AUTEF is a Forest Exploitation Authorization. It is usually issued by a State Department of the Environment and allows the logging of timber within a forest management area according to the limits specified in the Annual Operational Plan. On the map, green lines border the AUTEF’s area.

Management Plan
SFMP - Sustainable Forest Management Plan

A technical document describing how the forest management of a property will be executed over a period of up to five years. An SFMP, approved by SEMA, is mandatory for the extraction of timber beyond the limit of 20% of a property that can be entirely deforested.

Density? What is a standard index

For Ipe trees, the highest mean density found for the species was taken as comparative, extracted from indexed scientific publications and/or forest inventories officially published in the state of Pará. For this analysis, the comparative value of maximum density used was 0.52 cubic meters per hectare.

Transferred credits

Credits are electronic documents required by producers, sawmills and merchants to conduct legal logging. The credits are allocated to a producer by issuing an AUTEF, in accordance with the quantity of timber to be harvested, as specified in the Annual Operation Plan (Plano Operacional Anual – POA), and then transferred manually from the Integrated System for Environmental Monitoring and Licensing (Sistema Integrado de Monitoramento e Licenciamento Ambiental – SIMLAM) to the System for the Commercialization and Transportation of Forest Products (Sistema de Comercialização e Transporte de Produtos Florestais – Sisflora), or to a Forest Origin Document (Documento de Origem Florestal – DOF). The credits are deducted from the supplier and credited to the buyer at each stage of the chain-of-custody system. If all the credits of a SFMP have already been negotiated, this should indicate that the area has already had its full capacity exploited.

Management Plan Area

It is the area authorized in the license to log trees. This area is delimited in the Sustainable Forest Management Plan (SFMP) – the document that describes how the forest management will be executed.

Why the 50 km radius?

We chose the 50 km radius because, in our report – “The Amazon's Silent Crisis, Illegal timber for export” – this distance proved very effective as an indicator that, if there is illegal logging at this range, the paperwork for this forest management plan may be in use.

Indigenous Land

Indigenous Land (IL) is a portion of the nation’s territory, owned by the federal government, inhabited by one or more indigenous peoples, which is used by them for their productive activities, being indispensable to the preservation of the environmental resources necessary for their well-being and essential to their physical and cultural reproduction, according to their uses, customs and traditions. It is a specific type of land tenure, of an original and collective nature, which is not to be confused with the civilist concept of private property.

The right of indigenous peoples to their lands of traditional occupation is an original right and, consequently, the administrative procedure for demarcation of indigenous lands is of a merely declaratory nature. Therefore, the indigenous land is not created by a constitutive act but is recognized based on technical and legal requirements, by Brazil's Federal Constitution of 1988.

Also, because it belongs to the federal government, the indigenous land is natural and inalienable, and the rights over it cannot be repealed or restrained by laws. The indigenous lands serve as the foundation for the special and irreplaceable way of life of the approximately 300 indigenous peoples who currently inhabit Brazil.

Currently, 462 regularized indigenous lands represent about 12.2% of the national territory, located in all biomes, though concentrated in the Legal Amazon. Source: Brazil's National Indian Foundation – FUNAI)

Protected Areas (Which types of PAs cannot be exploited)

In Brazil, forest management – as authorized forest logging activity is known – is regulated and can be carried out in private or public forests, under different regimes. The activity is allowed in legal reserve areas of rural properties. To carry out the logging, the rural owner must request a formal authorization from the competent environmental body. Until the year 2006, this authorization was the responsibility of the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis - IBAMA). After this date, responsibility was passed on to state environmental agencies. For public forests under federal, state or municipal control, the areas can only be licensed for management using concession, where public notices are published so that the interested parties can sign contracts with the government for the use of these forests. In both cases, there is a long process to be followed until the interested party obtains authorization for the logging, processing and commercialization of the timber, which begins with the request of a Forest Management Plan (FMP).

Rural Environmental Registry (Cadastro Ambiental Rural - CAR)

Created by Law 12.651/12, the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR) is an electronic registry, mandatory for all rural properties, forming a strategic database for the control, monitoring and combat of deforestation of forests and other forms of native vegetation in Brazil, as well as for environmental and economic planning of rural properties. (Source: Brazil's Ministry of the Environment - Ministério do Meio Ambiente, MMA)

Exploited areas

The area where logging has already occurred.

What is fraud? How to identify it.

Since 2014, with the launch of a series of investigations carried out by the Amazon's Silent Crisis campaign, Greenpeace has been denouncing the inefficiency of "official papers" in guaranteeing the origin of Amazonian timber due to the variety of frauds that exist at all stages of the process, making it almost impossible to distinguish between legal and illegal timber. Fraud can happen at any stage.

But in many cases, the volume of trees indicated in the plans is overestimated or even fabricated to generate fake credits, which are systematically transferred to "cook the books" of the sawmill, forging the legality of illegally logged timber from protected forests and protected areas.

Why assess only three species?

The choice of these three species was due to the high commercial value that they have on the market and the existence of sufficiently robust scientific data on their density (number of m3 per hectare). It should be noted that the Ipe tree has been designated as the main driver of Illegal logging due to the price it fetches for export in the ports of Paranaguá and Belém: over US$ 2,500 per cubic meter.

What is the importance of the Ipe tree?

Today, the most coveted timber by sawmills in the Amazon is the Ipe tree. It can cost over 2,500 dollars per cubic meter on the international market. As demand grows and species availability in legalized areas declines, illegal loggers go deeper into the preserved forests in search of the species. An adult Ipe tree features bright pink, purple, yellow or white flowers in the Amazonian September, which makes it stand out among the rest of the trees of the season. It is a valuable wood known for its durability, toughness and natural resistance to aging.