Greenpeace buys tons of illegally cut Brazilian wood, delivers it to police |

Greenpeace buys tons of illegally cut Brazilian wood, delivers it to police

SAO PAULO, Brazil – Environmental activists parked a truckload of illegally cut Amazon hardwood in front of a police station in Brazil’s largest city on Monday to demonstrate how easy it is to skirt the law.Members of Greenpeace posing as wood buyers bought the 30 metric tons of timber in the remote state of Rondonia, near Bolivia, and used an agent to obtain permits that falsely stated the wood had been cut legally, said Paulo Adario, coordinator of the group’s Amazon campaign against deforestation.The lumber was taken 1,600 miles by truck to Sao Paulo.Adario said the demonstration showed that Brazil’s efforts to combat deforestation in the Amazon are falling short in the face of illegal logging and farmers clearing land to make way for cattle pastures and soy plantations.Federal police thanked Greenpeace for delivering the wood, and said they would start an investigation into the seller and those responsible for delivering the permits. Detectives also cut samples from the lumber to keep as evidence.Brazil’s government announced earlier this month that increased law enforcement and stringent environmental regulation have slowed destruction of the Amazon rain forest by 31 percent this year.The rain forest lost 7,300 square miles – an area more than half the size of Belgium – between July 2004 and August 2005, down from 10,500 square miles the year before, according to Environment Minister Marina Silva.Officials said the largest decline in deforestation came along the edge of an unpaved jungle highway stretching from the midwestern city of Cuiaba to the Amazon River port in Santarem.Environmentalists say a plan to pave the highway will lead to yet-more-massive deforestation as more land is turned into farms.The wood brought from Rondonia state to Sao Paulo made it through two government checkpoints without any problems from authorities, Greenpeace said.

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