Cesar Fourment, the High Commissioner for the Fight Against Illegal Logging, said the government plans to launch multiple strategies, state news agency Andina reported.
“The actions against illegal logging will continue in an intense and timely manner,” he said. “We are developing a series of strategies.”
Fourment said his office has conducted five mega operations recently in the jungle regions of Madre de Dios, Ucayali and Loreto. He said that some people were detained, while material was seized and important information for future operations was received.
Illegal logging is a major challenge in Peru’s vast Amazon region, where there is high demand for mahogany and other woods.
Fourment’s statements come in the wake of charges by the Comptroller General’s office that the regional government of Ucayali had authorized nine irregular permits between 2012 and 2013 to fell a series of endangered species —including copaiba, huimba and quinilla— and also to cut back the forest in unauthorized areas of the Padre Abad and Coronel Portillo provinces. Some 1,495.77 cubit meters of wood (close to 53,000 cubic feet) were extracted.
Investigations by nonprofit organizations have revealed endemic corruption in Peru’s forestry section, with vast amounts of the timber that is exported abroad allegedly coming from illegal sources.
Indigenous people in the Amazon have often come into violent conflict with illegal loggers that enter their communal lands. Last year, community leader and activist Edwin Chota and three other indigenous leaders were murdered in Ucayali, allegedly by illegal loggers.