September 20, 2001

Brazil regulates sale of timber

                 BRASILIA, Brazil (Reuters) -- Environmentalists have created an
                 organization to certify that wood consumers buy is cut legally rather than
                 taken by illegal loggers in the world's largest tropical forest, the World
                 Wildlife Fund said Wednesday.

                 The Brazilian Forest Stewardship Council, or FSC, would certify local timber and
                 work as a unit of the international group of the same name.

                 The Amazon, most of which is located in Brazil, is larger than all of Western
                 Europe combined and shelters up to 50 percent of the world's animal and plant life.
                 Yet figures show that deforestation was the worst in five years in 2000 because of
                 illegal logging and fires.

                 Brazilian wood represents just 14 percent of all certified wood exports extracted
                 from the world's tropical forests so there is scope for growth in trade, WWF said.

                 "Based on principles and criteria which are ecologically adequate, socially beneficial
                 and economically viable, FSC certification will help enlarge the Brazilian share of
                 the world's market while supporting good forest management," WWF said.

                 There are 70 companies in Brazil that have won FSC certification to sell timber.

                 Leading environmental groups like WWF and Greenpeace, in addition to Amazon
                 groups like rubber tapper organizations will be members of the council in Brazil.
                 Groups such as Brazil's paper and pulp producer Klabinare also taking part.

                    Copyright 2001 Reuters.