illegal logging + species endangerment in Peru pending in U.S. Congress
Congress is poised to pass a trade agreement that would sanction the destruction of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest –and with it the jaguars and other wildlife that live there
The cause of the destruction: rampant, illegal logging of mahogany, an endangered tree species.
The tree is considered so valuable that loggers stop at nothing to cut it down — blazing roads into pristine rainforest in remote national parks for just three trees.
Mahogany is protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). However, Peru has failed to comply with the treaty’s rules, exporting thousands of cubic meters of mahogany that is illegally and unsustainably harvested — over 90% of it imported to the United States.
And with the logging, comes hunting. Once in the forest, mahogany loggers kill jaguars for their skin and trap monkeys and birds for the pet trade.
The U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement now pending before Congress does nothing to require that the mahogany we import from Peru is legally or sustainably harvested.
Please take action now — Tell your Representative and Senators that you do not want to contribute to the destruction of the rainforest and urge them to vote “NO” to the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement. : Free trade shouldn’t mean illegal trade
As a consumer, you can also protect the jaguar’s habitat by not buying products (like desks and dining room tables) made from mahogany. To learn more about the giant river otter — one of the species affected by unsustainable mahogany harvests — check out the winter issue of Defenders magazine