The Philippines confiscates illegal lumber chopped down in Mindanao

One of the biggest issues for rainforests is illegal logging. It’s often hard to spot in remote areas, and causes mass destruction to precious tracts of ancient forest. In the Philippines, Secretary Gina Lopez set up a strict directive for all workers of Department of Environment and Natural Resources to save the nation’s  remaining forest. And it’s proving much more than mere words. The people are taking action.

1 million Pesos worth of illegal timber confiscated

In early March environmental officials seized more than 1 million Philippine Pesos worth of forest products in Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao, all of which were illegally taken from the regions’ remote rainforests. Around 35,800 feet of hardwood boards were seized after its alleged owner couldn’t provide the legal documents required to prove the haul was legal.

The wood was intercepted during transport to an undisclosed destination. In the nearby town of Datu Blah Sinsuat, the police and anti-illegal logging unit also seized another 5,800 feet of illegally cut timber, which was en route to Cotabato City. The seized wood is all being held by the police in Datu Blah and Kalamansig.

Local villagers foil the illegal loggers

Datu Blah Sinsuat’s municipal police chief told the press that local villagers from Nalkan tipped off the police about the illegal timber, great news because it means locals are playing a vital active role in protecting the forests they rely on, a burden that’s too extensive for the police and authorities to shoulder alone.

The more locals get involved in protecting rainforests, the better

As a general rule, the more local and indigenous and local people get involved in protecting their precious forests, the better protected they will be. The more likely they are to be caught and lose their illegal harvest, potentially attracting large fines and even imprisonment, the less likely lawbreakers will be to get involved with illegal logging.