Customers don’t care if wood from the Amazon is illegal or legal

Bolsonaro

NEWS AND VIEWS (COMMENT): There is a war going on in the Amazon jungle between companies who have been issued with licences to log the forest and illegal operators who work alongside them at much reduced costs and who can therefore sell their wood at a cheaper price.

Amazon deforestation in Brazil for soya production

View from above on a flight from Manaus to Santarem of a cross shaped deforested area. This is an illegally logged area spanning 1645 hectares which has been logged to plant soya. Photo: Greenpeace.

The legal loggers struggle to compete against the illegal ones. They say that if they try and stop them they’ll fight back. They mean a physical fight and therefore they might decide to leave the area.

The president of Brazil, Bolsonaro, has a reputation for ignoring the conservation of the Amazon forest. He wants to expand businesses and tends to ignore conservation issues. This is concerning to conservationists and many countries because the Amazon forest is a major contributor to mitigating global warming.

Bolsonaro

Bolsonaro. Picure (modified) in public domain.

It is reported that the Brazilian government has issued “sustainable forestry permits” to bone fide operators. Comment: how do you make chopping down virgin Amazon forest sustainable? I don’t get it myself but perhaps I need educating on that.

However, the chosen companies say that the government is doing little to control the illegal loggers which make it almost impossible for the licenced companies to make a profit. They say that the lumberjacks steal their lumbar to survive. “If we try to stop them they will fight back. It will be an eternal conflict”.

The owner of Lumbering Industrial Madeflona, Jonas Perutti, said that “it is like having a regular, taxpaying shop competing with tax-free peddlers in front of your door”.

There is much corruption in law enforcement, and consumers don’t care if the wood they are buying is legal or not. – Oberdan Perondi, the owner of another legal lumberjack concession.

It is said that poverty is driving the illegal logging of the Amazon forest. The Brazilian government could stop it if they took steps to help reduce poverty in the country. The president says that there is plenty of forest to exploit and therefore don’t worry about it. And one illegal logger agrees with him which is partly why they carry on.

Since 2019 the president has cut environmental protection budgets. Amazon deforestation rose by nearly 35% compared with the same period the previous year. Joe Biden, who appears likely to win the presidential election, has said that Brazil should suffer economic consequences if they continue to destroy the Amazon forest. President Bolsonaro, who is a close ally of Pres Trump, said that Biden’s comment was disastrous. It is not just a war of loggers but a war of presidents and a president to be.

P.S. destorying the Amazon is destroying the home of countless species of wild animal.