Responsible forestry in the Amazon

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Cloud and rain in the canopy of a tropical rainforest in the Amazon. South America
© WWF-Canon / Martin HARVEY

Socially, economically and environmentally sound

Carried out the right way, forestry activities can generate income, ensure a plentiful supply of timber in the long term, and ensure that forests continue to be ecologically functional. But exploit forests the wrong way, and a range of problems appear.
Responsible forestry reduces pressure on forests and can create sustainable income for marginalized and extremely poor sectors, such as Amazon indigenous communities. In the region, many of WWF's activities are designed to improve forestry practices, and where possible achieve Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.

Simultaneously, WWF and partners are "educating the market" to generate preference for responsibly produced and certified timber and timber products; and creating market mechanisms to reduce illegal logging. This involves working with state officials, communities and the business sector.

Opportunities exist

In countries such as Bolivia, where the government has expressed commitments to increase the area of certified forests, great opportunities exist to support the sector: These include promoting certification, increasing local capacity to work on issues related to forest management and certification and especially to develop and market certified products.

What WWF does

WWF supports forest companies and communities to improve their forest management practices. Where possible, WWF provides assistance to engage stakeholders into a process of forest certification, through training and other forms of technical assistance. To improve forest management practices WWF
 / ©: (c) WWF
Sustainable Forestry
© (c) WWF

In focus: CEDEFOR

The long term goal of WWF-Peru's Certification and Development of the Forest Sector (CEDEFOR) effort is to promote modernization, formalization and efficiency of the forest sector using certification as a tool. The goal of the project is to certificate 565,000 hectares.

This is being achieved by providing technical assistance and financial support to government, local communities and the private sector, thereby contributing directly to national economic growth, the conservation of forest resources, and to the Government of Peru's Alternative Development Programme. CEDEFOR is made possible with support from USAID.

Through CEDEFOR, WWF-Peru has played a key role in a powerful movement, comprising governmental and non-governmental organizations, community and civil society groups, and representatives from the private sector. The aim is to reform the forest sector and support new, more transparent practices that ensure equitable and sustainable management of timber resources.

Nevertheless, illegal problems still exist and they remain a major obstacle to the proper functioning of the forest sector, so a greater commitment from the government is necessary.

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