Brazilian timber output halves in 10 years
Ten-year figures for the Brazilian timber industry show that production in the Amazon has fallen by 50 per cent.
The figures were published in a study carried out by the Brazilian Forest Service (SFB) and the Institute of Man and Environment (Imazon), entitled 'Logging Activities in the Brazilian Amazon.'
They show that in 1998, roundwood production in the region was 28.3 million cubic metres while the figures for 2009 show total production to be only 14.2 million cubic metres.
The SFB said this drop could largely be attributed to a decrease in illegal timber production, substitution of tropical timber by other timber species and the recent global economic crisis. The sector remains, however, one of the most important sources of revenue for the country's rainforest states.
Amazonian employment in the timber sector stands at 204,000, with 66,000 directly involved in the logging and processing and a further 137,000 employed indirectly. The official gross revenue for 2009 peaked at R$4.94 billion, with Pará accounting for the largest proportion of that with 43 per cent, followed by Mato Grosso with 33 per cent, and Rondônia with 15 per cent.
The study concluded that the timber output of the forests could not return to its decade-ago peak of 30 million cubic metres, due to modern regulations and enforcements. It could only be achieved, hypothetically, from harvesting on invaded land and exploiting illegal timber sources.