By Joao Fellet & Charlotte Pamment
BBC Brasil

Parts of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest are being illegally sold on Facebook, the BBC has discovered.

The protected areas include national forests and land reserved for indigenous peoples.

The Uru Eu Wau Wau people are trying to protect their land from invaders

Some of the plots listed via Facebook’s classified ads service are as large as 1,000 football fields.

Facebook said it was “ready to work with local authorities”, but indicated it would not take independent action of its own to halt the trade.

“Our commerce policies require buyers and sellers to comply with laws and regulations,” the Californian tech firm added.

The leader of one of the indigenous communities affected has urged the tech firm to do more.

And campaigners have claimed the country’s government is unwilling to halt the sales.

Anyone can find the illegally invaded plots by typing the Portuguese equivalents for search terms like “forest”, “native jungle” and “timber” into Facebook Marketplace’s search tool, and picking one of the Amazonian states as the location.

The Amazon rainforest is home to one in 10 known species on Earth

Some of the listings feature satellite images and GPS co-ordinates.

Many of the sellers openly admit they do not have a land title, the only document which proves ownership of land under Brazilian law.

The illegal activity is being fueled by Brazil’s cattle ranching industry.

More on BBC



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