Going Mahogany Wild
Illegal Mahogany Logging Endangers Amazon Rainforest in Peru
Illegal logging of mahogany is escalating in Peru, threatening the Amazon rainforest and a number of indigenous groups that live in its remote reaches. The mahogany trade is strictly governed by international rules, and Brazil has cracked down on logging of the sought-after tree, but mahogany still flows from Peru in large quantities, thanks in part to rampant corruption in the nation’s natural-resources agency. Enviros and even some government officials estimate that as much as 90 percent of the mahogany coming out of Peru is illegally logged. And much of it ends up in the U.S. in the form of furniture, decks, and even coffins. Ken Fuhrmann of Henkel Harris, which sells high-end furniture made of mahogany, says that in his 30 years on the job, he’s only encountered about eight people who asked where the mahogany came from. “I would say they don’t really care,” he said.