Supporting forest certification leaders
Since 1993 WWF has invested efforts in strengthening capacities and promoting sustainable forest management. An outstanding milestone has been the visit of Bolivian concession leaders and peasants to Costa Rica and Mexico to learn about forest management initiatives. Upon their return, many of the participants decided to implement forest management, setting the course for national forest management through their initiative and example, under a strong commitment with sustainability and certification and which to this day continues.
Sustainable management and certification with communities in Latin America
As a strategy to achieve the sustainable management of community natural tropical forests, WWF implemented between 1999 and 2004 a project that, from Bolivia, supported more than 25 sustainable community forest operations and/or certified under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Mexico. In Bolivia, the Yuqui-Yuracaré Indigenous Communal Land (referred to as TCO) was certified under this initiative.
Community management in Bolivia
Since 2004, WWF has provided support to numerous chiquitano, guarayo and ayoreode indigenous communities, helping them to strengthen their management and administration capacities regarding forestry resources, with a strong emphasis on the community-company link. In order to guarantee the financial sustainability of community operations, WWF has facilitated their access to the national and international market in the mid term. A clear example is the support provided between 2004 and 2006 –together with Cadefor, Bolfor II, Inpa Parket and the Forestry Chamber– to the only community currently certified in Bolivia: Cururú.
WWF has also provided tools for monitoring forestry production and costs; training in sustainable forestry management oriented towards certification and business management; social control of productive units towards promoting understanding and transparency in administration; and the increase of added value in the commercialization of forestry products.
World leadership in FSC certification
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent non-governmental and non-profit organization, established with support from WWF to promote the responsible management of forests worldwide. WWF Bolivia has been promoting FSC certification during the past 15 years, generating a supply and demand of FSC wood and supporting the certification process of more than two million hectares of tropical native forest. As of 2005, Bolivia has the largest extension of FSC certified tropical natural forests in the world.
The Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN)
The GFTN is a WWF initiative that aims to eliminate illegal logging and improve the management of threatened and valuable forests. 340 companies participate in the GFTN and are responsible for roughly 15% of all forestry products that are commercialized worldwide every year, with combined annual sales representing USD 61 billion.
In Bolivia, there are currently 21 companies participating in the GFTN and others which are undergoing their application process. The participating companies manage 67% of the total FSC* certified forests in Bolivia. For March 2009, the Bolivia GFTN organized its 3rd Business Trade Mission and which was linked to the ExpoForest Business Roundtable for the Wood Industry. In previous missions held in 2007 and 2008, Bolivia received the visit of roughly fifty businessmen from the United States, Europe and Asia, resulting in an increase of more than USD 5 million in exports from the national wood sector.
*2.385.030 ha (source: CFV)
Signing of agreement with the Municipal Government of Santa Cruz de la Sierra: responsible purchase of forestry products
The Municipal Government of Santa Cruz de la Sierra approved its Responsible Purchase Policy for forestry products through Administrative Resolution Nr. 190/2007 in efforts to promote, with support from WWF, the purchasing and consumption of forestry products from legal sources, under management and/or certified, and in this way contributing to the conservation of forests in Bolivia.
Twinning between the cities of Barcelona and Santa Cruz de la Sierra
In 2007, both cities signed a Twinning Agreement expressing their commitment to forest conservation and FSC certification. The department of Santa Cruz has FSC certified forests and its capital city has a Responsible Purchase Policy supported by WWF. Barcelona also developed a similar policy and promotes the responsible purchase of wood products and by-products. Through this twinning, both cities want to lead by example, and reduce their environmental impact while also generating a demand for products that don’t destroy the forests.
One Tree Bolivia: integrating art and conservation
The One Tree Bolivia campaign was an effort to massively reach a new audience for WWF in Bolivia, the urban population. 62 Bolivian architects, cabinet makers, artists, designers and sculptors participated in using a single tree, a Cariniana estrellensis measuring 32 m high, creating 210 objects while integrating art, culture, conservation and the wood industry.
The campaign had two important public moments: the I International Sculptors’ Workshop for FSC Certified Wood in 2006 and the exhibit for the closing of the One Tree Bolivia campaign during the 2007 ExpoForest. Approximately 100,000 people visited these exhibits, which included information and messages on forest conservation, forestry management and responsible purchase of forestry products. The II International Sculptors’ Workshop was carried out in 2008 by the Manzana 1 Art Gallery, who was able to include this bi-annual event in the city’s cultural agenda, giving it international exposure and further positioning Bolivia as a leader on this issue.
Certified Forest Walkway
The walkway is an educational initiative undertaken by the Autonomous Municipal Government of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, WWF and the Bolivian Forestry Chamber, in celebration of the city’s self-proclamation as the World Capital of Native Tropical Certified Forests, as well as its adoption of the Responsible Purchase Policy for forestry products.
The walkway is located in Santa Cruz de la Sierra and includes the display of the FSC certified wood sculptures resulting from the international sculptors’ workshops.