Understanding Certified Lumber
This article in Treehugger helps you understand the different ways lumber can be certified as sustainably harvested. FSC, (Forest Stewardship Council) and SFI (Sustainable Forestry Institute) vary greatly in terms of what they’ll allow for certified lumber — so please consider these facts when purchasing wood and wood products.
An online tool that lets you find sources of lumber, veneer, plywood or laminates — or local sawmills and sawmill services — searching by criteria. To limit your results to sustainable products, you’ll need to select Reclaimed, Salvaged, Submerged or FSC-certified.
This site is an integral part of a project of analysis and monitoring of public policy in the Amazon executed by Friends of the Earth – Amazonia Program, with financial support from the Small Grants Program of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Holland, as well as a contribution from the Tropical Forests Foundation of Sweden and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office – UK.
It includes much useful information in English and Portuguese, current news, and is easy to navigate.
Amazon Watch works to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin. They partner with indigenous and environmental organizations in campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability and the preservation of the Amazon’s ecological systems. Up to date news, specific campaigns and ways to get involved:
Rainforest Action Network (RAN)
Dubbed “some of the most savvy environmental agitators in the business” by the Wall Street Journal, RAN uses hard-hitting markets campaigns to align the policies of multinational corporations with widespread public support for environmental protection. RAN believes that logging ancient forests for copy paper or destroying an endangered ecosystem for a week’s worth of oil is not just destructive, but outdated and unnecessary.
Mongabay.com aims to raise interest in wildlife and wildlands while promoting awareness of environmental issues. Originally the site focused on tropical rainforests (http://rainforests.mongabay.com/) but now also includes topics like Madagascar and is available in versions for kids and in more than two dozen languages.
The World Wildlife Fund
WWF’s mission is the conservation of nature. Using the best available scientific knowledge and advancing that knowledge where they can, they work to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth and the health of ecological systems.
The WWF has extensive projects and information related to their work in the Amazon accessible at this portal:
Survival was founded in 1969 and works for tribal peoples’ rights in three complementary ways: education, advocacy and campaigns. They offer tribal people themselves a platform to address the world. An excellent source of news about indigenous issues and also steps for action.
ISA was established on April 22, 1994, by a group of people with a significant professional background and experiences in the struggle for social and environmental rights. ISA has incorporated the material and non-material heritage amassed during the 15 years’ experience of several knowledgeable organizations in the indigenous rights issues in Brazil, such as the Ecumenical Documentation and Information Center’s Brazilian Indigenous Peoples Program, and the Indigenous Rights Nucleus (NDI) of Brasília.
Deforestation: Devastation Inc.
This report by the Instituto Observatorio Social explores the challenges of certifying lumber in Brazil, especially the more remote and unregulated regions of the Amazon. It’s available in English and Portuguese, though the English translation is a little hard to decipher – please contact Denise Zmekhol if you’d like to help translate or summarize articles such as these!
Murder on the Resource Frontier
A story in the New York Times dot earth blog about the dangers of resisting illegal logging in the Amazon: Julio García Agapito was a community leader who made the mistake of trying to report a truckload of illegally cut logs and was gunned down in March of 2008. His story is similar to the case of Chico Mendes 20 years before, just across the border in Xapuri, Brazil.
Plan to develop Amazon a Failure
This fascinating historical article from the New York Times, published in 1991, takes a very different angle on the questions and the issues facing Rondonia. Around the time that the negative effects of deforestation and development were becoming very clear, this article seems to suggest that agricultural development and economic exploitation are not happening quickly enough.
Recommend a site or a resource
We’re always interested in finding new resources that provide quality information on the Amazon and related topics. Please recommend a site by emailing Denise Zmekhol.
You can also check our In the News page for resources specifically about the Surui and their work to preserve the forest.