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Loggers Create More Than 200 km of Roads in the Amazon to Find Ipe Tree

12/22/2017 - 10h12

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FABIANO MAISONNAVE
FROM MANAUS

Loggers searching for Ipe trees (Brazilian walnut), the most sought-after tree in the Amazon forest, created 104 km of illegal roads, only in the month of September, in the extractive reserve (Resex) Riozinho Anfrísio (PA), a protected area, according to a study by Instituto Socioambiental (ISA), based on satellite images.

A total of 200 km of roads were created from June to October, the driest period in the region. Costs are estimated at R$ 1.4 million (US$ 0.42 million) - each kilometer of road in the area costs about R$ 7,000 (US$ 2,100).

The institute believes loggers have been changing their strategy in order to deceive low-resolution satellites. Roads are becoming narrower and, during their construction, loggers avoid cutting trees with fuller canopies, making detection harder from above.

In addition, storage yards inside protected areas have become less frequent - trees are now taken directly to sawmills or processed near logging areas by portable sawmills.

Illegal logging is not new in the area, but it used to occur in a smaller scale - last year, 56 km of roads were built, almost one quarter of the total built this year.

Ipe wood is the most valuable in the Amazon forest, it may be sold at US$ 2,500 per cubic meter, for flooring or decking material, at export ports.

Translated by ANA BEATRIZ DEMARIA

Read the article in the original language

Lalo de Almeida/Folhapress
Yellow ipe
Yellow ipe

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