• About
  • Forestry Investment
  • World Forestry Update
  • Archives
  • Categories
  • Forestry Projects are Essential to Saving the Amazon

    2010 - 04.13

    A forestry project on the Jari River in northern Brazil is being praised as a model for preserving the world’s largest rainforest. Since harvesting began in 2003 every six months the Jari project is inspected and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international industry watchdog.

    The public debate over saving the forest was renewed in January after evidence that the pace of Amazon deforestation had increased after falling for nearly three years. A rift was also opened in President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s government.

    Every year loggers create environmental havoc by illegally clearing vast swathes of forest for timber and farmland and yet they generate very little long term income. However a handful of forest management projects have surfaced as conservation models, which are able to extract resources while at the same time creating very little impact on the environment.

    “Selling certified timber harvested in a sustainable way is the only solution for the Amazon,” said Augusto Praxedes Neto, a manager at Brazilian pulp and paper company Grupo ORSA.

    Located on both sides of the Jari River in the north-eastern Amazon region ORSA has managed the world’s largest private tropical forest for over five years. Every thirty years they harvest 30 cubic metres (12,713 board feet) of timber per hectare (2.47 acres), which is just under the natural regeneration rate. Trees are felled and transported so as to cause minimal impact on the forest and are recorded in a computerised inventory.

    “Illegal loggers kill 30 trees to get one. These projects protect far more trees than they extract,” said Ana Yang of the Stewardship Forestry Council (FSC) in Brazil.

    “If the government were to put the same effort into sustainable forest management that it put into developing agriculture in the 1970s and 1980s we could preserve much of the Amazon,” said Judson Ferreira, a senior researcher with government farm research institute Embrapa.

    However the government favours a more cautious approach, which is why it has selected three companies to manage 96,000 hectares (237,200 acres) of forest each, this is the first such tender of federal land.

    “Forestry management is a great alternative and ORSA is a good example of it but we want to take things slowly,” Tasso Rezende, head of Brazil’s forestry service, told Reuters.

    “We need several projects doing well over a long period — private ownership in the Amazon is controversial.” Yang went on to explain that in order for forestry management to really take off the authorities need to establish who rightfully owns the land, cut the red tape and tackle illegal deforestation. “It’s still easier to get a license to cut trees than to plant or manage them,” she said.

    The Timber Investment Blog is sponsored by Greenwood Management. For more information on investing in Forestry please click here

    Your Reply