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Doubt cast on sustainability of Brazilian timber

A recent report has highlighted why there are still concerns about the sustainability of timber produced in Brazil.

Last year, the NGO Greenpeace found that there were flaws in the certification regime for Brazilian hardwoods. In 2015, the local police have tried to crack down on what they think is a wood laundering initiative. The practice of wood laundering can mean that consumers who try to purchase ethical products are deceived.

If the authorities in the state of Pará do manage to eliminate any wood laundering this could have implications in the European Union. Exports of timber from this part of Brazil often end up in the construction sector, particularly in France. If confidence in the sustainability of the timber can be restored then this may impact on the British market. This could lead to more hardwood flooring in Liverpool. Ildo Gasparetto, a federal police superintendent in Pará, has told The Guardian:

“We’ve already seen the land cleared in the south of Pará. We must stop the deforestation here or there’ll be no forest left in the state.”

The police have taken steps to be secretive to be effective. However, efforts to stamp out corruption in the Amazon might not be straightforward. It has been reported that the judges in the region can take a lenient view of actions that are detrimental to the environment.

As a result, prosecutors have been obliged to plan ahead. They have the intention of using a fresh law which forbids membership of criminal gangs to address the situation.

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