What do timber company representatives in Peru think - privately - of the country’s pioneering forest inspections agency OSINFOR? It is OSINFOR, after all, that has taken the lead in exposing the rampant illegalities dominating the timber sector in Peru and making life harder for the company representatives and others who most benefit.

To try and find out, Global Witness, for whom I was working as a consultant until recently, went undercover and filmed numerous company representatives talking about OSINFOR and other timber sector issues. A short film, titled The Forest Avengers, has just been released. 

At the same time, Global Witness issued a report urging Peru’s government to backtrack and make OSINFOR effectively independent again, following a decision last month to move it to the Ministry of Environment from the Presidential Council of Ministers. The move is a serious step back in protecting Peru’s Amazon from illegal logging, and arguably violates both Peruvian law and a so-called ‘Trade Promotion Agreement’ with the USA. For more details, see my recent article in The Ecologist

David Hill