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14 The Portugal News •  23 Mar 2019                                News


                                                                               Portugal once again



                                                                               named as illegal timber



                                                                               importer



                                                                                Ten European traders, including one from Portugal, could be importing illegal
                                                                                Ten European traders, including one from Portugal, could be importing illegal
                                                                                Ten European traders, including one from Portugal, could be importing illegal
                                                                                Ten European traders, including one from Portugal, could be importing illegal
                                                                                Ten European traders, including one from Portugal, could be importing illegal
                                                                                Congo timber worth millions, breaking EU legislation and wreaking havoc on
                                                                                Congo timber worth millions, breaking EU legislation and wreaking havoc on
                                                                                Congo timber worth millions, breaking EU legislation and wreaking havoc on
                                                                                Congo timber worth millions, breaking EU legislation and wreaking havoc on
                                                                                Congo timber worth millions, breaking EU legislation and wreaking havoc on
                                                                                climate-critical rainforests, a new report published by Global Witness claims.
                                                                                climate-critical rainforests, a new report published by Global Witness claims.
                                                                                climate-critical rainforests, a new report published by Global Witness claims.
                                                                                climate-critical rainforests, a new report published by Global Witness claims.
                                                                                climate-critical rainforests, a new report published by Global Witness claims.
                                                                                       ompanies based   which revealed systemic  importers of tropical woods.
                                                                                       in Portugal,     illegal logging by a major  Portugal was identified as
                                                                                       France, Belgium,  European company in the  being the Democratic
                                                                                CSpain, Italy and       Democratic Republic of  Republic of Congo’s most
                                                                                Poland have been importing  Congo, while Norway and  important client in terms of
                                                                                timber from Industrie   France are on the brink of  wood importation, as well
                                                                                Forestière du Congo (IFCO)  funding expansion of the  as being the sixth biggest
                                                                                – a logging company which  country’s industrial logging  importer of tropical woods
      Portugal has once again been listed as a recipient of illegal timber from the DRC.  Global Witness accuses of  sector.    from Brazil, a target of
      Portugal has once again been listed as a recipient of illegal timber from the DRC.
      Portugal has once again been listed as a recipient of illegal timber from the DRC.
      Portugal has once again been listed as a recipient of illegal timber from the DRC.
      Portugal has once again been listed as a recipient of illegal timber from the DRC.
                                                                                flouting forest laws in the  Global Witness said that a  environmentalists
                                                                                Democratic Republic of  two-year investigation  concerned about depleting
                                                                                Congo (DRC).            revealed that European  rainforests.
                                                                                Together, the ten       company Norsudtimber    According to WWF, the
                                                                                companies placed more   was the biggest single  Iberian Peninsula ranks
                                                                                than 1,400m3 of IFCO’s so-  owner of logging    number one in Europe and
                                                                                called high-risk timber on  concessions covering over  the second region in the
                                                                                the EU market, with a value  40,000 km2 of rainforest in  world regarding the
                                                                                of approximately €2 million,  the Democratic Republic of  importation of tropical
                                                                                in the space of five months  Congo (DRC).       woods.
                                                                                during 2018.            Portugal, China, Vietnam  Its report highlighted the
                                                                                IFCO is a recently created  and France are also all said  non-existence in Portugal
                                                                                entity which has inherited  to be recipients of  of national legislation to
                                                                                logging operations      Norsudtimber’s timber   control this type of
                                                                                previously belonging to  trading.               business.
                                                                                Cotrefor.               The majority of timber  “What we intend is that a
                                                                                Under the European Timber  exports to Europe went to  clear difference is made
                                                                                regulations (EUTR),     either Portugal or France.  between wood that we don’t
                                                                                companies must be able to  Almost 60 percent of the  know from where it comes,
                                                                                show they have taken clear  timber exported is said to  and therefore to which there
                                                                                steps to reduce the risk that  come from endangered or  is an associated risk of it
                                                                                timber imported to the EU  vulnerable tree species.  being from illegally felled
                                                                                has been illegally harvested.  Global Witness also said in  trees, and wood that comes
                                                                                Failure to do so can result in  a statement that the report  from controlled sources”,
                                                                                high penalties.         “Total Systems Failure”  said Luís Silva, head of
                                                                                “It has been over six years  shows how a global web of  WWF in Portugal.
                                                                                since the EU Timber     secrecy is facilitating this  He added that “there is very
                                                                                Regulation came into force,  illegal international trade  poor control of where wood
                                                                                and this is yet another case  whilst protecting  comes from”, and therefore
                                                                                of illegal or high-risk timber  Portuguese nationals, said  “associated risks are very
                                                                                coming into EU ports,   to be at the head of the  high”.
                                                                                seemingly unchecked.    company, from scrutiny.  “We are very confident that a
                                                                                Illegal logging is a serious  Back in 2009, the  high percentage of wood
                                                                                contributor to climate  Portuguese branch of the  entering Europe is illegal”,
                                                                                change, and weak        environmental association  he warned.
                                                                                enforcement risks       WWF (World Wildlife Fund)  Portugal has also faced
                                                                                undermining the EU’s    called on the Government to  previous criticism from
                                                                                efforts to combat it”, said  implement legislation  Global Witness, which a
                                                                                Colin Robertson of Global  against the importation of  decade ago had already
                                                                                Witness.                wood that is of illegal origin  said the country was only
                                                                                This follows a detailed  after it published a report  behind China and France in
                                                                                investigation published last  that highlights this country  terms of imports of timber
                                                                                summer by Global Witness,  as one of the world’s biggest  from the DRC.
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