Target: Peruvian President Ollanta Humala Tasso
Goal: Enforce stricter compliance with environmental regulations, to prevent logging and deforestation in Peru.
Corruption in Peru fosters the destruction of rain forests, with as much as 80 percent of the country’s logging exports being harvested illegally, according to World Bank estimates. Despite recent laws put in place with the intent of strengthening the regulation of illegal logging, large quantities of wood continue to flow out of the country, including rare types that are becoming increasingly scarce, such as mahogany. This is largely because the authorities lack interest in regulating the forestry sector, allowing a multitude of illegal practices to continue without consequence. The world’s rain forests are vital to the global ecosystem, and must be preserved as much as possible.
After Brazil made strides in enforcing laws on illegal deforestation, pressure to extract lumber in Peru grew. This gave loggers more opportunity to exploit the rain forest as a cash commodity for overseas buyers looking for cheaper prices on rare hardwoods. Now loggers can go about their business without permits, and bribe officials to look the other way. The extent of Peru’s negligence is alarming – in accepting the bribe, officials regularly sign off on doctored paperwork to make illegal trades appear legal. Upon reviewing a case brought against a group of loggers conducting illegal deforestation that resulted in seventy extracted trees, a judge ruled not guilty, exclaiming that it is unreasonable to put workers in jail when there are so many more trees growing.
The preservation of Peru’s forest is a vital component of the fight to combat of global warming, because of the forest’s density. Covering more than half of the country, the rainforest also protects species of plants and animals that are found strictly in the region. It provides necessary resources for communities situated just outside the forest’s edge. Within the forest, villagers find sustainable sources of food and medicinal plants living in their natural habitat. Without the rain forest, this habitat dies.
Bribery and illegal practices are destroying the rain forest in Peru. Laws are in place meant to stop illegal logging, but they are not being enforced. We must put pressure on the Peruvian government to live up to its legal and ethical obligations. Sign the petition below, and help prevent the deforestation of Peru.
Dear President Humala,
Deforestation in your country has become a growing problem since neighboring country Brazil made efforts to restrict illegal logging. Although laws are in place to prevent this crime in Peru, eighty percent of Peru’s lumber exports are estimated to be illegal due to negligence and corruption. This is simply unacceptable.
Because of its size and density, Peru’s rain forest is a vital defense against fighting global warming. It is also a rich ecosystem that fosters species of plants and animals only found in that region. Furthermore, the forest contributes resources to communities who live at the forest’s edge, providing food and medicine for villagers. By allowing illegal practices to continue, you are affecting the globe, indigenous species, and your own people.
Peru made a free trade agreement with the United States in 2007 that required vigilance in combating illegal logging. However, where there is no enforcement on the part of your officials, there is bribery and neglect. It is because of this that your country is directly contributing to a global catastrophe that affects the whole planet. Start enforcing your country’s laws to prevent illegal deforestation. The global community depends on it.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Erik Patel via Wikimedia Commons