According to a recent report, Peruvian loggers are crossing the border into Ecuador and illegally extracting Cedar from the Yasuní National Park. The Peruvian loggers are allegedly entering the park in boats, felling the Cedar logs, and transporting them via rivers. Methods used to gather evidence of this claim include fly-overs, pictures, interviews with local communities, and a recent reconnaissance trip.
Cedar (of the genus Cedrela) occurs in forests throughout Latin America. It’s wood is coveted by local woodworkers and consumers because it’s naturally resistant to decay and insects. It’s also traded internationally although theses markets are increasingly supplied with plantation Cedar from West Africa.
If this claim of illegal logging is true, buyers of Cedar products originating from this area should take extra precaution that they can demonstrate a legal point of origin of the logs.
The Ecuadorian rivers along which the alleged illegal logging operations are occurring, the Curaray and Lobo Rivers (red pins), converge downstream into the Napo River in northern Peru (blue pin), which then flows into the Amazon River near the major timber town of Iquitos, Peru (black pin). Iquitos has been at the center of a number of other recent illegal logging cases.
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