Amsterdam, 11th April 2008 - A shipment of Amazonian timber
bound for Europe has been seized, the Brazilian Environmental
Authority (IBAMA) announced today. The confiscation comes just
weeks after Greenpeace exposed the trade in illegal timber between
Brazil and Europe.
Officials have detained the vessel, the BSLE Express, at the
Brazilian Port of Santarem, in Pará, in the heart of the Amazon
since 27th March. So far they have confiscated 732 cubic meters of
sawn timber. The documentation for the shipment contained false
information about the species of timber onboard.
Greenpeace Amazon campaigner, Marcelo Marquesini said: "The
illegal timber trade is rife and so it is great news that, for the
first time in two years, the Brazilian authorities are checking
timber exports at Santarém Port. Dodgy paperwork that disguises the
origin and species of timber is just one of the ways companies try
to 'legalise' timber that has come from illegal operations.
"The Brazilian authorities need to go even further. They must
track how this timber was logged, transported and processed before
it reached the port to establish whether other illegal activities
are connected to this particular cargo."
IBAMA's inspection follows Greenpeace's recent campaign to
highlight the problem.
On 17th March,
activists prevented the cargo ship, the Galina III, from
entering the French port of Caen for 24 hours. The ship was loaded
with timber sourced from companies with links to illegal logging
operations in the Amazon. In a statement, Jean-Louis Borloo, French
environment minister, announced that the future French Presidency
of the EU will support new laws to help fight illegal and
Judy Rodrigues, Forest Campaigner at Greenpeace International
said: "Because IBAMA lacks the resources to carry out regular
inspections, it's down to the EU to make sure that illegally
sourced timber doesn't slip through the net. The EU needs to use
its economic clout and introduce tough new laws to ensure that all
timber products placed on its market are from legal sources and
well managed forests."
Greenpeace is also calling on the Brazilian government to tackle
illegal logging and improve forest governance and law enforcement
in the Amazon Basin.
Tropical deforestation is responsible for about one-fifth of
global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the emissions of the
world's entire transport sector. Last month, the Brazilian
government admitted that the rate of deforestation is speeding up
rather than slowing down. Deforestation is the main source of
Brazil's greenhouse gas emissions, making it the most important
contributing factor to the country's position as the world's
fourth-largest climate polluter.
Other contacts: For more information please contact:Marcelo Marquesini, Greenpeace Amazon Campaigner in Manaus, Brazil, on +00 55 92 81 37 91 82Judy Rodrigues, Greenpeace International Amazon Campaigner in Amsterdam on +00 31 6 4616 6299Greenpeace International press office: Vicky Wyatt on +00 44 7801 212 970Greenpeace International Photodesk: John Novis +00 44 20 7865 8230Greenpeace International Videodesk: +00 31 (0) 6 461 62015
Notes: Notes to Editors:1.) IBAMA imposed 290 thousand Reais (171, 876 US$ or 108,505 Euros) in fines on companies RainbowTrading Importacao e Exportacao Ltda, Sabugy Madeiras Ltda, Madeireira Lider Ltda, U.T.C Madeiras Ltda, Batista e Farias Transf. de Madeiras Ltda. and Eco-Log Exportadora de Madeira Ltda. These companies had exported timber onboard the Galina III, offloading in the ports of Flushing (Netherlands), Leixoes (Portugal), Caen (France), Villa Garcia and Ferrol (Spain). 2.) The buyers identified in the documents of the confiscated timber were United Timber Company LLC, Rodenhuis Holding BV (Netherlands), Etablissements Peltier (France) and Fernando Martins Coelho (Portugal). 3.) Greenpeace’s report – A Future for Forests – details the illegal trade in timber between Europe and Brazil. It can be downloaded from http://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports/future-for-forestsYou can read more about Greenpeace’s action earlier this month at the Port of Caen, France at http://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/releases/greenpeace-activists-block-tim4.) The European Commission is preparing to publish a legislative proposal to regulate timber and its products on its market this May.