Geointelligence against illegal deforestation and timber laundering in the Brazilian Amazon

Franco Perazzoni, Paula Bacelar-Nicolau, Marco Painho

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Abstract

Due to the characteristics of the Southern Amazonas Mesoregion (Mesorregião Sul do Amazonas, MSA), conducting on-site surveys in all licensed forestry areas (Plano de Manejo Florestal, PMFS) is an impossible task. Therefore, the present investigation aimed to: (i) analyze the use of geointelligence (GEOINT) techniques to support the evaluation of PMFS; and (ii) verify if the PMFS located in the MSA are being executed in accordance with Brazilian legislation. A set of twenty-two evaluation criteria were established. These were initially applied to a “standard” PMFS and subsequently replicated to a larger area of 83 PMFS, located in the MSA. GEOINT allowed for a better understanding of each PMFS, identifying illegal forestry activities and evidence of timber laundering. Among these results, we highlight the following evidences: (i) inconsistencies related to total transport time and prices declared to the authorities (48% of PMFS); (ii) volumetric information incompatible with official forest inventories and/or not conforming with Benford’s law (37% of PMFS); (iii) signs of exploitation outside the authorized polygon limits (35% PMFS) and signs of clear-cutting (29% of PMFS); (iv) no signs of infrastructure compatible with licensed forestry (17% of PMFS); and (v) signs of exploitation prior to the licensing (13% of PMFS) and after the expiration of licensing (3%).

Original languageEnglish
Article number398
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
JournalISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Amazon
  • Benford’s law
  • Deforestation
  • Forestry management
  • Geointelligence
  • Organized crime
  • PMFS
  • RADAM
  • SisDOF
  • Timber laundering

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • SDG 12 - Responsible Production and Consumption

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