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Amazonas Forestry and Timber Extraction Operations

Amazonas Florestal Ltd. owns several substantial virgin rainforest properties in the northern Brazilian Amazon located in the State of Amazonas.

High rates of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon are the focus of both national and international concern. The Brazilian government heavily regulates the Timber Industry to make sure that all forest management practices are conducted in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. In the State of Amazonas specifically the regulatory environmental protection agency known as IPAAM, or Instituto de Protecao Ambiental do Amazonia, has been granted ample powers by IBAMA , the Federal Environmental Agency to regulate, approve and enforce Sustainable Forest Management Projects. These regulations are so specific that an inventory of the forest resource is taken whereby 100% of the trees existing on a particular property are inventoried and cataloged by specie, diametric size and age.

Each of the harvestable trees found to be more than 60 cm at chest height and in the species of commercial value is tagged using aluminum tags and numbered according to the complete catalog tally. Engineers then come in to determine the environmental impact of felling those trees and the direction that each should be felled in order to minimize the damage to its surroundings and considering potential erosion once that tree is removed. No trees are felled within 50 meters of any stream, lake or river to protect the natural erosion of its bank.

A forest engineer is responsible to laying out an extraction program breaking down the property into 50 x 50 meter sectors and indicating the paths where equipment can be introduced and roads built when needed. Once the project is formulated it goes to IPAAM for approval. An LO – Licencia Operativa, Operating License, is issued and accompanied by an ACOF- Harvest Authorization. Once approved the amounts shown on these approval documents are entered in exact m3 quantities per specie and are allocated to the project owners in the IBAMA DOF system.

This federal control and regulative system not only fulfills verification that the timber extracted from each project is of legal origin but controls the transportation 100% from standing tree to finished product shipped locally or exported. This is achieved by the various steps in the system where an original DOF and Invoice need to accompany a log shipment from the project to the mill and contain information on the shipping method, whether by land or water with the license information for the shipper (truck tag, barge number, tugboat registry) Another DOF controls the product while shipped from the mill or manufacturing industry anywhere else.

Once brought to market, if done so internally in the Brazilian domestic market, the seller has to show a DOF number on each invoice and send a copy to IBAMA to have that amount removed from the system. In order to export IBAMA reviews the DOF and inspects the product upon shipment at the port of discharge.

These government agencies have the power to immediately halt any and all operations should any impromptu inspection reveal even the slightest discrepancy in size, quantities, species or environmental practices. 

Furthermore, continued Domestic and International pressure to protect the Amazonian rainforest can lead to even more stringent regulation