Huge seizure spotlights timber-trafficking loophole


One of the barges seized by Brazilian Federal Police.

One might consider Brazil’s biggest-ever seizure of Amazon timber a sign of strong government commitment to rainforest protection. But the government in this case is that of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, whose attitude when it comes to environmental protection has ranged from indifference to outright hostility. Small wonder, then, that news of the recent impoundment of a record 141,000 cubic meters of Amazon timber has received decidedly mixed reviews. While green advocates welcome the operation, they say the apparently illegal timber-export scheme prompting it aimed to benefit from a Bolsonaro administration regulatory loophole that has been a boon to timber trafficking. The impoundments began in November, when Federal Police seized 11 barges carrying 10,000 cubic meters of hardwood logs on the Mamuru River, a tributary of the Amazon River, near the border of the states of Amazonas and Pará. Then in early December, the Federal Police began... [Log in to read more]

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