Brazil's new President Jair Bolsonaro is pushing ahead with the destruction of the rainforest. The wood from the felled trees also ends up with European timber merchants. It is declared as legal wood from supposedly safe origin. In fact, the Brazilian government is promoting the rapid destruction of forest areas, the expulsion of the indigenous population and the spread of monocultural agricultural areas.
Agriculture instead of rainforest
Bolsonaro was inaugurated on January 1, 2019. On January 2, he ousted the authority Funai (Fundação Nacional do Indio), which is responsible for the protection of the indigenous people. The indigenous people are a key player in protecting the rainforest. Many of the last intact primeval forest areas are in their habitat, as the population is resolutely opposed to overexploitation and the destruction of the forest.
Bolsonaro's Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo describes climate change as a Marxist invention. His family minister, Damares Alves, aims to proselytize the indigenous people to evangelical faith. His education minister, Ricardo Vélez Rodríguez, wants to “cleanse” the education system of leftists and environmental activists. And Bolsonaro himself is a friend of cattle ranchers, loggers, mine operators and soybean farmers. The powerful Brazilian agricultural lobby was one of the biggest donors to his campaign. Now, it seems, he's paying back.
44 percent of the Brazilian rainforest is under nature protection. Almost half of this is indigenous territory. These reserves are now to be opened up for cattle breeding, mining and agriculture. The consequences are global. According to the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, the plants in the Amazon region store as much CO2 as mankind releases through its consumption of fossil fuels in just under ten years.
Only FSC® 100% wood from Brazil
Imported so as not to support government-sponsored rainforest destruction BioMaderas and Betterwood from now only FSC® 100% certified wood and wood products from Brazil from companies that have been certified for years. So far, such a self-imposed import restriction in our company only applied to Myanmar, the former Burma, which has been marginalized by massive human rights violations and rainforest destruction. Now one of the largest democracies on earth and home to the largest expanse of rainforest has put itself on an equal footing when it comes to environmental protection.
Our path in the timber trade
The Betterwood.de let's go one other way: Our goal is to prevent their displacement by agriculture through the use of sustainably managed forest areas. We give the intact forest a value so that it can still form a basis for life for future generations. We rely on the strict and independent controls of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), but also on the credibility and transparency of the political institutions in the country of origin. We can only add new wood from the country to our range again when we are sure that working with a Brazilian supplier will not promote further destruction of the forest.