Amazonian Rainforests: Surging Threats, Never Lose Hope 
November 4, 2002 
The pace of Amazonian rainforest loss and diminishment is 
accelerating from a variety of causes. The following articles 
emphasize emerging threats such as soybean production and massive new 
infrastructure projects; as well as mahogany logging, which is an 
existing but still growing cause of deforestation. As Bill Laurance 
(in my opinion the World's preeminent rainforest scientist) states: 
"Historically, the Amazon has been nibbled away at the edges, but now 
what's been happening is like somebody going right in and chopping it 
right up." 
The solution? Brazil and other countries with remaining large 
primary forests must be paid to maintain these critical ecosystem 
engines in an intact and fully operable state. Governments and 
forest dwellers will need to be "encouraged not to cut down trees by 
being offered a system of rewards." This will require financing 
strict protection of most remaining primary, old-growth and important 
remnant forests suitable for restoration; and embedding small and 
medium scale eco-forestry practices practiced by local forest 
dwellers in this intact ecological matrix. 
Such an ecologically based landscape approach is the only meaningful 
definition of "sustainable forestry" in the Earth's remaining ancient 
forests. The World's weather patterns, carbon cycling, biodiversity 
and many other requirements for ecological sustainability depend upon 
protecting and restoring large forest expanses. Ending commercial 
scale development of ancient forests is a global imperative - and the 
over-developed countries must pay the not yet over-developed 
countries to maintain critical ecological systems. Below is a good 
collection of recent Brazilian rainforest conservation news, much 
more of which can be found at: . 
Clearly the World's forests, with only 20% their pre-human 
agricultural extent still existing in primary and mostly natural 
forest cover, have been over-exploited and have overshot their 
capacity to sustain global ecological processes and patterns. One 
can never lose hope that one day - before ecological collapse is 
assured - humanity will embark upon the age of ecological restoration 
which will require strictly protecting large remaining natural areas 
as its basis. Never lose hope - the sooner we commence, the more 
likely we will succeed. 
ITEM #1: 
Title: Lust For "Green Gold" Drives Amazon Destruction 
International Mahogany Trade Reeks of Power, Corruption and Blood 
Source: Greenpeace USA Action Alert! 
Date: October 30, 2002 
The wood oozes glamour and prestige in the gleaming showrooms of the 
north. But its plunder drives the destruction of the Amazon 
rainforest, corruption and even murder. 
The wood is mahogany, but it's also known as "green gold". For good 
reason. One log earns an astonishing $130,000 by the time companies 
like Stickley furniture transform it into the solid mahogany dining 
tables for sale in such places as family destination Colonial 
Read More: 
Take Action! 
Urge Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso, The White House Council on 
Environmental Quality, and the Bureau of Oceans and International 
Environmental and Scientific Affairs to support the addition of 
mahogany to CITES appendix II. 
ITEM #2: 
Title: Another theme for Lula's team: mahogany 
Priorities include the Atlantic Forest and changes in the Forest 
Source: O Estado de S.Paulo 
Date: October 30, 2002 
Even before he takes office, the President-Elect Luiz Inácio Lula da 
Silva will have to decide if he will support proposals to include 
mahogany in Annex II of CITES convention. At the beginning of 
November, the Environment Minister, Jose Carlos Carvalho, will 
present the new government's position at the CITES meeting in Chile. 
Mahogany is already included in Annex III of the CITES convention, 
which imposes restriction on its exploitation. Sectors of the current 
government are opposed to the inclusion of mahogany in Annex II. 
Under Annex II regulations, the exportation of the endangered species 
would depend on the importer having a licence. 
The co-ordinator of Greenpeace's Amazonia campaign, Paulo Adario, 
disagrees. "The inclusion in Annex II would open up the international 
market to Brazil", he said. He added that English importers no longer 
want to buy Brazilian mahogany because its legality could not be 
Minister Carvalho does not consider the question to be urgent because 
"Brazil has already imposed a moratorium on the exploitation of 
mahogany until March". 
The co-ordinator of Forest Resource Management at IBAMA, Paulo 
Fontes, thinks that increased vigilance, incentives for management 
and the creation of lines of credit for management projects, would be 
more efficient in the control of mahogany than its inclusion in Annex 
II. He said that there are studies which prove the existence of 
mahogany stocks and the species' capacity for regeneration. "We need 
to show that the standing forest is more profitable", said Fontes. 
Without this change in attitude, he said, the country will continue 
to see fires, deforestation and illegal extraction. 
Guatemala and Nicargua proposed the inclusion of the species in Annex 
II alleging that producing countries need international assistance to 
prevent the extinction of mahogany. 
Mahogany is one of the principal environmental questions facing the 
current government and Lula's future government, along with the 
preservation of the Atlantic Forest and proposed changes to the 
Forest Code. 
Title: Brazil pressed not to fell rainforests 
Source: Copyright 2002 Reuters 
Date: November 1, 2002 
LONDON - Environmentalists battling to save the Amazon rainforest 
said yesterday that Brazil should be encouraged not to cut down trees 
by being offered a system of rewards. 
Supported by new findings, ecologists are to present a major new 
action plan aimed at saving one of the world's most precious natural 
resources from extinction. 
The plan will be put forward to South American government 
representatives meeting in London yesterday. 
Roberto Smeraldi, Amazon director of Friends of the Earth, told 
Reuters that under the plan, Brazil should be compensated for not 
felling its forests. "There is no alternative," he said. 
He called for crop diversification and more productive cattle 
ranching in the short term. 
Research has suggested unchecked greenhouse gas emissions could spell 
an end to the rainforests and lead to extreme weather phenomena such 
as that produced by the El Nino effect. 
Brazil is planning huge transport and hydroelectric schemes over the 
next five years. But ecologists warned that that planned dams could 
mean flooding an area of rainforest equivalent to half the size of 
Over the next two decades, Brazil's development programmes could 
devour more than 40 percent of the rainforest, the plan says in a 
contribution from Bill Laurance from the Smithsonian Tropical 
Research Institute in Panama. 
Amazonia accounts for much more of the world's rainfall than 
previously supposed, recent research shows, and ecologists fear that 
deforestation will threaten the world's water supply. 
Studies have suggested that the Amazon rainforest may be soaking up 
carbon dioxide belched out by industry. The forest could mop up as 
much as eight percent of man's annual emissions. 
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see the Forest Conservation Portal at URL= 

Glen Barry 
M.S., Ph.D. (abd) 
President, Inc.