Brazil: On the Front Lines of Combating Illegal Logging
Working to combat illegal logging, the GFTN is engaging the front lines of this fight, helping to increase capacity on measures to eliminate unwanted and unknown wood from key purchasing centres in Brazil. Working in partnership with Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) Friends of the Amazon Network, GFTN-Brazil is helping municipalities and states develop responsible public procurement policies for wood products. Through these collaborative efforts, GFTN-Brazil and the Friends of the Amazon Network are helping local governments and private businesses implement responsible purchasing policies and phase out unwanted and unknown wood.
Consuming between 15 to 20 per cent of Brazil’s domestic timber production, with a third being used directly by the government, the Brazilian state of São Paulo is a key driver in influencing change in the region.
Through a close partnership with the Friends of the Amazon Network, GFTN’s Keep It Legal guide in Portuguese (Seja Legal) is now being used by the São Paulo State Environmental Police in courses and training seminars given to the more than 2,500 policemen that guard the state frontiers and control the transport and trade of wood products in São Paulo.
“The GFTN has been instrumental in increasing the understanding of basic and advanced concepts building capacity among the São Paulo State Environmental Secretariat on the issues of illegal logging and responsible procurement,” said Carlos Eduardo Beduschi, Manager, São Paulo Friend of the Amazon Programme and Sustainable Development Department of the São Paulo State Environment Secretariat. “Keep It Legal is an Across the globe, irresponsible and illegal logging is jeopardizing the future of the world’s forests. These risks cannot be more clearly seen than in the valuable and threatened forests of the Brazilian Amazon. In 2008, WWF estimated that between 50 to 70 per cent of Brazil’s timber is illegal, amounting to 15 million cubic metres.
Beduschi conveyed that decentralization, increased public awareness and effective participation of all sectors—from government and NGOs to retailers and consumers—are key to accomplishing a legal and responsible forest products industry in Brazil. And efforts in São Paulo State are starting to pay off, with over 7,800 tons of illegal timber confiscated since 2007.
“Working collaboratively with both government and industry ensures greater adoption of responsible procurement not only in São Paulo but throughout Brazil. It is only through collaboration like this that the Amazon’s valuable and threatened forests can truly be saved,” said Estevão do Prado Braga, GFTN-Brazil Manager.
For more information, contact
Estevão do Prado Braga (Estevao@wwf.org.br)