Illegal timber from the Amazon is on it's way to Europe. Let's stop it!

Posted by Richardg — 3 November 2014 at 10:42am - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace

We've caught sawmills in the Amazon rainforest trading illegal timber. Now a shipment of illegal timber from one of those sawmills is on its way to Europe. If we act quickly, we can force the authorities to take action.

The Amazon rainforest is disappearing at an alarming rate - and logging is fuelling this destruction. Loggers push into previously untouched areas of forest in search of rare Brazilian hardwood trees, such as ipê. Whatever the loggers leave behind is destroyed to make more space for vast cattle ranches and farms.

Most logging in the Amazon is illegal. In the state of Pará - the biggest timber exporter - almost 80% of logging is illegal. And it's against the law to sell illegal timber in Europe. Yet companies in Europe are still buying and selling timber from the Amazon and our governments are letting companies off the hook.

But this time we’ve got the evidence. If enough of us demand action, they won’t be able to ignore it anymore.

A team of Greenpeace investigators spent months undercover in the Amazon rainforest. Using state-of-the-art GPS technology, the team were able to track and document trucks travelling to-and-fro between illegal logging camps deep in the rainforest and a sawmill called Rainbow Trading.

In the last few weeks, two shipments of illegal timber from Rainbow Trading have arrived in Europe. A third shipment of illegal timber is on its way and will be here before the end of the week.

Companies like Rainbow Trading are good at covering their tracks, which makes finding out about shipments before they arrive very difficult. But this time they’ve been caught red-handed and we have a chance to act.

We don’t yet know which countries the ship is delivering the timber to. If we raise the alarm now, we can ensure the authorities across Europe will be ready and waiting to seize it - wherever it ends up.

Raise the alarm and tell European authorities to seize this shipment.

If the authorities seize the timber, it won't go to waste. The companies importing it will be fined, and the timber will be auctioned or given to a charity or community project. But it will send a clear message to the timber industry - stop trading in illegal timber, or face the consequences.

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