clearfelling in the Brazilian rainforest. © Edward Parker
clearfelling in the Brazilian rainforest. © Edward Parker

USA to start global initiative against illegal logging

July 2003

The USA have started a global initiative against illegal logging and hence for the preservation of the tropical rainforests. Foreign Affairs Minister Colin Powell made public on Monday the fact that Third World countries will now be aided in their fight against the illegal timber trade. The US would support local police forces and supply modern technologies to monitor activities in the woodlands.

The initiative focuses on the Congo and the Amazon, as well as the tropical forests in Latin America and south-east Asia. As an example, Powell mentioned Liberia, whose president Charles Taylor used illegal timber trade profits to buy weapons. According to estimates by the World Bank, developing countries lose 10 to 15 billion dollars annually to illegal logging.

source: dpa [German press agency], July 29, 2003

The German Minister for the Environment, Juergen Trittin, pointed out the importance of the role of Germany and the European Union in the conservation of the last tropical rainforests. The EU supports a comprehensive approach for efficient conservation of the rainforests. He describes the latest American initiative as half-hearted. ‘It is not enough to supply developing countries with surveillance technology. Only a more far-reaching approach, encompassing financial aids, sensitizing the buyers’ market for illegal products, and a system of benefits and sanctions, can limit the illegal logging of the rainforests effectively.’ (The German government finances forest projects in the developing world with over 125 million Euro, £83m, annually.)

source: dpa [German press agency], July 30, 2003

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