Posted on November 14, 2022
Facebook to act on illegal sale of Amazon rainforest
According to a recent study from the think tank Ipam (Instituto de Pesquisa Ambental da Amazonia), a third of all deforestation happens in publicly-owned forests in the Amazon.
Facebook said it would not reveal how it planned to find the illegal ads but said it would “seek to identify and block new listings” in protected areas of the Amazon rainforest.
Illegal deforestation exposed
In azon revealed that plots of rainforest as large as 1,000 football pitches were being listed on Facebook’s classified ads service.
In order to prove the ads were real, the BBC arranged meetings between four sellers and an undercover operative posing as a lawyer claiming to represent wealthy investors.
One land-grabber, Alvim Souza Alves, was trying to sell a plot inside the Uru Eu Wau Wau indigenous reserve for about ?16,400 in local currency.
In response to the BBC’s investigation, Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court ordered an inquiry into the sale of protected areas of the Amazon via Facebook.
Despite calls from indigenous leaders to do more, at the time Facebook said it was “ready to work with local authorities”, but would not take independent action to halt the trade.
Now the company says it has consulted the UN Environment Programme (Unep) and other organisations to take its “first steps” in trying to address the issue.
“We will now review listings on Facebook Marketplace against an international organisation’s authoritative database of protected areas to identify listings that may violate this new policy,” the Californian tech firm clarified. (more…)