Illegal logging is devastating the rainforest on the eastern side of the Peruvian Andes.
Companies are making their way there to chop down old-growth mahogany and other rare species of hardwood trees, profit from them, and leave the land and wildlife – an entire ecosystem – derelict. These asshat loggers also hunt monkeys, birds, and other animals.
The carbon dioxide released from the trees that get chopped down, of course, adds to global warming, or climate change (whichever term you’re most keen on).
After the companies ravage the land, nobody goes back to plant trees where they once used to be. Instead, the areas are taken over by settlers, road builders and farmers.
BioGems Defenders, an organization that works to protect threatened and endangered wildlife and wildlands in the Americas, is made up of networks of people like you (yes, you!) and me – activists. Over 500,000 people now comprise the organization, and contribute to different causes by sending out emails asking for justice. It’s pretty sweet: check out their victories. BioGems Defenders is part of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
In 2007, BioGems Defenders helped stop the illegal mahogany trade such that U.S. imports of mahogany from that region decreased tenfold in just a year.
In 2008, U.S. Congress passed legislation banning the import and sale of illegal wood into the country.
BioGems Defenders is now trying to pressure U.S. and Peruvian authorities to eradicate the illegal wood trade altogether.