Facebook to act on illegal sale of Amazon rainforest

Facebook to act on illegal sale of Amazon rainforest
The Amazon rainforest is home to one in 10 known species on Earth. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: Facebook announced that it would begin clamping down on the illegal sale of protected areas of the Amazon rainforest on its platform.

Following a BBC investigation into the practice, the social media giant changed its policy.

Facebook’s new move will apply only to conservation areas and not to publicly owned forest in Amazon.

And the measure will be limited to the Amazon rainforest, not other wildlife and rainforests habitats across the world.

A third of all deforestation happens in publicly-owned forests in the Amazon, according to a recent study from the think tank Instituto de Pesquisa Ambental da Amazonia (Ipam).

Facebook said in a statement that it wouldn’t reveal how it planned to find the illegal ads but said the company would “seek to identify and block new listings” in protected areas of the Amazon rainforest.

The BBC Our World documentary Selling the Amazon revealed in February that plots of the rainforest as large as 1,000 football pitches were being listed on Facebook’s classified ads service.

Many of the plots were inside protected areas of the forest, including land reserved and national forests for indigenous peoples.

The BBC also arranged meetings between four sellers and an undercover operative in order to prove the ads were real, posing as a lawyer claiming to represent wealthy investors.

Alvim Souza Alves, one land-grabber, was trying to sell a plot inside the Uru Eu Wau Wau indigenous reserve for about £16,400 in local currency.

After the BBC investigation published, Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court ordered an inquiry into the sale of protected areas of the Amazon via Facebook.

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