Greenpeace doubts validity of papers for Brazilian timber

16.07.2014 − 

In its report “The Amazon’s Silent Crisis” published in May, the environmental protection organisation Greenpeace decries what the organisation considers to be large-scale illegal logging in Brazil, especially in the province of Pará. Greenpeace believes roughly 78% of the wood felled in Pará originates from illegal sources. The illegal wood is said to be exported with forged documents to countries such as those in the EU. Owing to this, what Greenpeace describes as widespread practice, importers in the EU cannot rely on the documentation alone but must scrutinize their suppliers more closely on location and refrain from purchasing material wherever doubt remains, the organisation believes.
According to Greenpeace, roughly half of the wood imported by European buyers from the Brazilian Amazon in 2013 originated from the province of Pará. By far the most important buyer in the EU is France, followed by Belgium, the Netherlands, and Spain.
According to information from Greenpeace, a variety of European companies apparently obtained wood from so-called “high-risk companies”, i.e. companies allegedly working with sawmills that supply illegally felled wood with forged papers, even since the EU Timber Regulation came into force in March 2013. Greenpeace has given lists of the names of the importers concerned to the appropriate authorities in various EU member countries, amongst them Germany, the UK, France, Belgium, and Denmark, with the request for further examination. Some authorities have already reacted with checks or investigations.

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