South America: Brazil
- Cauaxi - Pará - IFT Training Center
- Portel - Pará
- Cláudia - Mato Grosso
- Marcelància - Mato Grosso
- Flona Tapajos - Santarém Pará
Improving Sustainable Tropical Forest Management in the Brazilian Amazon
The Tropical Forest Foundation’s (TFF’s) first forest management project was initiated in September 1994 in Brazil, in an effort to bring conservation and industry leaders together with the common cause to improve tropical forest management in the Amazon. Although there had been many forest management experiments completed in the region prior to this work, they had been research-driven. TFF saw the need to put this research into practice if local governments, communities and harvesters were truly going to incorporate the model into the field. TFF’s original model demonstrated the tangible economic and ecological benefits of Reduced Impact Logging (RIL) practices to timber companies, government officials and local communities in the region.
Since its inception, the Brazil program has continued to be the model for TFF projects. To date, over 5,000 professionals in the Brazilian Amazon have been trained on the ground and the demand for on-site training and demonstration continues to increase. The Brazilian society as a whole is becoming more and more aware of the benefits of sustainable forest management. With this increased interest in implementing regulations and policies that protect the Amazon region, TFF expects continued growth and expansion of programs in the years to come.Fostering a Strong Interest in Forest Management: The Reduced Impact Logging Model Starts Here
Despite the efforts of many, the majority of wood produced in the Amazon regions is still harvested in a way that is detrimental to the forests’ future. Of the 30 million cubic meters of tropical wood harvested annually in the region, 75 percent currently comes from legally authorized deforestation programs, 20 percent from illegal sources and only 5 percent from areas with sustainable forest management plans. The roots of this problem lie both within and beyond the forest sector and comprise social, economic, financial, legal, scientific and political concerns.
Since 1995, Instituto Floresta Tropical (IFT) and its predecessor, Fundação Floresta Tropical (FFT), have been developing and implementing sustainable forest management (SFM) across the region by developing on-site training and demonstration models of Reduced Impact Logging (RIL) to address these widespread concerns.
The practical training offered by FFT in the 1990s fostered a strong interest in forest management and created a demand for skilled forestry personnel – such a high volume of demand, in fact, it piqued the Brazilian government’s interest. In 2001, a proposal and business plan to establish IFT, which would absorb FFT's progra and evolve into a more sustainable long-term forest management training program in Brazil, was finalized and supported by the Brazilian government. By April of 2002, the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment (MMA) signed a letter of cooperation with FFT, thereby endorsing the creation of the IFT.
To assist in these measures, the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) issued FFT a second grant in June 2003 to both continue current training and develop a long-term, more sustainable training program. The grant funded 38 practical, on- and off-site training courses targeting hundreds of forestry professionals and tailored to diverse needs and interests, as well as a project to promote awareness of and interest in SFM-RIL among forest stakeholders.Creating a Model for Tropical Forests Across the Globe
To date, five demonstration models have been established in major forestry regions in the states of Para and Mato Grosso, where IFT actively trains local harvesters, communities and government officials on implementing Reduced Impact Logging (RIL) practices. One of the most successful models is the training school in Para, where supervisors from timber companies and government agencies come from all over the Amazon region to learn the principles and practices of RIL and then teach them in their home regions.
Today, IFT is officially recognized by the Brazilian Government as an organization of public interest (OSCIP). IFT works under the main premise that the promotion of forest management practices is a sound strategy towards natural resource conservation and improved living conditions for Amazonian populations. Over the last 14 years, IFT has become a center of excellence in forest management in the Amazon, stimulating the expansion of forest management practices through capacity building, extension and research.
For additional information on TFF Brazil, visit www.ift.org.br
Local Contact Information
Rua dos Mundurucus, 1613 ( Entre Apinagés e Padre Eutíquio )
Bairro: Jurunas CEP: 66025-660 Belém - Pará - Brasil
(91) 3202 - 8300
(91) 3202 - 8310