes through sheer negligence, each of the actors and agencies involved in this system are working as gears in a well-oiled machine that is ransacking Peru’s forests and undermining the livelihoods and rights of the people that depend on them.”

    The report added that the links between the timber that ends up in US warehouses, and the timber that is felled from Peruvian forests is wilfully obscured. It also claims that the timber was often imported on shipments with fabricated papers in order to ‘launder’ the timber.

    With so many sustainable plantations, such as those run by Greenwood Management in Brazil and Canada, producing timber from managed sources, it is shocking that so many US businesses are willing to break the law. They are, of course, also risking incredibly vulnerable natural forests, which need to be safeguarded for future generations for the sake of their homes, livelihoods and the planet as a whole.