Panama presents tracking system for the forestry sector, based on Bolivian model
Posted on 06 June 2016
The innovative tracking project aims to eliminate illegal logging.In a constantly changing economic, social and environmental context, opportunities to introduce innovations to improve forest governance and legality need to be leveraged. Timber tracking systems present one such opportunity to strengthen governance and drive competition in markets.
In order to strengthen forest governance in Latin America, WWF offices in Bolivia and Panama facilitated a meeting to share knowledge and experience among forest industry stakeholders in Bolivia, Panama and Peru. This event resulted in an ambitious proposal to replicate and adapt the Bolivian timber tracking system in other countries in the region.
On 19 May, the Ministry of Environment of Panama presented the forestry control and tracking project, built on innovative features of the Bolivian model, and aiming to establish transparency standards for forest-based activities. This system includes modern tracking devices (tags) that rely on smartphone technology, from which data is transmitted and supplied to an online platform, facilitating access to information on the status of forest management in an effective, timely and transparent fashion.
The use of electronic and digital devices is expected to become an agile and effective mechanism to verify the legality of the timber monitoring process, thereby minimizing the risk of illegal timber trade.
“WWF congratulates the Ministry of Environment for the work advanced in the country,” said Carlos Enrique Espinosa Peña, representative of WWF in Panama. “The forestry sector in Panama has the potential to be an engine for local development, but it is still necessary to strengthen sustainable management initiatives. This is accomplished with the participation of all stakeholders, as demonstrated by the forestry roundtable.”
For Jordi Surkin, Conservation Director for WWF Bolivia, "Projects and initiatives developed with multiple stakeholders have the ability to enhance efforts collectively and impact behavior of global markets. For WWF Bolivia, the joint action achieved between the Forest and Land Authority of Bolivia and representatives of government, business and civil society from Panama, established the difference between a particular action with specific outcomes and large-scale impact. The contribution of the Bolivian certification system for sustainable forest management has transcended borders. "
The tracking and forest control system to be implemented in Panama is part of the Initiative for Forest Governance Strengthening, implemented by WWF Panama in assistance with the Ministry of Environment, and financially supported by ITTO and the EU FAO FLEGT Program.
WWF Bolivia, in collaboration with other offices in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Panama, has developed a transformational proposal that seeks to scale up further impacts and lessons related to certification and forest incentives in Bolivia, while generating radical change in the sector and achieving increased sustainability and legality.