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FSC forest management certification in Peru has steadily grown over the last few years. This growth has enabled the broadening of the economic, social and environmental impacts of FSC certification, thus securing the benefits of sustainable forest production.
These achievements are due to the efforts of companies and communities changing their approaches and adopting more responsible harvesting strategies to maintain the forest environment, and also to meet market demands. The increase in certified forest areas clearly confirms these efforts: 771,000 hectares in 2018 grew to 774,000 hectares by the end of 2019.
The latest progress was recorded this year when two new areas located in the Ucayali region, in the east of the country, became FSC certified. This region is extremely important due to its rich Amazon forests and socio-economic context, in which poverty, deforestation, and also FSC-certified areas – including some managed by Indigenous Peoples – coexist. The Ucayali region has seen the development of important FSC certification efforts in timber forest concessions and communities, such as Consolidado Sepahua Tropical Forest SAC and Nuevo San Martín SAC.
Despite the difficult times we are all facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, initiatives to preserve and use forest resources responsibly are still active, which is encouraging news for everyone.
“In times of climate crisis and the related negative impacts – such as the COVID that results from the increasing destruction of forests and their genetic diversity – the fact that Peru keeps generating changes by increasing its certified tropical forests areas is something we must support, but also care for and promote. These changes must continue to grow, both through civil society and the implemented public policies ", commented the FSC Peru office.
In June 2017, the forest concession Consolidado Sepahua Tropical Forest SAC began its journey with FSC by certifying 91,469.79 hectares. That figure has recently tripled to reach 313,430.67 hectares. Consolidado Sepahua Tropical Forest SAC is now the largest certified concession in the country, representing 30 per cent of all FSC-certified areas. The company uses 295,507 hectares for FSC 100% certified forest production and sets aside 17,923 hectares to preserve forests that are representative of the region. The concession works with native tree species such as Ana Caspi, Catahua, Huayruro and Capirona.
"It is critical to value corporate commitment to forest conservation through the implementation of processes that ensure that the forest will continue to be a forest. In this context, I believe that this commitment is closely related to the increase in certified areas, which confirms that the direction of environmental responsibility towards our forests is well under way," commented the company Consolidado Sepahua Tropical Forest SAC and Nuevo San Martín SAC.
The impact of the company in the region is visible through the jobs the concession has created for local workers, and through the initiatives they support in collaboration with the local municipality. As the company stated, "Undoubtedly, the first positive visible impact is the social one, with the increase of formal jobs in the Sepahua district and the revitalization of the local economy which leads to a growth of the forest sector. However, it is also necessary to value the positive impact on the significant conservation at the level of the Sepahua river basin, and the benefits provided through the ecosystem services of the basin".
Though there is still a long way to go, the steps taken are important and significant. The joint effort of companies and communities to promote responsible forest management have led to this important milestone of more than one million FSC-certified forest management hectares.