In Print and Online
Organization: World Resources Institute, Forest Legality Alliance
Date: January 2013
Number of pages: 24
Eco-Index summary: This report is part of a series of case studies intended to show commercial buyers of wood and paper-based products how their supply chains can conform with U.S. legal requirements, such as the Lacey Act, on importing certain types of wood. This particular study focused on mahogany that is sourced from small community-run forestry cooperatives in Honduras' biodiversity-rich forests and harvested to make guitars in the United States. Among other things, the study found that chain-of-custody certification was a useful tool for enhancing assurances of legality, and that long-term relationships with suppliers and commitments from buyers were critical to minimizing the risk of illegal wood.
Authors: Robin Barr, Ann Busche, Michael Pescott, Agung Wiyono, Agus Eka Putera, Arlan Victor, Bahrun, Novi Fauzan, Sugeng Prantio, and Untung Karnanto
Organization: The Forest Trust (TFT)
Date: August 2012
Number of pages: 279
Eco-Index summary: This handbook from The Forest Trust (TFT) aims to help communities establish and run their own forest businesses with the goal of achieving certification and accessing international wood markets. This comes at a crucial time, as more governments in developing countries are granting land rights to local people while, at the same time, more international buyers are requiring sustainability certifications in order to comply with government regulations. The authors draw upon seven years of TFT's experience working with smallholder supply chains in Indonesia, Laos, and India to set up traceability systems, document legality of the wood, and achieve Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. The handbook provides simple and practical solutions to the most common challenges smallholders face when trying to achieve group certification, including sections on group management, forest management, business management, and FSC Assessment.
Organization: European Tropical Forest Research Network
Date: September 2010
Number of pages: 196, with Color Photos and Appendices
Eco-Index summary: This report, part of the September 2010 issue of ETFRN News, contains 33 articles written by a wide variety of experts in the fields of certification and/or the conservation of tropical forest biodiversity. The report provides an overview of biodiversity conservation in certified forests and features sections on certification standards; monitoring activities in certified forests; case studies from a number of countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa; benefits to biodiversity; high conservation values in forests and plantations; and a discussion of emerging themes including REDD, bushmeat, guidelines for conservation, economic implications of conservation for forest owners, and more.
Author: Dave Hughell, Rebecca Butterfield
Organization: Rainforest Alliance
Date: February, 2008
Number of pages: 17
Eco-Index summary: The Rainforest Alliance prepared this report to understand the impact of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification on forest conservation in the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala. The report calculated deforestation rates and examined the occurrence of wildfires on FSC certified concessions, and compared those with deforestation rates and wildfire occurrences on the other land use zones within the reserve. The report provides background information about the reserve's creation and structure; Rainforest Alliance activities within the Reserve; and provides an overview of the problem of deforestation in the Reserve. Results are provided, and conclude that from 2002 to 2007, the average annual deforestation rate for the entire Reserve and the core protected areas was twenty times higher than the deforestation rate for the FSC certified concessions.
Date: January, 2008
Number of pages: 12
Eco-Index summary: This report seeks to assess and monitor the credibility of global legality verification systems for forestry operations. Tropical Forest Foundation; Tropical Forest Trust; Certisource; Global Forestry Services; SGS Russia; SGS TLTV (Central Africa); and Smartwood are measured against a set of six criteria to measure their credibility. The report provides a summary of each program's strengths and weaknesses, and finds that the Rainforest Alliance's Smartwood program is most credible, followed by Tropical Forest Trust, SGS TLTV, Certisource, Tropical Forest Foundation, SGS Russia, and Global Forestry Services. The report continues to provide an overview of programs that review legality as part of a legal or certification program, and recommends that an independent accreditation body be established or identified to verify and monitor the competency of forest certification and the chain-of-custody system.
Author: Jorge Eduardo Rodríguez
Organizations: World Conservation Union (UICN), Programa Ambiental Regional para Centroamérica (PROARCA), and Comisión Centroamericana para el Ambiente y Desarrollo (CCAD)
Number of pages: 172
Eco-Index summary: This report, directed by the Central American Forestry Strategy, is based on separate studies carried out in Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. It presents the main global challenges for the implementation of forestry policies in each country. In spite of conservation efforts, deforestation has continued in the region at a rate of 120 acres per hour, amounting to 926,250 to 988,000 acres per year. The report examines the causes of this situation and addresses issues related to forestry in the region, such as protected areas, forest fires, certification, legislation, and environmental policies. Its goal is to obtain the support of policymakers in Central America to promote the forestry agenda and overcome challenges in order to make forest resources a competitive sector in Central American development.
Organization: International Tropical Timber Organization
Number of pages: 36
Eco-Index Summary: A new report by the International Tropical Timber Organization surveyed 814 million hectares of tropical forest in 33 countries in Asia, the Pacific, Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa and found that less than five percent of the world's tropical forests surveyed are under sustainable management. However, there have been significant improvements since 1988; in that time the total area under sustainable management has grown from less than one million hectares to at least 36 million hectares.
The report found that there is a gap between the percentage of forests that are included in sustainable management plans, and the number that are actually being managed sustainably. This gap was evident in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. In addition, of the 461 million hectares of forests that are officially designated as "protected", effective management plans exist for 3.9 percent of those lands, with these plans being implemented in only 2.4 percent of forests. Further, in forests considered to be officially "protected", totaling 461 million hectares, effective management plans only exist for about 3.9 percent, with plans being implemented in just 2.4 percent of forests. The report recommends a global approach to funding the costs of sustainable management, and for governments to set aside land, public or private, to remain under permanent forest cover. Several different approaches have proven effective, including international development aid and international NGOs to help build capacity to enforce existing laws and train local people in sustainable forest management.
Organizations: Pinchot Institute for Conservation, USAID, Fundación Jatun Sacha; United States Peace Corps; US Forest Service
Number of pages: 45, with Maps, Graphs, and Photos
Eco-Index Summary: This report provides detailed information about the Ecomadera Project's work in various Ecuadorian communities to restore degraded forests and farmlands into productive forests that yield high-quality, sustainable forest products that are sold at a higher price, benefiting local communities and reducing pressure on Ecuador's remaining forests. The report also provides detailed socio-economic background information about Ecuador including statistics about poverty, forest conversion to agricultural lands, current harmful timber harvesting practices, illegally harvested timber, and the problem of low timber prices that leads to increased deforestation.
Editor: Lyès Ferroukhi
Organizations: Center for International Forestry Research, CIFOR; International Development Research Centre, IDRC
Number of pages: 118
Eco-Index Summary: This report examines the recent trend of Latin American governments towards decentralization in the environment and forestry sectors. Centralized control has often been heralded as the most efficient use of resources for conservation. However, increased authority of municipal governments must be recognized as an important factor in forest conservation. This report questions the opposition of national and municipal governments, when their goals are often the same. It focuses on the opportunities and threats of the decentralized forest management model. Local stakeholders, both supporters and critics to conservation, are granted more options in decision making. In a democratic decentralization, locals, such as small farmers and indigenous peoples, are more likely to identify and assign priority to their environmental problems, and acquire greater feelings of "ownership" which in turn fosters conservation. Local people work with the municipal government in planting trees, fighting fires, zoning, managing parks, granting permits and charging fines. This report assesses the power that has been transferred to the local governments and why; the forestry initiatives local governments have taken; and the outcomes of these initiatives. Each chapter is devoted to a case study in a different Latin American country: Bolivia, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil and Costa Rica. The conclusion emphasizes the lessons learned in order to aid in future conservation projects.
Authors: Sara Scherr, Andy White, and David Kaimowitz
Organizations: Forest Trends, Center for International Forestry Research and World Conservation Union-IUCN
Date: July 2004
Number of pages: 174, with Tables and Annexes.Eco-Index Summary: Despite the fact that more than a billion people live in the planet's 19 biodiversity hot spots and a quarter of the forests in developing countries are officially owned or administered by indigenous and other communities, it is large operations that primarily exploit the world's forests. Further, these large forestry operations provide only marginal benefits for rural communities while squandering precious flora and fauna. This study's authors outline ways to improve this inequitable and environmentally dangerous situation, identifying market trends, the barriers that community and small-scale forestry operations face, and opportunities available to these same groups. The study examines successful projects in numerous countries worldwide and those that have been hindered by problems such as national policies that favor large forestry operations or failures to understand market forces. It includes suggestions for policy changes and ways to help rural communities manage their forest resources in ways that improve their living conditions while conserving biodiversity.