Protecting our forests: Implementing traceability mechanisms in Loreto and Ucayali
Worldwide, forests cover around 30% of the earth’s surface and provide great cultural and natural value. More than half of terrestrial species inhabit them. In Peru, they are home to around 330000 indigenous peoples. Furthermore, they are a key ally for climate regulation, by reducing the greenhouse effect and producing fresh air. Because of this, responsible forest management is key in order to guarantee the livelihood of a lot of its inhabitants and good ecosystem health.
What’s more, they provide us with various key supplies and materials for our survival. Timber is one of them, with which we build our houses, furniture, and other derivates. They also protect us from cold and rain during winter. However, if we don’t monitor its value chain, which starts in forests and ends in businesses, it will continue to be exposed to informal and ilegal logging.
According to a recently published report by Global Witness, more tan 60% of timber comes from the Loreto and Ucayali regions that OSINFOR oversaw, is of ilegal origin. This only reflects the percentage of timber from extraction forests which have been overseen and, because of this, it is estimated that the percentage is actually higher.
“To avoid the consecuences of the overexploiting of forests, different mechanisms must be implemented, with traceability being one of the most used. This way we can know the location and trajectory of the forest products and their derivates throughout the production chain” said Alonso Córdova, Forest Coordinator at WWF Peru.
To promote traceability, two workshops took place in Loreto and Ucayali in February, organized by the National Forestal and Wildlife Service, WWF, Forest USAI Project, Probosques Project – USAID and had the participation of GORE and OSINFOR. Both workshops had the main goal of improving the abilities in the use and filling of the updated format of the operations book of the qualifying titles, which is used to verify the legal origin of the raw material used in the production of forest products.
To insure that the processes are followed adequately, the operations book must remain updated according to the rules approved by SERFOR. For example, information on logging, chopping and dispatch activities must be included in order to strengthen the traceability system, guarantee the legal origin of the products and avoid indiscriminate logging.
During the workshops, the participants were trained to know the information that must be presented in the book and the considerations for its implementation. Examples of book filling were carried out, the use of formats was explained and information gathering practices were executed in the felling, chopping and dispatching stage. Likewise, field visits were made in sawmills where log cubing, species identification and coding were executed.
“The training helped me learn how to fill out the operations book and the forms during the logging, chopping, dispatching and sawing stages of wood. Protecting our forests is important and this training helps with that: it allows extraction to be legal and sustainable”, commented Victor Nuñez Tamani, from the native community of Puerto Bermúdez.