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Legal Logging in Amazon Region Shows Signs of Fraud

08/17/2018 - 12h09

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REINALDO JOSÉ LOPES
SÃO CARLOS

Researchers identified strong indications that logging permits in Pará's forests are being manipulated. The fraud would favor excessive cutting of highly valued, vulnerable, trees, such as ipê (also called araguaney).

"Let me make it clear that we don't have nothing against logging per se. It's an important economic activity for the Amazon. But it needs to be done correctly, in order not to harm these species' future viability," said Pedro Brancalion, professor of Forest Science at USP's Piracicaba campus and one of the authors of the study published this week in Science Advances.

Lalo Almeida
Illegal logging is a huge barrier for using timber markets to promote sustainable use and conservation of forests
Illegal logging is a huge barrier for using timber markets to promote sustainable use and conservation of forests

Commercial logging in the Amazon needs to follow a series of conditions. For instance, loggers can't cut more than 30 cubic meters per hectare, in cycles that span from 25 to 35 years.

The researchers saw clear discrepancies in these ipê logging permits. The species durable wood is very sought after for flooring and pool decks. But because it grows slowly, the tree is particularly vulnerable to predatory extraction.

One example of suspected fraud was in six logging permits that stated an intention to obtain more than 4 cubic meters of wood per hectare, when the species natural density is much lower, of 0.7 m³/hectare.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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