Despite the high costs and long registration times, sustainable timber harvesting has the potential to bring more value to rural Colombians while also acting as an effective and important conservation tool. Forest management plans are critical to establishing which trees should be exploited, as well as setting standards for related processes so that the environmental impact can be minimized and deforestation avoided. Since the start of it Legal Wood Pact in 2009, Colombia has seen sales of legal timber grow from $500,000 in 2011 to $13 million in 2018, with sustainable forestry now considered a key growth area for the economy. Flor Angela Martinez is a mother, campesino and entrepreneur. Based in the Colombian Amazon, her company has become renowned for its sustainable timber harvesting practices. But before she made the transition in 2014, Martinez used to cut and sell wood illegally. “To work illegally is based on luck. There are days when it goes well, there are days when it doesn’t,” Martinez says. “When you are working illegally you are not worried where it comes from, where it goes, what compensation you have to pay, what taxes need to be paid, nothing.” Martinez’s business is based in Tarapacá, […]

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