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Is eco-certification the solution to forest destruction?

January 15, 2016

Is eco-certification the solution to forest destruction?

By Saul Elbein, Mongabay
Friday 15 January 2016

In September 2015, a Peruvian cargo ship dropped off 71 shipping containers of rainforest wood on the docks of Houston, Texas. At 3.8 million pounds, the shipment was an ample demonstration of the continued flow of lumber from tropical countries into the Northern Hemisphere; laid out end to end it would have covered “several football fields” and had a retail value of $300,000, the Houston Chronicle reported.

And the wood’s fate shows the criminal practices that still haunt that trade: in early December, American customs officials blocked the import of the shipment, announcing that the wood had been cut illegally and shipped out of Peru on fraudulent permits. Peruvian police carried out further raids in the Amazonian port of Iquitos, resulting in the biggest bust of illegal wood in Peruvian history.

The busts were a black mark for a system intended to marshal the power of markets to protect the world’s forests from destructive logging, among other threats. Since the early 1990s, when attempts to build a system of international law to save the world’s tropical forests collapsed, a union of thousands of civil society, environmental, and corporate groups has turned their hope to the market.

Read more at Eco-Business.

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