Brazil Cracks Down on Amazon Deforestation with US$ 276 Million Fine

    Brazilian Amazon deforestation

    Brazilian Amazon deforestation Brazil has taken a pro-active approach against the Amazon deforestation and has started punishing those who destroy the Brazilian rainforest. This is what reveals an article by Folha de S. Paulo daily newspaper, published this Friday June 6.

    According to the article, the logging Company Ghetal, owned by the Swedish entrepreneur, Johan Eliasch, and doing business in the Amazon, will be fined 450 million Brazilian reais (approximately US$ 276 million) by the IBAMA (Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources).

    Ghetal is being accused of commercializing and transporting noble trees in the forest reserve region of Manicoré, in the state of Amazon, an area of 699,809 square meters (7,532,681 square feet), which corresponds to 230 thousand trees.

    According to IBAMA, Ghetal did not comply with Brazilian legislation for environmental protection, and disrespected their agreement with the IBAMA Institute.

    The penalties were announced following the completion of the investigation taking place since 2007. The process was expedited by the new Minister of Environment, Carlos Minc, due to huge national commotion caused by the deforestation issue in Brazil. Recent reports have indicated that most of the deforested areas are owned by foreign citizens.

    The Swedish entrepreneur is married to a wealthy member of the society in Brazil, Ana Paula Junqueira, who is also president of the United Nations Association in Brazil (ANUBRA).

    Johan Eliasch, who is a personal adviser for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, shocked Brazil, when back in 2006 he revealed himself as the owner of 160 thousand acres of land in the Amazon Forest.

    On interview published by TimesOnLine.co.uk, March 19. 2006, Mr. Eliasch stated: "In theory you can perhaps buy the Amazon for US$ 50 billion (£28.5 billion): It would be a very quick payback because a hurricane like Katrina will cost them a similar amount in payouts."

    According to the INCRA ( National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform) attorney general, Carlos Alberto Salles, the investigation against Ghetal will continue. Currently Ghetal holds the title of 57 land property  corresponding to an area of 121 thousand acres.

    Edison Bernardo DeSouza is a journalist, having graduated from the  Pontifical Catholic University in São Paulo, Brazil. He lived in the US for close to 10 years and participated in volunteering activities in social works agencies. DeSouza currently lives in São Paulo where he teaches English as a Second Language, and is pursuing further advancements in his career. He is particularly interested in economics and human rights articles.

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    • Show Comments (26)

    • Mr. Sustainable

      Punitive measure must be in the enforcement mix
      There’s no denying that internal corruption is a big deal in Brazil but external pressures are a large problem, too. Many carrots and many sticks must be used in order to solve this crisis.

    • CHC – Chronicle Herpes Carrier
      The man with itchy genitalsÀ¢€¦ and rebel without a cause!

      He is indeed a prime example of what happens when a drunk jack-off over a tank full of spawning guppies. A mud pack is good for the complexion. I suggest you leave it on.

      Costinha

      PS. CHC, you donÀ¢€™t occupy space in anybodyÀ¢€™s headÀ¢€¦ You are just an after thought!

    • João da Silva

      [quote]We have over the past 23 years honed our skill as witch hunters: [/quote]

      Sorry, I forgot to mention that the above historical data refer to the period and the names of the witches identified and hunted ruthlessly.

    • João da Silva

      [quote]It looks like a witch-hunt, why am I not surpised?[/quote]

      We have over the past 23 years honed our skill as witch hunters:

      1985-90: “Dictatorship”, IMF and the hidden cattle that refused to go to the slaughterhouse; 1990-94: Maharajahs; 1994-2002: FuncionÀƒ¡rios publicos ; 2002- till date:Foreigners in general and ALL SANE Brasilians.

      Our war on witches is never ending and that is the reason we are forming UNASUR which is a “Coalition of the Unwilling”.

    • João da Silva

      Ch.c
      [quote]And during the second round, Maggi and Lula made somet type of a deal. Undisclosed….of course. And then for the second round Maggi was in favor of Lula re-election. That reversal made a lot of Maggi farmers friends in Mato Grosso, loudly accuse Maggi of a betrayer. Just re-read the Brazilians news media.[/quote]

      I remember. Maggi wanted and got around R$2.5 Billions to finance the planting of Soy in MT. i.e for his farm! Needless to say why his other farmer ” friends” got upset!!

      [quote]This said, you are right. in 2003 I had a great love story with a Brazilian girl. [/quote]

      This story did not come as a big surprise to me. Reading between lines in your comments, could easily make out that Forrest and you were very similar in your views about social justice.Until a few years ago, Brazil had a traditionally rich as well as a developing middle class that were socially conscious (at least in the South), trying to uplift the poor providing jobs,education, etc. Unfortunately they have become voiceless and impotent. So you can not stereotype all the Brazilians like liars,cheaters,etc! Anyway, all the best to that Brazilian girl who is paying her taxes and congrats to Rolex for hiring skilled Brazilian labor. Congrats to you too.

    • JW

      To ch.c
      More than eight percent of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest region, totaling some 42 million hectares, is not legally owned, says a study released in the Brazilian press on Friday.

      According to the Amazon Institute of People and the Environment (Imazon), a non-governmental organization which carried out the study at the request of the World Bank, the owners of these areas either hold informal titles to property, have acquired false documents or simply have taken over unoccupied land.

      Despite the efforts of federal governments, the situation does not seem to have improved, says Imazon.

      It amounts to a free privatization of forestland, as the owners did not pay for the land or pay taxes, said Paulo Barreto, a forester who coordinated the study.

      The illegally-owned forestland includes 16 million hectares in the northern state of Para and 9.6 million hectares in the midwestern Mata Grosso state, which registered the largest such area.

      Similar areas also exist in the states of Amazonas, Rondonia, Roraima and Tocantins.

      Additionally, 4,400 properties, totaling 3.2 million hectares, are registered as both legal and illegal.

      That means that an owner holding a legal title to a property also acquired a neighboring piece of land without any legal registration.

      Source:-xinhua

    • FORREST ALLEN BROWN

      looks like a brasilian plot
      if the land in the amazon is owned by gringoes that look out for it than

      the brasilians cant just move in and take what they want as it would show up in the

      news papers in the free world .

      does any one else want to know how many trees were cut after he bought the land .

      and what inprovements his company made to it before IBAMA filed its fine .

      i guess he is luckey they just did not come down and take his land like they navy did the roamdeep

      and then send the fine also

    • gringo

      It looks like a witch-hunt, why am I not surpised?
      Firm rejects Amazon logging fine: source

      17 hours ago

      LONDON (AFP) À¢€” Accusations that the firm Gethal had been illegally logging in the Brazilian rainforest are false and politically motivated, a source close to owner Johan Eliasch told AFP on Saturday.

      The company has “no intention” of accepting a fine announced by the Brazilian government Friday, and is prepared to take the matter to court, the source said.

      The Brazilian government’s environmental agency Ibama fined Gethal 450 million reals (275 million dollars, 175 million euros) for illegally cutting down 230,000 trees and lacking certification for Amazon land it owns.

      “Those allegations are false, fabricated and unsubstantiated,” said a source close to the Swedish tycoon, saying the logging stopped once Eliasch bought the firm in order “to protect the rainforest.”

      “Gethal has been fined because the company didn’t comply with its management plan, which had been decided by the previous owners, which planned for the logging in the rainforest,” the source said.

      The Brazilian authorities did not notify Gethal of the fine and the company will fight its punishment “vigorously”, said the source. “The company will fight in the courts.

      “Ibama’s decision is absurd. Gethal has not violated any law, no harm has been caused; on the contrary. The real issue is politically motivated: it’s about the foreign ownership of the rainforest.”

      Eliasch, a 46-year-old London-based businessman with an estimated net worth of 790 million dollars, is the boss of the Head sports equipment company and an environmental consultant to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

      He is also the founder of a British-based organisation called Cool Earth whose aim is to find sponsors to buy up Amazon rainforest in order to protect it.

    • by

      ouch!
      Study: Over 8% of Brazil’s Amazon region illegally owned

      http://www.chinaview.cn 2008-06-07 10:24:32 Print

      RIO DE JANEIRO, June 6 (Xinhua) — More than eight percent of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest region, totaling some 42 million hectares, is not legally owned, says a study released in the Brazilian press on Friday.

      According to the Amazon Institute of People and the Environment (Imazon), a non-governmental organization which carried out the study at the request of the World Bank, the owners of these areas either hold informal titles to property, have acquired false documents or simply have taken over unoccupied land.

      Despite the efforts of federal governments, the situation does not seem to have improved, says Imazon.

      It amounts to a free privatization of forestland, as the owners did not pay for the land or pay taxes, said Paulo Barreto, a forester who coordinated the study.

      The illegally-owned forestland includes 16 million hectares in the northern state of Para and 9.6 million hectares in the midwestern Mata Grosso state, which registered the largest such area.

      Similar areas also exist in the states of Amazonas, Rondonia, Roraima and Tocantins.

      Additionally, 4,400 properties, totaling 3.2 million hectares, are registered as both legal and illegal.

      That means that an owner holding a legal title to a property also acquired a neighboring piece of land without any legal registration.

    • observer

      .to those students at MacKenzie U, study geology!!!!….Petrobras hiring up to 18,000 people

    • ch.c.

      To Joao and all !!!!
      Joao
      – I dont know if Maggi has land in Australia, and to be honest I dont care at all.
      – But what I know for sure is the following : before Lula re-election, Maggi was against Lula. And during the second round, Maggi and Lula made somet type of a deal. Undisclosed….of course. And then for the second round Maggi was in favor of Lula re-election. That reversal made a lot of Maggi farmers friends in Mato Grosso, loudly accuse Maggi of a betrayer. Just re-read the Brazilians news media.

      Costinha
      – Yeahhhhh you just proved you are a Tranny. At times you sign as Costa, and at times Costhina. How many BJ did you give this week ? And how many ……did you get in your back ? I hope you have given 98 % of your income to your pimp. If I was him I would beat you if you kept 3 % and would force you to work in a brothel nearby a large sugarcane plantation where you would be given 10 centavos per BJ and FREE HIGHWAY….for your butt.

      Mr Sustainable
      The external pressures are only that you reduce your internal corruptions practices…to my knowledge, not the opposite.

      JW
      Sorry buddy. Dead wrong.
      With partners, we bought land, and built a large coffee farm with our money, without your BNDES support despite we were entitled to it. We are extremely happy of our vision and of our return on investments. Yesss….just ask Joao. It happens that we produce SUPRA PREMIUM coffee beans, selling at 3 times what your average farmers receive. This was obviously not done by following what was suggested by your coffee “experts”, otherwise we would have gottrn the average price….at best !

      This said, you are right. in 2003 I had a great love story with a Brazilian girl. But not a stupid girl. She left her Muddy country years ago and is very happy to reside here. Better yet, talk to her if she has dreams of going back home once, the answer with a big smile and loud smile…..NEVER AGAIN, Except on vacations every 3 or 4 years…to see family members.
      She is a lovely girl, unpretentious, not very much educated due to your filthy system, coming from a poor family, is a production worker at Rolex and not a prostitute as millions of women are….in Brazil
      This said despite her near empty cursus, she earns $ 4500.- PER MONTH ! And that is the regular wages for unskilled workers….at Rolex. Thus noit a lie or pretentiousness- And guess what : she can afford a decent and lovely appartment, an acceptable car, shopping regularly, sending some money to her old parents, travel several times a year when taking a long week end, wether in Paris, London, Barcelona, Milano or just name it. As well as spending a week end here and there…..skiing in our mountains !!!
      When she resided in Brazil, she worked—at times only….in a textile factory. You can guess what her life was.
      And to conclude, do you know what her biggest pride is ? Paying taxes !!!!!!!! She says this is at least what she owes to my country !
      Yessss….at times dreams come true for poor Brazilians, but not while in Brazil…..sadly !
      Enjoy JW….a true brazilian idiot & junkie.

    • ..

      [quote]would Chico Mendes approve of all this??[/quote]

      I don’t think so.Nor would Marina.She quit like a lady and I appreciate her stance.

    • observer

      ..would Chico Mendes approve of all this??

    • ..

      Mr.Sustainable
      [quote]There’s no denying that internal corruption is a big deal in Brazil but external pressures are a large problem, too.[/quote]

      I don’t know , if you are correct Doc.What sort of “external pressures” are you talking about? From Mars?

    • CHC À¢€“ Chronicle Herpes Carrier
      The man with itchy genitalia. This dyslexic gentleman instead of NUTS has KNOTS.

      May the flea that climbed his a$$ find eternal happiness!

      Costinha

    • mcv

      while all his soy beans go to china , money into his pockets , and no food for the brasilian people

      brazilians don’t have soybeans part of their menu….

    • Gringo

      I figured there would be another side to this…

      Outro lado

      A assessoria do sueco-britÀƒ¢nico Johan Eliasch informou ontem que o empresÀƒ¡rio nÀƒ£o comentaria a reduÀƒ§Àƒ£o no valor da multa do Ibama de R$ 450 milhÀƒµes para R$ 381,2 milhÀƒµes. A Gethal, conforme a assessoria, ainda nÀƒ£o foi notificada da atuaÀƒ§Àƒ£o e nega dano ambiental.

      “Cabe esclarecer que a Gethal, atÀƒ© o presente momento, nÀƒ£o recebeu qualquer notificaÀƒ§Àƒ£o oficial quanto ÀƒÂ  suposta multa referida na matÀƒ©ria publicada ontem [pela Folha]”, diz a nota divulgada ontem. Conforme a Gethal, “laudos tÀƒ©cnicos ambientais tambÀƒ©m foram produzidos comprovando que a empresa jamais causou danos ao meio ambiente”. [b]Segundo a nota, a Gethal parou as atividades de extraÀƒ§Àƒ£o de madeira em 2005, quando passou ao controle de Eliasch.[/b]

      “Em que pese suas prÀƒ¡ticas ambientais corretas, desde a Àƒºltima aquisiÀƒ§Àƒ£o ocorrida em 2005 e tendo em vista a nova filosofia de proteÀƒ§Àƒ£o ÀƒÂ s florestas por parte dos novos acionistas da empresa, decidiu-se que a Gethal paralisaria suas atividades de exploraÀƒ§Àƒ£o florestal”, diz a nota.

      A Gethal afirma que pediu a suspensÀƒ£o do plano de manejo de extraÀƒ§Àƒ£o de madeira, [b]mas afirma nÀƒ£o ter sido atendida.[/b] “Apesar de os diretores da empresa estarem em contato direto e periÀƒ³dico com o Àƒ³rgÀƒ£o hÀƒ¡ vÀƒ¡rios anos,[b] a empresa ainda nÀƒ£o recebeu notificaÀƒ§Àƒ£o do Ibama a respeito desse pedido de suspensÀƒ£o.”[/b]

      O Ibama do Amazonas informou que suspendeu o plano de manejo em 2005, mas a Gethal, segundo o Àƒ³rgÀƒ£o, manteve a exploraÀƒ§Àƒ£o atÀƒ© 2006, o que gerou o TAC (Termo de Ajustamento de Conduta), que, diz o Ibama, nÀƒ£o foi cumprido pela empresa, o que resultou na multa de R$ 100 milhÀƒµes.

      Unattended and late government paper work in Brazil? Say it’s not so? 😉

    • gringo

      To quote Ricky Ricardo: À¢€œyouÀ¢€™ve got sum splaining to doÀ¢€Â. LetÀ¢€™s see what Johan has to say. If it is true, then Brazil finally has their foreign bogyman and weÀ¢€™ll NEVER hear the end of it. WhatÀ¢€™s worse in my book is that Johan would have misled COOL EARTH supporters and this will create further suspicion about environmental groups (most of which are legit, although sometimes a tad naive). If he is guilty he should be taken to task not only in Brazil, but in Europe too. The charge would be FRAUD. If he is in fact a huckster, I want to see him tide up in his fake dungarees, covered in organic honey and plopped on the melting arctic ice flows for hungry climate change suffering polar bears to feed upon.

      That said, it is strange that Gethal would be found in breach of Brazilian laws; given the company was one of the first, if not only, logging companies in Brazil to obtain FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification which is a globally accepted, extremely difficult and expensive stamp of environmental and social approval to achieve. Far more vigorous a process than BrazilÀ¢€™s own (let me put this into capitals and quotations for dramatic effect) À¢€œLAWSÀ¢€Â À¢€“ cough cough [SHUDDER].

      Also, it is common knowledge (see Wikipedia) that Gethal went belly up and Johan purchased the company and the lands with the intention of closing down logging.

      So, I do have a hard time accepting he knowingly ran an illegal logging mill especially given he is such a high profile À¢€œtree-huggerÀ¢€Â.

      I do have my suspicions about the motives of the Brazilian Government, and theyˢ۪ve been on a war path as of late trying to justify their xenophobic stance on foreigners in the Amazon. I can see them taking apart whatever is in his name with a fine toothcomb looking for any undotted i or uncrossed t. Yes, I do think they are a petty and vengeful bunch, especially when a foreigner is involved, but Iˢ۪ll hold back on pointing fingers in this specific case until I see the details unfurl.
      [quote]
      You are probably a guy who had a Brazilian girlfriend who cheated on you… typical situation of men who have been attracted by pragmatics money grabbers Brazilians immigrants who see on vunerables people like an ooportunity.[/quote]

      So what you are saying JW is that this is typical of Brazilian behaviour?

    • FORREST ALLEN BROWN

      stick with your principles above of all, and let it be that those principles are honesty and truth.
      that statement is written on the bathroom tolite paper
      in every bathroom in every government office
      in brazil

    • JW

      The one who was cheated by a Brazilian girl
      Ch.c said:

      ” NOT when HE acquired AND PAID for the land….TOTALLY LEGALLY !!!!!

      You are probably a guy who had a Brazilian girlfriend who cheated on you… typical situation of men who have been attracted by pragmatics money grabbers Brazilians immigrants who see on vunerables people like an ooportunity. Sorry guy, but it doesn’t justify your irrational hatre of Brazil and Brazilians. You make comments in this website which always fail in to be based on truth. Agan you made the same mistake… you never stop doing it!

      The swedish guy BOUGHT LAND ILLEGALLY ONCE HE HAS BOUGHT IT INSIDE BRAZILIAN GOVERNMENT LAND. ALSO, NO PIECE OF BRAZILIAN LEGISLATION GIVES HIM THE WRITE OF COMMERCIALIZE THAT IN THE WAY HE DID. THERE IS NO A UNIQUE SINGLE PARAGRAPH IN THE BRAZILIAN LAW, (WHICH IS DEMOCRATIC DISCUTED INSIDE A DEMOCRATIC PARLIAMENT), WHO WOULD GIVE TO THE BUYERS OUTSIDE BRAZIL THE RIGHT TO COMPLAIN ON THE LAND DESTRUCTION BECAUSE THE PAPER THEY BOUGHT VIA “C**LEARTH” WEBSITE IS A NOT VALID DOCUMENT IN BRAZIL AT ALL.

      Then, there come people like you, passionatelly defending a guy who put one face to the world as “the saviour of the Amazon”, but who is really the opposite. You can’t coment and be seriously taken when you take the side of the wrongdoer. And you do it because you have an irrational hate ofBrazil.

      Please, stick with your principles above of all, and let it be that those principles are honesty and truth.

    • KILLER

      STOP CORRUPTION IN BRAZIL
      THEY NEED TO GET CUT LIKE THE TREES, IN AMERICA FOREIGNERS ARE BAD IN BRAZIL ITS A GOOD THING WE DO THAT TEACH THESE FOREIGNERS HOW IT FEELS TO BE LOOKED DOWN UPON..BTW BRAZIL IS COMING UP PAST AMERICA VERY SOON, STOP CORRUPTION, NOT ONLY IN BRAZIL IN AMERICA TOO! SENATORS PFFF!

    • João da Silva

      Ch.c
      [quote]Why those junkies dont look closer home, especially a state governor, such as…MAGGI
      to name just 1 person. He is owner of many times the size of land of the foreigner.[/quote]

      Does this guy not own huge farm lands in Australia also? Or is my memory fading? 😀

    • João da Silva

      Forrest
      [quote]hay joao is this fare say if you buy land in brasil the government can fine you for using it ????
      but over look what a brasilian does with the same type land[/quote]

      My response is like you said:

      [quote]i am with CHC on this one the state govner has killed off not only trees but has working slaves
      moved villegers off his land at gun point and had some killed .
      [/quote]

      But Maggi and Squid are pretty good pals. Why do you think Marina quit?

    • FORREST ALLEN BROWN

      he should just not pay it
      and see what his wifes family will do .

      i am with CHC on this one the state govner has killed off not only trees but has working slaves
      moved villegers off his land at gun point and had some killed .

      but his power hungry buddies will forgive him in a closed sesion .

      while all his soy beans go to china , money into his pockets , and no food for the brasilian people

      hay joao is this fare say if you buy land in brasil the government can fine you for using it ????
      but over look what a brasilian does with the same type land

    • ch.c.

      But naturally………
      …..a FOREIGNER is the target, even if married to a Brazilian.
      Brazilians are shocked that large tracks of land were sold to a foreigner….NOT when HE acquired AND PAID for the land….TOTALLY LEGALLY !!!!!

      Ohhhhh….of course……in all the Amazon…..there is ONLY ONE BAD GUY who illegally deforest part of his land. A FOREIGNER is the perfect scapegoat !
      Your filthy people should eventually have a look from YOUR dept in charge of the satellites viewings showing thousands and thousands of fires at any one time.

      And let me spit to those saying ” Recent reports have indicated that most of the deforested areas are owned by foreign citizens.”

      Another Brazilian Scam, cheating, lie…the world is accustomed to read and hear !
      Why those junkies dont look closer home, especially a state governor, such as…MAGGI
      to name just 1 person. He is owner of many times the size of land of the foreigner.
      Stupid question : is Mato Grosso not part of the Amazon ?????

    • ..

      [quote]The process was expedited by the new Minister of Environment, Carlos Minc, due to huge national commotion caused by the deforestation issue in Brazil.[/quote]

      Carlinho do Sorbonne esta mostrando serviÀƒ§o 😀

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