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Deforestation Inc., another ICIJ Investigation.

Environmental auditing and certification programs intended to promote responsible forestry and other social goals worldwide frequently validate products linked to deforestation, logging in conflict zones and other harmful activity. These are the findings of "Deforestation Inc.", another ICIJ-led cross-border investigation. Same investigators behind Panama Papers (then a Netflix 2019 film "The Laudromat"), as some of you may recall.

ICIJ stands for International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Their mission: "To show people how the world really works through stories that rock the world; forcing positive change".

Their vision: "We expose wrongdoing so the world can make it right".

ICIJ collaborates with more than 140 newspapers, television and radio stations, and online media outlets, including The Washington Post, Le Monde, the BBC, El Pais, The Guardian, the Asahi Shimbun, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., the Australian Broadcasting Corp., along with small, regional nonprofit journalism organizations in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The "Deforestation Inc." investigation is basically composed by:

  • a 2 minutes video "How green labels can hide environmental harm". Quoting parts of the video. "Behind many of those green claims, are environmental auditing firms that gave their seal of approval ... Environmental auditors are supposed to hold foresters to account. But some don't ... With some companies using unfounded green claims to mislead consumers ... we should do something to end greenwashing." Countries like Romania, Finland, Myanmar, Canada and Indonesia are mentioned.

  • then an article "Green Forestry Claims Tested". Three companies are analysed: Paper Excellence from Canada (global footprint, suspicion of illegal logging and emission of pollutants), Egger Group from Austria (regional subsidiary involved with illegal logging and other alleged violations, like tax dodging) and Precious Woods Holding Ltd. from Switzerland (subsidiaries in the Brazilian Amazon and Africa, without the proper license, fined 37 times and millions in penalties in the last last 25 years). All companies denied any connections with the problems and/or to be fully cooperative and/or allegations to be unjustified.

There are more specific articles detailing the above perspectives. And - unfortunatelly - more products, companies and countries are mentioned. Click at the image below to access the "Deforestation Inc." investigation portal.

This jornalistic investigation comes out less than two months after the Guardian article on the integrity of REDD+ carbon credits . And talking about integrity, there are high expectations about the arrival of the Carbon Core Principles by the Voluntary Carbon Market Integrity Council .


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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