At least 70% of wood in Mexico comes from illegal sources

Seizures of the Federal Attorney General's Office for Environmental Protection (Profepa) reach merely 30,000 cubic meters of wood, while wood from illegal sources amount to 14 million cubic meters
Seizure of the Federal Attorney General's Office for Environmental Protection (Profepa) in Michoacán - Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
21/03/2018
11:13
Newsroom
Mexico City
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At least 70% of the wood in Mexico is from illegal sources, benefiting the widespread impunity in the country.

"Seizures of the Federal Attorney General's Office for Environmental Protection (Profepa) reach merely 30,000 cubic meters of wood, compared to the 14 million cubic meters illegally extracted," denounced Leticia Merino Pérez, researcher at the Institute of Social Research (IIS) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

According to Leticia Merino Pérez, 60% of the national territory are woods, yet Mexico does not have an effective environmental policy to preserve, exploit, regulate, and maintain its natural resources in a sustainable manner.

"They represent the livelihood of tens of thousands of peasant families and they host biological diversity,” assured Merino Pérez, adding that woods provide environmental services such as capture, provision, and high quality of water or soil protection and habitat for thousands of plant and animal species.

Thus, clandestine logging has strong social, environmental and institutional implications, as illegal production and trade are favored by heavy and costly regulation, by corruption and lack of supervision in commercial channels.

Regarding protected natural areas (PNAs), she assured that we should move towards co-management which would allow production schemes compatible with biodiversity in the buffer zones.

"Thus, local people can take control and decide along with the protected reserves in a meaningful way," concluded the researcher.

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