The result of a system vulnerable to frauds, 41% of the timber exploited in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso is in unauthorized areas. This is the conclusion of a study carried out by the Instituto Centro de Vida (ICV), which mapped the activity based on satellite images collected between August 2013 and July 2016 and compared them to the authorizations to exploit the material. The study shows that 195,600 hectares of Amazon forest were cut down in illegal exploitations in the period. The total area is equivalent to the cities of São Paulo and Belo Horizonte together.

In comparison to the previous three-year period, the ICV shows the area of illegal deforestation declined by eight percent. There was also a 25% fall in the exploited area (476,700 hectares of native forest).

Most of the illegal exploitation (66%) occurred in private rural properties, in which the state government is the main responsible for inspection. They are followed by areas without defined agrarian categories (24%) and protected areas (9%).

The study also shows that the main reason for the illegal deforestation is the failure of Mato Grosso's Environment Department (Sema) to centralize information – this facilitates the use of official documents to allow the illegal deforestation.

Researcher Vinícius Salgueiro, a co-author of the study, says that this diagnosis has been presented to authorities and the wood-extracting sector of Mato Grosso through reports since 2011; however, very little progress has been made.
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