UNODC Brazil holds mentoring to improve wood identification field techniques for IPAAM staff, in collaboration with LPF/SFB

Manaus, 8 March 2024  Aiming at contributing to the response of Brazilian institutions to forest crimes, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Brazil organized a wood identification mentoring for 20 staff of the Amazonas Environmental Protection Institute (IPAAM), in Manaus, in the state of Amazonas, in collaboration with the Forest Products Laboratory of the Brazilian Forest Service (LPF/SFB).

The training course, promoted as part of the CRIMFLO project - Strengthening the Criminal Justice System Response to Forestry Crimes, took place from 5 to 8 March and trained participants in the inspection and identification of protected or otherwise illegally harvested or trafficked timber.

Activities like this play a crucial role in training public security agents and environmental inspectors, providing them with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively tackle illegal deforestation and related environmental crimes. By investing in training and skills development, authorities can broaden the scope and effectiveness of their enforcement operations, thereby strengthening their impact on the protection of natural resources and the promotion of sustainable forest management practices.

In this context, participants received a comprehensive introduction to the anatomy of wood, exploring concepts of both macroscopy and microscopy. They were able to develop the skills to identify various species by comparing the anatomical characteristics of specific samples with reference samples.

In addition, the training involved practical identification exercises, enhancing the practical application of the knowledge acquired. Staff were also familiarized with the use and perspectives of the identification technique based on near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) in conjunction with chemometrics.

The group that completed the training on Friday is the first of five, which will total 100 professionals trained in wood identification techniques over the course of 2024. In early April, officials from the Pará State Secretariat for the Environment and Sustainability (SEMAS-PA) will take part in the training in Belém, the State of Pará, and officers from the Federal Highway Police (PRF) will meet in Ji-Paraná-RO for an edition of the training followed by a real inspection operation, in which the participants will be able to put the knowledge they have acquired into practice. In the second half of the year, there will be two more editions aimed at staff of the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), in Belém, PA and Cuiabá, MT.


CRIMFLO aims to support the prevention and repression of illegal deforestation and timber trafficking in Brazil, from the scene of the crime to the courtroom. To this end, the project collaborates closely with environmental, public security and justice system institutions at federal and state level, with a focus on Pará and Amazonas.

The project is implemented within the framework of UNODC's Global Program on Crimes Affecting the Environment (GPCAE), with the support of the United States Department of State's International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Bureau (INL).

To find out more about UNODC's work on crimes affecting the environment, go here, and for UNODC publications on the subject, go here.




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