The Peruvian rain forest is one of the world's most biologically rich and diverse regions and provides habitat for wildlife such as the jaguar, harpy eagle and giant river otter.
Unfortunately, these creatures and their habitats are at risk from the unsustainable harvest of timber, particularly of big-leaf mahogany--a threatened species so valuable that it can lead to the destruction of large forest areas. Peru is the world's largest exporter of big-leaf mahogany, with 90 percent going to the North American market.
The international trade in big-leaf mahogany is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and the Peruvian government has taken many steps to improve forest management and stop illegal logging. Despite these precautions, big-leaf mahogany continues to be harvested at unsustainable levels and illegal logging remains rampant.
Many of these trees are illegally logged in protected areas or on the lands of indigenous peoples who receive only a fraction of the actual value of the wood. Strong measures must be taken today if this species and the rain forest of which it is a part are to survive for future generations.
Every year, Peru sets a quota for mahogany that determines how much can be exported. It is critically important that Peru sets a quota level that is sustainable and scientifically-based, and that can be verified as legally harvested. If that does not happen, WWF will urge countries worldwide not to import Peruvian mahogany.
Action is urgently needed as Peru is expected to announce its annual quota for mahogany exports in only a few days.
Please forward this alert to your friends and family. You can make a huge difference for the Peruvian rain forest and its creatures. Thanks for your help.
Peru Program Office
World Wildlife Fund