RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Only a few months have elapsed since Ecuador's balsa wood rush subsided. But the consequences of two years of frenzied extraction of this timber are visible and alarming.
Demand skyrocketed because Chinese investors, encouraged by a state subsidy, came in with plenty of cash to get their hands on tons of this wood, which is in demand to manufacture wind generator blades.
The rush for the raw material and the Ecuadorian government's lack of supervision due to pandemic restrictions contributed to the chaos, particularly in the province of Pastaza, one of the Amazon's . . .