Mexico loses thousands of hectares of forests every year due to clandestine logging

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Currently, Mexico’s forests are being looted clandestinely and illegal timber is being obtained and traded from them. According to data from the Global Forest Watch platform, in the 2019 the country lost 321,000 hectares of forests and in the 2020 others were lost 127.000.

In accordance with Greenpeace, illegal logging is one of the main causes of deforestation in the national territory.

In turn, the researcher at the UNAM Institute of Social Research, Dr. Leticia Merino, denounces that “there is no forest surveillance and practically, there is no forest sanction.”

Undermined by organized crime

“Now I have just been in the state of Michoacán and the local official in charge of forests informed me that there was only 3 inspectors of PROFEPA (Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection) for the State, in charge of fishing, mining, forestry; so the cost of breaking the law is very low or it is practiced randomly and generally the smallest, the most vulnerable are punished, “said Merino.

There are 1,300 ejidos and communities that decided to create forestry companies to make wood a sustainable business, but organized crime has eaten up their business.

Of the 24 million cubic meters of wood that are produced per year, 8 are legal, 8 imported and the rest, it is not known how or where it is obtained.

An absent state

“The people who did good forest management, with permits, making the effort to have permits, even internationally certified communities, are besieged by these gangs of criminals and there is no state presence in many regions, so there is an extremely complex situation that is far from being resolved, “explains Merino.

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Given this, the Chamber of Senators, has exhorted to the Ministry of the Environment to reinforce actions to raise awareness among the population about the problem of indiscriminate logging.

‘A black future’

“I believe that the future is really very bad. I think we must rethink. On the one hand, we must strengthen the rule of law in forest areas, increase the presence of PROFEPA,” warns the UNAM researcher.

And he concludes: “If we continue as this is going, the future is very dark, if we become pessimistic, we will continue to lose forest in the way it has been happening,” he concludes.

Meanwhile, the National Forestry Program 2020-2024 declares as an objective that “critical areas do not increase” and promises that illegal logging will be eradicated by 2040. The question is how, in the face of a major problem that is destroying the Mexican forests.

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