INRENA: 1.5 million acres of Peru forest certified

Peru’s National Institute for Natural Resources, INRENA, announced that 616,000 hectares, or about 1.5 million acres, of Peruvian forest was internationally certified for use last year. INRENA’s announcement is part of an effort to meet environmental provisions established by the free trade agreement with the United States. Peru plans on certifying 2 million hectares, or almost 5 million acres, of forest by 2011.

INRENA authorities told Agencia Andina “the government has begun an active control so Peruvian timber exported to the United States will have a legal origin and be sustainable in character.”

Illegal logging is a source of social conflict and widespread deforestation in Peru. According to a 2007 report by the National Association of Amazon Indians in Peru, AIDESEP, 83 percent of Peru’s exported mahogany, one of the World’s most valuable and appreciated timber species, in 2005 was illegally logged. The main importer of Peru’s mahogany is the United States.

Efforts to address illegal logging in Peru were established in the final text of the U.S.–Peru FTA, which is the first bilateral trade treaty to recognize and address illegal logging. Among the implementation measures, Peru is required to develop systems to track protected tree species from the harvesting stage through transport.

According to Agencia Andina, Peru is currently seeking financial support to improve technology that will track wood through each phase of the production chain.

With 69 million hectares, or about 170 million acres, of forest area, Peru has the second largest forested area in South America. It is one of the top ten forested areas in the world. According to Radio Programas radio, 93 percent of Peru’s forests are in the Amazon region, four percent are on Peru’s coast and three percent in the Andes.

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