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Environmental, Campaign & Website News > Brazilian Government Suspends All Mahogany Logging and Transport

Brazilian Government Suspends All Mahogany Logging and Transport

Date : 31st Oct 2001, Source : Newsgroup


Brazilian Government Suspends All Mahogany Logging and Transport

from October, 2001

WASHINGTON/BELEM, Brazil-Following a three-year investigation, Greenpeace released a report today exposing rampant illegal practices in the mahogany industry from the Brazilian Amazon. Top U.S. companies such as Ethan Allen, Stickley, Henredon, Drexel Heritage and Georgia Pacific are buying illegal mahogany from the Amazon Rainforest. In anticipation of the report entitled "Partners in Mahogany Crime," the Brazilian government announced an unprecedented action to suspend all export, logging and transport of Brazilian mahogany until a complete investigation of the industry is conducted.

Greenpeace sent a letter informing the companies of its findings on October 18, 2001. So far only one company, Craftique, a furniture manufacturer, has responded denying it has purchased illegal mahogany from the Amazon rainforest. According to official Brazilian government statistics, the United States is the principal market for Brazilian mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) accounting for 70% of exports. In addition, the Brazilian government estimates that 80% of all logging in the Brazilian Amazon is illegal.

"The illegal activities outlined in the report have been going on for years" says Greenpeace Forest Campaigner Scott Paul. "This is organized crime and U.S. consumers are unknowingly fueling it." Paul witnessed these crimes first hand during a Greenpeace ship tour in 2000.

The Greenpeace report reveals a chain of illegality and corruption behind the complicated distribution of mahogany. Although Greenpeace has released several reports on illegal mahogany logging, this report details for the first time the process of how the mahogany is moved through this illegal industry. Illegal activities that have been documented include logging in Indian lands (which is strictly prohibited) using fraudulent authorization papers for the wood as it is passed through the system, and falsifying mahogany inventories. Greenpeace's investigation and findings resulted in a death threat to Greenpeace Amazon Campaign Coordinator, Paulo Adario two weeks ago.

"This illegal Mahogany logging is a clear example of the destruction of the world's ancient forests and the failure of governments to control this destruction," said Adario. "The Brazilian government, the United States and all world governments must cease mahogany trade until it can be proven legal and sustainable."

Document last updated on Wednesday 01 August 2018

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