Timber investigation update: Activists confront container ship carrying Amazon timber

by Daniel Brindis

November 6, 2014

Greenpeace Netherlands activists aboard inflatables and the Greenpeace vessel, Argus confront a cargo ship carrying Amazon timber, purchased from a sawmill known for trading in illegal wood as it approaches Rotterdam. Banners read: 'Amazon Forest Crime'. The timber onboard is destined for Belgian companies; Lemahieu and Omniplex and was sourced from the Brazilian sawmill and exporter Rainbow Trading by the Belgian timber company Leary Forest Products.

© Bas Beentjes / Greenpeace

Today, activists outside the port of Rotterdam, Netherlands confronted a container ship carrying Amazon timber from Rainbow Trading, a company we saw last month, in real time, accept illegal timber.

illegal Amazon timber protest

Last month, Greenpeace Forest Crimes Unit investigators in the Amazon covertly planted GPS trackers on trucks shuttling between illegal logging camps and Rainbow Trading as well as Odani, another sawmill that also processes timber for export.

The timber onboard is destined for the Belgian companies Lemahieu and Omniplexby the Belgian timber company Leary Forest Products. This timber may be illegal and violate the European Union law. In the European Union, just like in the United States, there is a ban on the trade of illegal timber.

Amazon crime protest

Activists displayed a banner that reads Amazon Forest Crime and demanded an end to the destruction of the Amazon. Greenpeace is calling on EU authorities to enforce the law against illegal timber in Europe by seizing the timber before it is allowed to enter the market unchecked.

Greenpeaces investigation from this past May, The Silent Crisis, outlined how and why the Brazilian timber sector is fundamentally flawed and facilitates the laundering of illegal timber. In the Amazon state of Para, the largest timber producing state in Brazil, 78% of the logging is carried out illegally.

Daniel Brindis

By Daniel Brindis

Daniel is the Forests Campaign Director, based in San Francisco. His portfolio includes the Amazon, the Canadian Boreal, and environmental certification schemes like the Forest Stewardship Council. He splits his time between the San Francisco and Manaus offices.

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