Forestry initiatives will stimulate debate as to means and ends

10 February 2019

In an effort to stimulate sustainable timber production, restore degraded land, and improve information on the country’s diminishing timber reserves, the Forestry Service (SERFOR), a dependency of the Ministry of Agriculture, has announced pilot initiatives that it believes would benefit regional governments in the Amazon region and the eastern slopes of the Andes.

    • One initiative aims to satisfy unmet domestic demand for cut timber of approximately one and a half million cubic metres of wood derived from forest plantations along the lines of a model successfully applied in Chile.

    • A second hopes to restore the forest cover to the 760,000 hectares of bare and unproductive lands that are now such a prominent feature of the colonised Amazon landscape.

    • A third will classify the standing forests remaining and provide technical support for their management.

    Lively discussion can be expected between SERFOR and environmentalists as to the technical details of these plans, such as cropping regimes (monoculture versus mixed crops); species (ubiquitous fast-growing imports such as eucalyptus versus high-quality indigenous mahogany and cedar under threat from uncontrolled and often illegal logging operations); and the roles of smallholders and indigenous communities in agroforestry. 

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