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9 Oct 2021

Joao Fellet and Charlotte Pamment, BBC Brazil

Facebook to act on illegal sale of Amazon rainforest

…The new measures will apply only to conservation areas and not to publicly owned forest. And the move will be limited to the Amazon, not other rainforests and wildlife habitats across the world.

According to a recent study from the [Instituto de Pesquisa Ambental da Amazonia (Ipam)], 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.


To try to catch criminal sellers, Facebook is using a database managed by the Unep World Conservation Monitoring Centre.


But Brazilian lawyer and scientist Brenda Brito questions the effectiveness of Facebook's proposals, saying: "If they don't make it mandatory for sellers to provide the location of the area on sale, any attempt at blocking them will be flawed.


In its investigation, the BBC found some ads featured satellite images and GPS co-ordinates but not all shared that level of information.

Facebook told the BBC it did not intend to require sellers to post the precise location of advertised land.