Responsible forestry in Panama
Friday, March 23 2007 @ 04:42 PM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
“This overarching approach represents a practical tool for long-term conserving, especially as the forest remains nearly intact after an extraction,” Salazar added. ”At the same time it contributes to poverty alleviation.”
WWF promotes responsible forest management and trade as one of the best ways to conserve the forests over the long term, helping communities that own the forest to generate tangible economic benefits through careful resource management.
“The project means taking care of the forest, protecting it and creating jobs for our communities,” said Franklin Mezúa, an indigenous leader from the Embera-Wounaan community who has been promoting responsible forest management in the Darien’s Tupiza River area for several years.
“Before we were working with the WWF model, timber companies took advantage of our indigenous communities by buying large amounts of wood and leaving little benefit for us, at prices way below market levels,” Mezúa added.
“Today we have higher earnings and we are sure that our children will enjoy these beautiful forests.”
• The WWF-coordinated sustainable forest management and trade project is being carried out by local Embera-Wounaan indigenous groups, with support from the Panamanian National Environment Authority, national NGOs, forestry industry and others.
• Additional support is provided by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the European Economic Community, Sustainable Development Project of the Darién (IDB), Fundación Natura, National Secretariat of Science and Technology (SENACYT), UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Global Forest Trade Network (GFTN).