HomeNewsBriefBrazil Launches Program to Trace Illegal Logging in Amazon
BRIEF

Brazil Launches Program to Trace Illegal Logging in Amazon

BRAZIL / 9 MAR 2017 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

Authorities in Brazil have announced a new strategy to reduce illegal logging and timber trafficking in the Amazon, but the plan is likely to face serious obstacles given the magnitude and complexity of the problem.

Brazil's Minister of the Environment, Sarney Filho, announced on March 7 the launch of a new program that will regulate and track the entire logging process, from exploration to storage to transportation and exportation, according to an official press release.

The program, called the National System for Control of the Origin of Forest Products (Sistema Nacional de Controle da Origem dos Produtos Florestais - SINAFLOR), was put into use for the first time last week in the state of Roraima, according to EBC Rádio, and will be obligatory for all states starting in January 2018.

SINAFLOR is intended to prevent the insertion of illegally-sourced wood into the legal market, reported Notimex.

"It's necessary that we maintain under control, that we reduce, that we put an end to, that we suffocate the illegality," Minister Filho said.

The system will also enable authorities to understand the extent of deforestation in the Amazon, said Suely Araújo, president of the environment ministry's natural resource arm.

"We will now have the possibility of knowing the real deforestation," she said. "What is outside of SINAFLOR will be considered illegal. That's not something we have today."

InSight Crime Analysis

The environment ministry's plan to trace the wood along every link in the production and distribution chain is an ambitious one, considering how much wood is cleared and how little state presence there is in Brazil's remote Amazon region. The BBC estimated in 2015 that there are "thousands of small illegal logging camps across the Amazon," and said the authorities' attempts to locate them "is like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack."

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Eco-Trafficking

Furthermore, it's unclear whether similar attempts in the past have had much of an impact on the illegal logging industry. Members of Greenpeace Brazil have placed GPS devices on trucks deep in the forest in order to trace the movements of timber traffickers, which in at least one instance helped the authorities to prepare a raid. Indigenous communities in Peru and Panama have also considered using drones to monitor deforestation of their lands.

Yet the problem only appears to be getting worse in Brazil, with reports of increasingly violent clashes between state agents and loggers. The loggers have also reportedly begun using diversionary tactics like setting fire to huge sections of rainforest in order to discreetly haul wood away from indigenous reserves, which are legally protected from logging.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BRAZIL / 21 APR 2021

Business jets are on the radar of European authorities after the dismantling of a ring that used private aircraft to…

BRAZIL / 24 OCT 2014

Not only have Rio de Janeiro’s violent militia groups dramatically expanded -- growing from just six communities in 2004 to…

BRAZIL / 4 AUG 2014

It is here that half of South America's marijuana is produced. There are narcos present in the elections, airplanes with…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.