Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Brazil Rejects Reports of Amazon Logging in Camps

This after Brazil announced (just last week) that the rate of deforestation is "declining". Just another reason why you can't trust these government's "official" position on logging. Illegal logging is big business, and very difficult to enforce when it is the governments doing it. This is the reason that so called "FSC" certified lumber is a complete joke.

BRASILIA -- Brazil's government rejected accusations Tuesday that its settlement of poor peasants in the Amazon was fueling the destruction of the world's largest rain forest but promised an investigation.

Several reports said this week that settlements of landless peasants were being used to extract timber. They said the government land reform agency, Incra, promoted timber companies through "suspect" contracts and "phantom" settlements.

Incra intentionally chose forested areas with valuable trees, Greenpeace said in a report picked up by some newspapers.

The government denied the reports, saying that deforestation in settlements had been falling, not rising, and was not always illegal.

But Environment Minister Marina Silva pledged on Tuesday a full investigation into the accusations.

"This is an investigation that certainly will be carried out by Incra and other authorities," she told reporters in the western farm city Cuiaba.

The government of left-leaning President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been increasing protected areas, promoting sustainable development and recovering deforested areas, the government's land reform institute Incra said in a statement.

As a result, satellite images published last week showed that deforestation in such settlements fell by 52 percent last year, the fourth consecutive annual reduction, Incra said.

The government said last week that overall deforestation in the Amazon fell by about a third in the 12 months through July to the lowest rate in at least seven years.

Deforested settlements cited by Epoca news magazine at the weekend were created in the three decades before 2002, Incra said. Until then it was legal to cut 50 percent of the forest, compared to 37 percent actually cut in those settlements.

Successive Brazilian governments, particularly during the 1964-1985 military dictatorship, settled scores of landless peasants in the Amazon as a way to stem the flow of poor migrants to overcrowded cities.

TV Globo Sunday showed a deforested settlement in the south of the Amazon's Para state. Incra said the settlement was created after the area was cleared by an illegal land speculator who was expropriated and imprisoned.

A Greenpeace study, which was used in some of the reports, claimed that Incra was allowing timber companies to cut wood in exchange for building schools and roads for the settlements.

Incra said in two settlements, settlers had reached an agreement with timber companies, which operate legally and according to an approved environmental management plan.

But Greenpeace responded Tuesday that more than 140 settlements showed "irregularities," including "suspect" accords with logging companies.

"The government has yet to give a satisfactory explanation," Andre Muggiati, a Greenpeace campaigner in Manaus, told Reuters.

Since 2003 police have arrested more than 120 civil servants on accusations of illegal logging.

(Additional reporting by Jonas da Silva in Cuiaba)

Source: Reuters

No comments:


"Manufactured Landscapes" SEE THIS BRILLIANT MOVIE! You'll never have the same shopping experience again.