Authorities hobbled in illegal logging battle


To appreciate the scope of illegal logging in the Brazilian Amazon, two figures suffice: 1) Every year, the government licenses loggers to fell approximately five million cubic meters of Amazon timber. 2) And every year, according to the government’s own estimates, 40 million cubic meters of the region’s timber are actually cut. The illicit logging—accounting for no less than 80% of all Amazon timber felled—is an urgent concern. Yet as environmental officials try to address it, they are encountering two key problems—a lack of personnel and delays in bringing new enforcement power to bear. According to Ibama, the agency charged with enforcing environmental laws, the bulk of illegal cutting is done not by large local and foreign timber companies, but by thousands... [Log in to read more]

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