Scrap wood burning near unlicensed sawmills near Pucallpa, Peru.
The regulatory agency responsible for overseeing forestry in Peru was placed under the authority of the Environment Ministry in December, prompting U.S. authorities to request a consultation under the terms of a trade agreement between the two countries. The Agency for Supervision of Forest Resources and Wildlife (Osinfor) formerly reported to the office of the prime minister, who heads the Cabinet. Critics said the change threatened the independence of the agency, which has increased inspections and made high-profile seizures of illegal timber. The move came as the financial investigation unit of the regulatory agency that oversees Peru’s banking sector calculated that the illegal timber trade has averaged US$155 million annually over the past five years. In 2016, an estimated 58% of Peru’s timber, valued at more than $190 million, was illegally cut, according to the unit’s December report, which also warned that corruption and a lack of funds... [Log in to read more]