This video of KCET focuses on innovative methods to stop illegal logging, both in Oregon and Brazil, where citizens and scientists are working closely together. A team of scientists at the US Fish and Wildlife Laboratory in Oregon is working on a forensic database, aiming that one day this will help to stop the importing of illegal lumber meanwhile in Brazil’s Marengo state, indigenous communities have formed citizen patrols protecting the forest from tree poachers.
We know that wood is found in countless products that we as consumers use every day and that lumber is closely connected to the world’s economy. Only the US economy is depressed by 1 million dollars due to illegal logging, which is the third largest trans-national crime says Dr. Cady Lancaster, a wood identification specialist and chemical scientist from the US forest service and GTTN member. From that perspective, it comes as no surprise that illegal timber logging is a widespread way of international criminalization, consequently with major negative impacts for the ecosystem including the habitats of the endangered trees.
Scientists along with volunteers collect samples from the core of the tree to examine the chemical composition of the sample for the constantly growing forensic database. Just like a fingerprint of individual humans, these samples can identify individual tree species. If the information is validated and integrated to their forest database that allows them to provide information to law enforcement where they can determine if the logging has been done legally.
In Brazil, besides the indigenous tribes, there are non-profit organizations that has formed to protect an area of forests, roughly 13% of the size of Brazil. This episode covers impressive pictures of how the indigenous tribe guards their land and their forests. They share their experiences with ruthlessly loggers, going all risks against the government, waiting for the law to enforce their rights. Both in Oregon and Brazil they are aiming for the same wish to come true: Stopping illegal logging for future generations and the preservation of the ecological system.