According to the FAO (2015) Peru has around 74.0 million hectares of forested land, which constitutes to 57.8% of the total land area. Around 72.8 million hectares are primary or otherwise naturally regenerated forest and around 1.2 million hectares are planted forest. Most plantations are located outside the Amazon in the Andes, with the main commercial species being Eucalyptus globulus. The main forest category in Peru is humid rainforest in the Amazon, but there are also significant areas of arid and semi-arid forests on the coasts and semi-humid forests in mountain and inner-mountain valleys (ITTO, 2011).
The estimated average annual deforestation in Peru is quite low, around 0.2%. (FAO, 2015), where about one-third of the forest estate is degraded or secondary. The Peruvian government has an interesting website on deforestation, with specified data per province for several time periods, since the year 2000, which indicates a loss of almost 1.5 million hectares of forests to other land uses in 15 years. Quoting the Peruvian government, ITTO (2011) identify a range of direct causes of deforestation which include the development of new infrastructure such as highways; new settlements in the Amazon Basin, including the expansion of urban centers; the expansion of the agricultural frontier, including for cash crops and shifting cultivation; the expansion of oil exploitation and hydro-electric schemes; mining in the southern part of the Peruvian Amazon; illegal logging; and the illicit cultivation of coca. Indirect causes of deforestation include migration to the Amazon region; agricultural policies favouring cash-crop development; development policies that favour energy generation; and new investment opportunities due to globalization.
According to FAO (2015) around 82.5 percent of forested lands is publicly owned, covering the protected natural areas and the permanent production forests. Management rights of these areas is divided among public administration (67%), private companies (12%), and communities (21%). The remaining 17.5 percent of the forested lands in Peru is privately owned, primarily by agricultural units, whether indigenous communities, rural communities or private properties. However, tenure over a significant proportion of the Peruvian forest area, particularly by indigenous people, is still disputed due to problems with regard to land titling by the state.
Peru has around 18.8 million hectares of forested land within the protected areas, which include national protected natural areas, regional protected areas and privately protected areas.
Production and export
According to ITTO (2015) the industry of Peru produced in 2014 about 1.6 million m3 of logs, which is almost entirely consumed by the domestic market. Exports of primary timber products in 2014, dominated by exports of sawnwood, had an export value of around 79.4 million US dollars.
There are about 250 sawmills in Peru, most of which have a small installed capacity (averaging 2900 m3 per year). Only about 25% of sawmills have band-saws and a capacity of 10.000 m3 per year or more (ITTO, 2011). According to local sources (Customs Peru SUNAT), there are many more sawmills. Solid timber exports are dominated by tropical sawn hardwood and mouldings together with small volumes of plywood. In Peru it is not permitted to export logs from natural forests, but Peru has never evolved an internationally competitive wood manufacturing sector and exports of value added products such as wood furniture have remained at low levels (Oliver, 2013). As can be observed from the graph below the largest markets for Peruvian wood product exports are China, Mexico and the United States of America, although other countries in South America and the EU are also important export markets.
By far the largest areas under concession are located in the administrative regions of Madre de Dios, Loreto and Ucayali, which are located in the north-eastern Amazonian region of the country. The Madre de Dios region has most FSC certified concessions.
In these remote areas transportation of timber from the Amazonian forests is done by rivers (EIA, 2012). In many cases the timber from the Amazon rainforest is transported to the Port of Iquitos and the Port of Callao or Pucallpa or downstream from the Amazon River to Macapá in Brazil where it is shipped to Mexico and the U.S. (EIA, 2012).
The forests of Peru are one of the most species diverse of the world, but only a few tree species are used for export. However, due to the degraded state of a significant part of the forests more and more lesser-known species are exploited. The 10 most significant Peruvian timber species, in terms of production volume, include (MINAGRI, 2014):
- Tornillo (Cedrelinga catenaeformis)
- Cumala (Virola spp., Iryanthera spp.)
- Cumaru, Shihuahuaco (Dipteryx odorata)
- Lupuna (Chorisia integrifolia)
- Capirona (Calycophyllum spruceanum)
- Capinuri (Clarisia biflora)
- Bolaina (Guazuma crinite)
- Cachimbo (Cariniana domesticate)
- Radiata pine (Pinus radiate) from timber plantations.
- Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) from timber plantations.
Sources of information
- Customs Peru
- Environmental Investigation Agency (2012) The Laundering Machine. How fraud and corruption in Peru’s concession system are destroying the future of its forests.
- FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015.
- Fordaq - timber trade network
- ITTO (2011) Status of tropical forest management 2011 - Peru
- ITTO (2015) Biennial review and assessment of the world timber situation 2013-2014.
- MINAGRI (2014) Perú forestal en números 2013. Dirección General Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre.
- Oliver, R. (2013). Evaluation and scoping of EU timber importers and imports from South America. TRAFFIC International.
- TRAFFIC – FLEGT briefing paper on timber trade in Peru.
- World Port Source - Map of ports in Peru
SERFOR (Servicio Nacional Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre) is the National Forestry and Wildlife Authority under the ministry of agriculture and irrigation (MINAGRI - Ministerio de Agricultura y Riego) and is responsible for the sustainable management of the forests and wildlife in Peru. Certain functions of SERFOR are transferred to the ARFFS (Autoridad Regional Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre), being the regional Forestry and Wildlife Authority who controls the forest and wildlife resources in their jurisdiction. The agency responsible for the monitoring of natural resources and wild life is OSINFOR (Organismo de Supervisión de los Recursos Forestales y de Fauna Silvestre). With the New Forestry law No. 29763 (2015), the system has changed recently. There are different types of concessions, for conservation, ecotourism, production of NTFP’s and production of timber. Timber harvesting concessions are granted in forests for permanent production (on public domain), in primary or secondary forest, according to a forest zoning plan, through a tender procedure. La Autoridad Regional Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre — ARFFS is the regional authority granting concessions permits.
In addition to timber concessions there are various other harvesting authorisations and permits, which among others include a permit for harvesting from private lands; a permit for harvesting from forests owned by indigenous and rural communities; a permit for harvesting from forest plantations and other types of vegetation; and an authorisation for forest clearing.
The concession must be sub-divided into 20 smaller units (PCAs), in line with a 20 year rotation, and one PCA is generally measuring about 400 or 500 hectares. These areas can be utilized for logging during any one year and are known as an Annual Logging Parcel (Parcela de Corta Anual - PCA). Concessionaires are required to develop and implement a General Forest Management Plan (Plan General de Manejo Forestal - PGMF), which needs to be approved by the forest authorities. The PGMF provides the overall framework for strategic planning and business projection for the duration of the concession. Additionally, the concessionaire must submit an Annual Operating Plan (Plan Operativo Annual - POA), covering the PCA’s, for review and approval by the forest authorities. This annual plan specifies the details of the annual harvest and includes a species list and map with the location of trees to be extracted, based on the forest inventory. The local Forest Authority issues an Administrative Resolution (Resolución Administrativa) approving the POA. Each PCA must be logged in accordance with an Annual Operating Plan (POA). If at the end of the harvesting period of a PCA significant volumes of one or more species have not been extracted and sold, the concessionaire may request the right to “re-enter” the concession and continue logging a POA that has technically expired. This request has to be specifically analysed and evaluated by the Forest Authority.
As an additional monitoring mechanism, OSINFOR carries out post- harvest field inspections of selected concessions in order to ensure that the wood sold by the concessionaire is, in fact, harvested from the Annual Logging Parcel as declared in the POA, and that the concessionaire is acting in a legal, socially and environmentally responsible fashion.
Each time a concessionaire removes timber from his concession, it must be accompanied by a document known as the Forest Transport Permit (Guía de Transporte Forestal - GTF) together with a specification sheet (Lista de trozas). These documents specify among others the species, the volume and its place of origin. The GTFs are prepared by concessionaires on official formats obtained from the forest authorities, and checked by regional Forest Authority offices whenever wood is transported. In case of an exotic species like Eucalyptus, a Guía de Remisión is needed instead of a GTF for transport. Through the information on the GTF, the Forest Authority registers the cumulative volumes of timber taken from a concession each year in another document known as the Balance of Extraction (Balance de Extracción).
Facilities receiving the timber need to record their inputs and outputs in a Book of operations (Libro de operaciones). The transport of their outputs is accompanied again by a GTF. The processing facilities need to be legally established, which is demonstrated by a authorisation of establishment as processing plant (Autorización para establecimiento de plantas de transformación). Facilities storing and commercialising processed timber need to be legally registered, which can be demonstrated with a Autorización para funcionamiento de depósito y establecimiento commercial. Timber exporters need to obtain an Export permit (Permiso de exportación) from SERFOR covering the specific batch, and which is based on a set of documents demonstrating the product origin and which will be signed by Customs (SUNAT).
The below listed key documents are based on the applicable legislation and are considered to play a key role in demonstrating legal origin.
Trade and export
Bans and quota
Peru has implemented a log export ban. Export of forest products "in their natural state" is prohibited unless they originate from nurseries or forest plantations and do not require further processing for final use/consumption.
Cites and protected spieces
There are five tree species on the CITES list of Peru.
In Appendix I:
- Monteromero (Podocarpus parlatorei): this tree species is threatened with extinction so all commercial trade is strictly prohibited.
- Bigleaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla); where the trade in logs, sawn wood, veneer sheets and plywood is restricted.
- American mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni); where the trade in logs, sawn wood and veneer sheets is restricted.
- Brazilian rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora); where the trade in logs, sawn wood, veneer sheets, plywood and extracts is restricted. Finished products containing such extracts as ingredients, including fragrances, are not considered to be covered by this annotation.
- Spanish cedar (Cedrela odorata); where the trade in logs, sawn wood and veneer sheets is restricted.
National action on timber legality
Peru is currently not negotiating or having a VPA with the EU.
There are several national actions aimed at fighting illegal harvest, such as the ‘Alto comisionado contra la tala ilegal’, or the ‘Comisión Multisectorial contra la tala ilegal’. Important to mention is the Pacto Nacional por la Madera Legal, a project that started in 2014, and in which different key players, private companies, civil society and government are joining forces to promote the trade in legal (verified) timber, in order to ensure sustainable use of forests.
The Peruvian government initiated the development of a National Forest and Wildlife Information System (SNIFF) after signing the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement in 2006, which took effect in February 2009. The agreement contains an Annex on Forest Sector Governance that aims to combat illegal logging and trade in wildlife. The Annex lays out a set of activities that Peru will undertake, a few of which are:
- To develop a system to trace the legal origin and chain of-custody of tree species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) from point of harvest to point of export.
- To establish an independent agency, the Supervision Office of Wood Forest Concessions (OSINFOR), with the mandate to oversee timber concessions and permits and enforce forest governance regulations.
- To build capacity needed to meet objectives of the Annex, including institutional capacity for forest governance, improvement of the forest concession system, and increased transparency in forest resource planning and management.
The pilot software of the system, called the Control Module, would collect and organize annual operating plans, documentation of authorizations to harvest, transport and export, and documentation of inspections of products (Ramirez 2013). The software prototype was launched on February 1, 2013 and is currently in the testing phase. Once the system is fully launched, access will be extended to OSINFOR and other related authorities, such as the tax authority and the national police (WRI).
Third party certification
There are currently 498,837 hectares of the Peruvian forests certified under a FSC Forest Management certificate (FSC, 2016). This is currently the only third party scheme with valid certificates in Peru. FSC-Controlled Wood is very popular under Peruvian timber producers at the moment, which might result in more FSC-CW certificates in the near future.
Sources of information
- CITES database
- Environmental Investigation Agency (2012) The Laundering Machine
- Forest Legality Alliance country profile – Peru.
- FLEGT profile Peru
- FSC report “Facts & Figures” – May 2016
- National Pact for legal timber
- Peru - Manual de Legislación Ambiental
- SERFOR - National Forestry and Wildlife Service
- World Resources Institute (2014) Building national forest and land-use information systems: lessons from Cameroon, Indonesia and Peru.
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1. Promoting and supporting FSC certification for forest companies and communities, while facilitating access to forest finance for these partners.
2. Strengthening market links between Peruvian suppliers and national, European and American/Canadian buyers.
3. Developing a forest sector platform to represent the interests of entrepreneurs within the timber value chain towards the national government and international institutions.