This article has been shared by the R & B Timbers group from FAO.org Lima , Peru - Stakeholders from Peru's public and private sectors and indigenous peoples today established their priorities for work to boost forest governance and income-generation on the basis of sustainable harvesting of the country's 73 million hectares of forests.
The initiative was organized by the Peruvian National Forest and Wildlife Service (SERFOR), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the European Union. Representatives of Peru's forest sector decided to prioritize three lines of action to boost forest governance in the next four years and thus pursue sustainable harvesting of the more than 70 million hectares of forest in the country. The priorities agreed upon were: capacity-building for regional forest authorities in their administration of forest resources, support to the country's indigenous monitoring network, and support to the development of forest entrepreneurship. On the basis of these prioritized lines of action, a road map will be drawn up to steer interventions under the European Union's Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, which is being executed through FAO over the next four years.
Leaders and representatives of the public and private sectors and delegates of indigenous peoples met together on the initiative of SERFOR, the European Union and FAO. Key players from the sector took part, including the Centre for Technological Wood Innovation (CITEmadera), SERFOR, the Agency for Supervision of Forest Resources and Wildlife (OSINFOR), the Ministry of the Environment, the San Martin Regional Environmental Authority, the Loreto Regional Environmental Authority, the Ucayali Regional Government, the Forest Development and Research Centre (CEDISA), the Association for Integral Research and Development (AIDER), SPDA (Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental), the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Peru, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Rainforest Alliance, ECOREDD, the Development and Defence of Indigenous Peoples in the San Martin Region Coordination (CODEPISAM) and the Forest Monitoring Initiative.
John Leigh, Executive Director of SERFOR, expressed gratitude for the support received from the European Union and FAO for efforts to reduce illegal forest activities in the country, and reported that Peru has made progress with its legal framework and now has a forest information and control system. "The country has mechanisms to promote legality, such as the Legal Wood Pact, which is one of SERFOR's concerns and constitutes one of the main supports to the regions through better coordination between sectors," said the SERFOR Director. John Preissing, FAO's Representative in Peru, stressed the importance of forest issues in the Sustainable Development Objectives, such as sustainable forest management, a reduction in illegal felling and biodiversity conservation.
"The leadership of the European Union is important for the development of programmes with a public policy and forest governance approach," said the FAO Representative. There is great interest in the European Union in promoting the legal timber trade and improving forest governance in Peru, said Stefaan Pauwels, Head of Cooperation of the European Delegation in Peru. The European Union represents a market of 510 million consumers of wood products, who are increasingly aware of the need to make environmentally responsible purchases and who therefore look for wood of legal or certified origin.
Forests in Peru
According to data from the National Forest and Climate Change Strategy (ENBCC) office, Peru has a forest heritage of more than 73 million hectares, covering 80 percent of the country's land area. The majority of this - 69 million hectares - are found in Amazonia, 4 million hectares in seasonally dry forest and 200 000 hectares in Andean forests.
It is estimated that between 2001 and 2013, the country lost 1 469 723 hectares of Amazon forest, equivalent to an annual loss of 113 056 hectares, according to reports of the National Forest Conservation Programme for Mitigation of Climate Change. The country has made major efforts to develop sustainable forest harvesting, such as independent forest monitoring, in which the Forest Monitoring Initiative's observatories play an important role. These were set up by indigenous organizations and support the monitoring of forests in such communities as Puerto Esperanza and Callería in the Ucayali region and Bélgica in the Madre de Dios region.
In the private sector, forest regencies offer an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs and professionals to carry out monitoring functions at the forest concession level. Regents also participate in indigenous communities' areas where sustainable forest management is being implemented, so that they could play a part in the monitoring of these territories.
Consolidation of OSINFOR as an auditing body has also been a factor in improving the transparency of forest harvesting processes. The OSINFOR Management Information System (SIGO) helps to provide information on the harvesting of forest resources and wildlife through licences at the national level.