PERU RESTORES INDEPENDENCE OF AGENCY FIGHTING ILLEGAL LOGGING IN AMAZON
The Peruvian government has just made a dramatic u-turn by moving forest watchdog agency OSINFOR from the Environment Ministry back into the Presidential Council of Ministers (PCM), effectively restoring its independence. The move should constitute a significant boost in the struggle against illegal logging.
OSINFOR was moved from the PCM into the Ministry last December, arguably violating the trade agreement between Peru and the US that became active 10 years ago. Among many people familiar with the country’s logging sector, it was widely regarded as a veiled attempt to muzzle OSINFOR after its success over the last decade in exposing the extraordinarily high levels of illegally sourced timber in Peru. Unlike regional governments or other government agencies, OSINFOR regularly inspects harvest areas to see if timber is sourced from where loggers, sawmills, exporters and other supply-chain actors claim it was - and often discover it wasn’t.
The decision to move OSINFOR back into the PCM was voted on favourably by Peru’s Cabinet in late March, but the Decree making it a reality wasn’t signed until 8 April and it wasn’t published until yesterday. (09-04-19).