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USTR Timber Verification Request Echoes EIA's Concerns About Traceability in Peru

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) took action yesterday under the US – Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA), calling on the Peruvian government to verify that three 2017 timber shipments from Peru to the United States complied with all applicable Peruvian laws and regulations. This action comes at a time when Peru has demonstrably failed to fulfill its commitments to improve supply chain traceability and transparency of timber products and has instead significantly reduced the quality and quantity of information gathered at the point of export.

People in Peru and throughout the Amazon are risking their lives to protect their forests, so it is essential that timber-consuming countries do whatever they can to ensure they are not perpetuating illegalities - and in many cases systemic violence and corruption - by importing stolen wood. This is especially important at a time in which the Peruvian government has taken steps to reduce transparency in its timber sector.

In its latest report, the Moment of Truth, EIA exposed the systematic exports of illegal timber from Peru to countries around the world, as well as efforts by certain industry and government actors to make real traceability almost impossible. One of the recommendations in the report is for the US government to request additional audits under the PTPA of operators with a proven history of exporting illegal timber. The report also described a scheme in which Peruvian exporters seem to be selectively shipping “green listed” timber (i.e. accompanied by documents linked to verified legal sources) to countries that have demand side laws designed to stop illegal timber trade, like the US, while shipping “red listed” high risk timber (accompanied by documents linked to sources with verified illegalities) to countries that do not have such demand side laws, like China and Mexico.

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Recent Blog Posts

Civil Society Statement on the Weakening of Institutions and Governance in the Forest Sector
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Civil Society Statement on the Weakening of Institutions and Governance in the Forest Sector
New global protection measures for threatened rosewood trees start this week
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A number of threatened tree species have been given a new lease on life. At its 18th Conference of the Parties (CoP18) in August 2019, CITES granted protection to several species – adding them to Appendix II of the binding global wildlife treaty. Ninety days after the decisions were taken in Geneva, the listings for mukula and mulanje cedar are now coming into effect.

Recent Reports

Cashing-In On Chaos
06/03/2020
Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)’s three-year investigation into the Senegal-Gambia-China rosewood traffic uncovered unprecedented evidence on a series of major forest crimes.
Mukula Cartel
12/05/2019
In Zambia the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) found that a handful of very high profile figures have apparently orchestrated and facilitated massive trafficking operations for years that are driving mukula rosewood trees to the edge of commercial extinction, devastating vulnerable forests and threatening communities’ livelihoods.

Recent Press Releases

Exposed: The Gambia’s Blood Wood Trafficking
06/03/2020
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)’s new report, Cashing-In On Chaos, conclusively establishes links between timber trafficking controlled by Senegalese armed rebels; the decade-long smuggling of an estimated 1.6 million trees from Senegal to The Gambia; and the illegal re-export of the disappearing rosewood trees to China, in violation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Some of EIA’s findings are featured in the BBC’s documentary The Trees That Bleed: How rosewood is smuggled from Senegal into Gambia, released in March 2020.
EIA looks forward to the release of an uncensored rosewood investigative report by the Ghanaian government
01/23/2020
EIA looks forward to the release of an uncensored rosewood investigative report by the Ghanaian government

Recent Videos

Mukula Cartel
12/05/2019
In Zambia the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) found that a handful of very high profile figures have apparently orchestrated and facilitated massive trafficking operations for years that are driving mukula rosewood trees to the edge of commercial extinction, devastating vulnerable forests and threatening communities’ livelihoods
Raw Intelligence: GOCA
10/18/2019
Mr. Lu is the Secretary of the Association of Overseas Chinese in Gabon and a leading figure in the Forest Union of the Asian Industry in Gabon (UFIAG). He doesn’t miss an opportunity to publicly defend Chinese logging companies in Gabon, and to assert that these entrepreneurs operate with the best of intentions.
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