UNODC Training Programme strengthens efforts against international timber trafficking in Brazil

Brasilia, 30 June 2023 - Sharing knowledge on best practices for the fight against international timber trafficking. This was the objective of the training conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) through the Law Enforcement Assistance Programme for Reducing Tropical Deforestation (LEAP), between June 27 and 30, in Brasilia.

The activity, which focused on improving skills in risk assessment for the identification of suspicious cargo and basic timber identification techniques, was attended by employees from the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama), Brazilian Federal Revenue Service (RFB), and Federal Police (PF) from the states of Amazonas, Mato Grosso, Pará, Paraná, Rondônia, Santa Catarina, and São Paulo. 

To support the work that will be conducted from the training, a basic wood identification kit was provided to all participants. In addition, Ibama received an extra day of training on the proper use and operation of small electric saws, also offered by LEAP, which will facilitate the collection and analysis of wood samples. 

"Looking ahead, LEAP plans to begin the next phase of activities in the states of Rondônia and Santa Catarina, in order to close the entire cycle of timber trafficking in Brazil, from the sites where the illegal timber is extracted to the main product export ports," explains Nathalia Novaes Alves, project coordinator of the Environmental Crimes Prevention Unit. According to her, this phase will involve a two-week training program on risk assessment and timber identification for the relevant authorities, scheduled for October/November. 

The comprehensive training seeks to further strengthen enforcement capabilities and promote collaboration between regions. "It is important to highlight the active participation of the Federal Highway Police (PRF), responsible for a significant portion of Brazil's timber seizures, in this new phase. Their involvement represents a crucial step to effectively combat timber trafficking, involving the main actors of the country's law enforcement agencies", adds Nathalia.


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