Brazil Seizes Hundreds of Shipping Containers Filled With Illegal Timber

In an effort to crack down on illegal logging in the Amazon, Brazilian authorities have seized 444 shipping containers at the busy port city of Manaus, according to Reuters. After searching just 20 percent of the containers, inspectors have so far found logs that would stretch 930 miles if placed end-to-end, much of which they believe was harvested illegally. Roughly half of the timber was en route to the United States and Europe.

After nearly a decade of declining deforestation rates within the Amazon, logging ticked back up in the region starting in 2012. In 2016, the rate of forest clearing jumped 29 percent. In response, Brazilian authorities have once again stepped up efforts to reduce illegal logging within the Amazon, the world’s largest tropical rainforest and a vast carbon sink critical to global efforts to combat climate change.

Authorities plan to continue periodically inspecting ports in Manaus, which sits on a river in the heart of the Amazon, making it a key export hub for rainforest products.

For more on the state of deforestation in the Amazon, click here