Current International Update
Volume 44, Issue 29
A recently released Greenpeace report, Amazon's Silent Crisis: Night Terrors, documents illegal logging in protected public forest areas of the Brazilian Amazon. The report also identifies mechanisms by which loggers launder illegal timber and access markets in countries with laws prohibiting the import of illegally harvested timber, including the United States and the EU. Using GPS, Greenpeace activists tracked trucks used to transport illegal timber at night, a tactic that was complemented by the use of satellite imagery to identify areas of illegal logging.
The government of Indonesia, currently the world’s top exporter of thermal coal, has launched an effort to tighten regulation and enforcement of the industry. The country’s coal industry, which tripled production in the last decade, has been plagued by corruption, illegal mining and exports, and conflicts with local and indigenous communities, and has caused severe environmental and health impacts.
On October 14, 2014, Italy became the first European country to require advanced biofuels in cars and trucks, passing a law that will require all fuel suppliers to include 0.6% advanced biofuels in gasoline and diesel by 2018, rising to 1% by 2022. Advanced biofuels are made from waste materials and are thus seen as less likely to contribute to land being taken out of production for food to in order to produce the feedstocks. This issue has been a major point of concern about traditional [first generation] biofuels, hindering the industry’s growth.