LIMA – Peru’s permanent Commission for the Fight against Illegal Logging is considering installing GPS devices on river boats in the Amazon basin in order to halt the transport of lumber from illegal logging, High Commissioner Cesar Fourment said.
The port authority of the navy proposed standardizing the installation of GPS devices on all river boats, in the same way they are installed on Peru’s fishing boats to keep them from entering areas in the Pacific Ocean where fishing is banned, Fourment told the official Andina news agency.
“In Loreto (Peru’s largest Amazon region), there are no highways and everything is shipped by river. We want to be able to stop a boat from going off its course to other places where it can be loaded up with illegally trafficked timber,” Fourment said.
The proposal is being discussed with institutions like the National Forest and Wildlife Service, or Serfor, in order to define the rules for regulating the installation of those devices, the high commissioner for the fight against illegal logging said.
Fourment said he will also discuss the proposal with the Production Ministry, since that was the government agency that promoted the use of GPS systems on Peruvian fishing boats in the Pacific Ocean.
Around 40 percent of the mahogany and cedar that Peru exports to the United States is logged illegally, a 2010 study by the Environmental Research Agency said.
The position of high commissioner for the fight against illegal logging was established in September 2014, after four indigenous leaders of the Ashaninka ethnicity were murdered by suspected illegal timber traffickers in the Ucayali jungle region near the border with Brazil.