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WWF report about the challenges and opportunities of legal timber

  • Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru, recorded their main findings, recommendations, lessons, and reflections about the challenges of reducing trafficking in illegal timber. Also, they promote transparency, environmental awareness among citizens, and the legal timber trade promotion in the WWF report.

Illegal extraction and trafficking of timber in the Andes-Amazon countries promote forest degradation, biodiversity loss, and the provision of ecosystem services loss. These unsustainable activities are present in the different processes of the supply chain and generate forestry market distortion and decrease the economy in the formal sector. Finally, it harms the socio-economic development of amazon communities.

Finding tools to analyze the different scenes, from 2021 to 2022 WWF Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru prepared a report where they recorded their main findings and recommendations to reduce timber trafficking and promote the legal timber trade. 

The reports also include trends in illegal logging and the issues that require urgent actions. Also, it has some recommendations to improve levels of forest governance in the region, as well as specific warnings. Likewise,  lessons learned relevant successes and the next steps to follow in each country. 
In each country information related to three fundamental aspects was recorded: contribution of the forestry sector to the national economy, forestry plantations and timber trafficking. One of the main findings of the document is that despite the public and civil society initiatives and the support of international cooperation in the fight against illegal logging, the rates of illegality are high in the region: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia with 47%, 40%, 37%, 34%, respectively.
Alonso Córdova, Deputy Director of the Alianza por la Fauna Silvestre y los Bosques said: “The report provides information on the main challenges legal timber is going through. Trafficking, insufficient budgets for control and surveillance actions, poor inter-institutional communication, weaknesses in mechanisms that encourage the sale of legal timber, or corruption are just some of them. But the report also offers proposals to address them”.
The proposals in the document are the following, it is suggested to promote the articulation of forest control and surveillance initiatives with the different sectors linked to forests, especially in intersectoral systems, for comprehensive attention to the problem. On the other hand, in the aspect related to control, it is recommended that the measures carried out by the public force and the environmental authorities go hand in hand with the availability of technological tools.
“Tools such as electronic magnifying glasses to use is proposed. One of these is named "Xylotron", it is an artificial vision instrument that is being promoted in Peru and Colombia" Alonso said. 
As well as technology, it is necessary to promote dialogue spaces about legal timber. Beyond the complications of this kind of process.It is necessary to maintain coordination between and within the different institutions. Some successful examples are the Pact for Legal Timber in Colombia or the Pact for our Forests in Ecuador. In this way, it becomes imperative to establish a common agenda. In order to avoid dupplication of efforts and the goals and objectives are always clear. 
In this sense, these spaces should also promote greater "transparency" in terms of information on forest nature. This is one of the principles that address the quality of forest governance. In fact, Alonso stated: “Greater transparency will be achieved to the extent that information on forest management is available to everyone. The measures already established in national regulations that are related to transparency mechanisms should be strengthened.” 
One last reflection is about the importance of raising awareness among the general public since this one demands wood products. The reflections should highlight the importance of this sector in national economies, as well as the importance of decisively supporting the market for wood of legal origin. We invite you to review the report here. Together is possible!

WWF report about the challenges and opportunities of legal timber

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