NGOs in Latin America

NGOs and the commodity value chain

An important development in the various Amazon environmental protection campaigns has been the growing ability of activists to identify, understand, and track global commodity or value-added chains. These chains, part of a globalised economy, have been defined in different ways. They have been characterised as a network of labour and production processes whose end result is a finished commodity or product. The chain is said to link primary production units through a series of ‘boxes’ or ‘nodes’, each performing different aspects of additional processing or distribution, often in different parts of the world, and eventually leading to where the ultimate buyers or consumers are located. As part of their campaign to preserve the Amazon from deforestation or other harmful practices, NGOs have politicised different links in the chain. They have for example highlighted the various phases, locations, and export destinations for the illegal logging of mahogany, or drawn attention to the harmful side-effects of unrestrained commercial expansion of soya production and export.

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