Honduras and Home Depot Edward Frank
July 25, 2009


HONDURAS: Greasing Palms to Plunder Forests
By Jim Lobe,  http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=30876

WASHINGTON, Nov 3 (IPS) - Illegal logging by corrupt interests tied to major political figures is devastating the rapidly disappearing pine and mahogany forests of Honduras, particularly in northeastern Olancho province, according to a major report released here Thursday by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and the Centre for International Policy (CIP).

The report is based on a series of trips to Honduras over the past year in which EIA investigators posed as investors or buyers of illegally logged timber. It identifies the major companies involved, foremost among them Jose Lamas S. de R.L., a major supplier of pine products to the U.S. home-furnishing giant, Home Depot.

At the current logging rate, mahogany in Honduras may become all but extinct within 10 to 15 years, according to the 45-page report, which added that illegal operations now threaten the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Meanwhile, the Honduran government, which has failed to provide adequate funds to enforce logging laws, is losing as much as 18 million dollars a year in lost stumpage fees and other forest-based revenue, according to the report, "The Illegal Logging Crisis in Honduras".

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