Brazil to Auction Rainforest for Logging
One million hectares (or 10 billion square meters) of rainforest is being auctioned off by the Brazilian government to private companies to be used for logging.
Now in a financial crunch, Brazil is considering devoting as much as 10 percent of the 280 million hectares of their publicly owned rainforest to logging.
The Brazilian government is saying the move will actual reduce illegal logging throughout the rainforest.
Once logged, a company may not return to that area for 30 years. However, these aren’t the pine forests of the north. Old growth forests will never return to the current levels of bio-diversity once they are destroyed.
The effort for regulation and increased tax revenue is understandable, but to argue this will reduce logging overall is to underestimate corporate greed and mankind’s slash-and-burn hunger for resources.
Won’t it mean more damage to the Amazon?
The problem in the Amazon is not so much logging per se, but illegal logging, according to both Nepstad and the Brazilian government.
The concessions will allow companies to take only 25 cubic meters of timber — about four to six trees — per hectare, and make sure they do not damage surrounding trees, said Alves.
“They can’t return to the same hectare again for 30 years, allowing the forest to recover and grow again,” he added.
Nepstad said: “Properly done, logging can be a very good way of reconciling the need for jobs and revenue with conservation of the forest. If you do it well, you can pull down three or four trees per hectare without damaging any others, and within a few years, you wouldn’t notice the difference.
“There’s huge potential to use logging as part of the Amazonian economy while keeping the carbon in the trees, and the biodiversity.”