Alliance for Wildlife and Forests presents preliminary report on illegal logging trends and recommendations to promote legal timber trade in Peru | WWF

Alliance for Wildlife and Forests presents preliminary report on illegal logging trends and recommendations to promote legal timber trade in Peru



Posted on 15 September 2020
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© Chris Martin Bahr / WWF
  • The report highlights the importance of positioning the forestry sector as a significant source of wealth for the country and a tool for forest conservation.
  • The analysis focuses on the regions of Ucayali, Loreto and Madre de Dios, areas with high levels of illegal logging. 
Peru has more than 70 million hectares of forests that are home to unparalleled biological and cultural diversity, as well as indigenous and local communities whose livelihoods are closely linked to nature. However, the forests face significant threats, including increasing illegal and unsustainable logging.
 
A recent report by WWF and the Alliance for Wildlife and Forests, with funding from the European Union, presents recommendations for promoting trade in legal timber, based on a diagnosis of the strengths and weaknesses in forest governance, as well as an analysis of traceability systems and forest certification schemes in Peru.  The report was presented in four workshops to civil society and authorities in Madre de Dios, Ucayali, Loreto and Lima, and to the Specialized Environmental Prosecutor's Office, in the latter of which more than 40 prosecutors participated.
The report focuses on the regions of Ucayali, Loreto, and Madre de Dios, the three most important regions for timber extraction in the Peruvian Amazon where problems of illegality and deforestation are being addressed. 
 
Towards the promotion of legal timber

Peru has more than 18 million uncategorized forests that are freely accessible for illegal purposes. This translates into a serious problem of informality, which is aggravated by the weak institutional context and the lack of transparency in the sector [1]. However, according to OSINFOR, the volumes of unauthorized wood have been significantly reduced in native community forests and forest concessions during 2019.
Among some of the recommendations, the report seeks to demonstrate the importance of timber production and employment generation in rural areas. "From WWF, we believe in the importance of making visible the benefits of sustainable forest management in social, environmental and economic terms, in order to maintain the State's interest in the sector.  In addition, to ensure the participation of the Amazon regions and the support of cooperation, generating mechanisms and tools for effective and participatory co-management between the State, civil society and the business sector for the construction of a national forest management system," said Alonso Córdova, coordinator of WWF Peru's Forest Program.

The objective of the report is to position the forestry sector as an activity of great economic value and a key tool for forest conservation. To this end, it is necessary to evaluate the regulation applied to the actors in the chain, the inspection processes and the need to increase the attractiveness of the sector to promote formality. To achieve this, the report recommends increasing incentives for operations that demonstrate good practices, providing guidance and making the market the main attraction in all respects.
 
Traceability: for a sustainable forest sector

Peru has an important role in the battle against illegal logging. Conserving our forests is fundamental to combating climate change and its benefit is key to present and future generations.
Traceability is a management tool that makes it possible to increase the profitability of operations, promote trade in legal wood at the national level and facilitate control by the authorities throughout the production chain.   
 
Currently, Peru does not have a national certification system, unlike countries such as Bolivia, Colombia and Panama. Between 2014 and 2016, SERFOR led the "Legal Timber Pact" initiative, which set an important precedent for promoting legality in the forestry sector. For this reason, the report recommends taking up this initiative again without losing sight of the focus on the demand and buyers of wood where due diligence tools can be applied.
 
The Alliance for Wildlife and Forests

It is a regional action implemented by WCS and WWF, with funding from the European Union, which seeks to combat trafficking in wildlife and timber through the commitment of civil society to strengthen law enforcement and cooperation with and between the authorities of the Andes-Amazon region, which includes Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and triple border areas with Brazil.
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