212-431-9098 info@rrffny.org



Stop Illegal Logging

Something in your house is made with illegally obtained wood.  It might be laminate flooring, office paper, dining room chairs, a guitar, or even the pencil on your desk.

Illegal logging  is a $100 billion global industry. With one of the planet’s largest rainforests and high levels of corruption, Peru is the land of opportunity for illegal loggers. In fact 80% of Peru’s timber comes from illegal logging. Other rainforest countries’ illegal exports are not far behind.

Forest crime isn’t an isolated event, it’s an everyday event! Usually, loggers fell trees from protected land and then mix the logs in with wood obtained from legal concessions. However, the vast quantities of illegal timber being sold make it impossible for governments not to know that much of the wood they approve for export or import is illegal.

hiding in plain sight

Illegal rainforest wood in your home


Cedar, Mahogany, Cumala, Copaiba, Ishpingo, Coubaril, Guariuba, Sande, Rosewood

When the Ashéninka community in Peru need wood for a new paddle they search for the right tree, usually a Remo Caspi or Paddle Wood Tree. They take care to select not just the right kind of tree–paddle wood is known for being flexible and light–but the right tree itself.  This sustainable, thoughtful logging has kept the rainforest protected for hundreds of years.  Sadly most trees being cut down in the Amazon are not so carefully selected. 


Even when loggers come in to cut down certain kinds of trees–for example, costly rosewood– all of the other trees in the area are frequently cut down as well–either at the same time or after loggers have cut down the more profitable trees in the area. When exotic woods are found in indigenous areas, these communities are especially vulnerable, as powerful companies pressure governments to give them permits to log, and illegal loggers enter and cut down trees without bothering to obtain permits.

Did you know that almost all of the last stands of Mahogany are on Indigenous Lands?


Today, the Ashéninka of Alto-Tamayo, Saweto in Peru are ensuring these trees continue to tower over the canopy.

Amazon rainforest prior to logging

Logging destroys the rainforest

illegal logging effects

  • Rainforests sequester carbon; as trees are cut down, there is less to absorb the carbon humans releasing.
  • Logs that are burned release even more carbon into the air. Deforestation releases 1.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
  • Over the last 40 years we have lost 20% of the Amazon.

illegal logging effects

  • Logging destroys plants and animals that can save lives. Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, and Malaria, the Birth Control Pills, ACE inhibitors for blood pressure…all of these came from the rainforest. Who knows what else we can discover?
  • Illegal loggers frequently threaten, coerce and even kill indigenous leaders and communities that protect their forests.

illegal logging effects

  • Prized woods like Mahogany and Cedar are frequently the stars of carbon sequestration — trapping more carbon than other trees.
  • Reduced canopy cover increases the possibility of forest fires.
  • Logging is the first step. It is quickly followed mining, agriculture and other invasions that further contaminate the environment.
  • Even selective logging of mahogany and other expensive hardwoods destroys forests — machines rip up soil and disturb the forest.

Ready to change this picture?

1 Insist that we enforce the Lacey Act.
2 Become a Rainforest Defender.
3 Find other Ways to Make a Difference
Take Action

Just $5 saves an acre of Rainforest!