Research Press Release

Conservation: Quantifying illegal logging in the Peruvian Amazon

Scientific Reports

April 17, 2014

The policies designed to bolster sustainable logging practices in the Peruvian Amazon may in fact be contributing towards illegal logging in the region. The study, published in Scientific Reports this week, suggests that because logging is not contained within areas that have legal logging concessions in place, many forested areas, including protected areas and indigenous territories, remain threatened.

The US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, which came into force in 2009, contained an annex aimed at strengthening governance of Peru’s forests and promoting sustainable management of forest resources. Yet despite this and other efforts, illegal logging persists within the country.

Matt Finer and colleagues analysed Peruvian governmental data to better understand the geographical scale of and types of violation related to illegal logging. They found that 68.3% of all concessions overseen by supervisory bodies were suspected of major violations, and nearly 30% of concessions have been cancelled for violations. The nature of the violations indicates that permits associated with legal concessions are being used to harvest trees in unauthorized areas. Many of the violations relate to the illegal extraction of timber species listed in the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) treaty outside authorized areas.

The study suggests that further reforms may be needed to protect the threatened forested areas of the Peruvian Amazon.


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