Manaus, Brazil 22 March 2000 - Greenpeace announced this morning, aboard its new vessel, the Amazon Guardian, the beginning of a four-month tour through the various rivers of the Amazonas and Para States to denounce illegal logging in this Amazon region. Next week, the boat will head to the Purus and Jurua rivers. "The Amazon Guardian will broaden our capability to investigate and collect data about the Amazon reality." said Paulo Adario, Greenpeace's Amazon campaigner in Manaus.
Last year, Greenpeace announced that the protection of the Amazon is the global priority for the organisation. A permanent base has been installed in Manaus and field expeditions to document and expose the forest's destruction have been carried out in the field. "The information we gather during the next four months will be available to Brazilian authorities so the appropriate measures can be taken to stop illegal and destructive logging in the region," said Paulo Adario.
Last year, Greenpeace released the report "Alongside the Law", a result of a four-week expedition on the Purus River basin in May 1999 that lead the public prosecution office to start an official investigation of 6 logging companies of the Amazonas State. All of these companies were found by Greenpeace to have prior involvement in illegal and destructive logging. In the Para State, last December, Greenpeace used ultra-violet technology to expose the purchase of illegal logs by the Japanese exporting company Eidai do Brasil. Eidai has been fined and is currently under investigation by government authorities.
"The greatest challenge is to find sustainable solutions to develop the region," said Roberto Kishinami, executive director of Greenpeace Brazil. "We want to go beyond simply denouncing destruction. We want people to look at the preservation projects that have been proved successful and to highlight the need for public policies that are coherent with the problems of the Amazon region".
The Amazon Guardian is a 58 metre British flagged vessel with a crew of 31. Greenpeace has chartered the vessel with an option to buy depending on the ship's performance during this tour.
Greenpeace press office on 020 7865 8255