About 48% of Honduras is covered by forests, including stands of long-leaf pine and such valuable hardwoods as cedar, ebony, mahogany, and walnut. Total round-wood production in 2000 amounted to 9.5 million cu m (335 million sq ft), and forest products exports were valued at $45 million. The National Corporation for Forestry Development (Corporación Hondureña de Desarrollo Forestal), established in 1974, is charged with the overall preservation, exploitation, and exportation of Honduran forest resources. The privatization of government-owned woodlands is expected to intensify the use of forestry resources. A restriction on the export of raw wood also is causing growth in the woodworking industry for semi-finished wood products.
Read more: Forestry - Honduras - export, growth
Community Forestry Honduras
The heart of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor - a complex forest that stretches from Mexico - Panama and contains 7% of the planet's biodiversity - in lies the country of Honduras, which boasts incredible species diversity and key ecosystems including rainforest's, mangroves, pine forests, savanna & swampland. Honduras' forests are concentrated in 107 protected areas - including the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve, Tawakha Indigenous Reserve and Patuca National Park - that cover 10,424 sq miles (27,000 sq kilometers). The extraordinary biodiversity found coming under increasing threat of deforestation, cause i illegal logging, forest fires and the expansion of cattle ranches & farms. Honduras' deforestation rate is one of the highest in Latin America and has led to a 37 percent reduction of forest between 1990 and 2005.
Key underlying activity that drives deforestation in Honduras is illegal logging, which accounts for up to 1/2 of timber harvesting in the country (and up to 85% tropical hardwood production). Although 40 % of Hondurans live in forest regions, only a small percentage of the population currently benefits from the country's forest resources due to a lack of clear land tenure & technical and financial capacity as well as barriers to legal compliance. Under current forestry law, communities have very limited opportunities to access and manage their forest resources. Even when permission is granted and tenure is granted, most communities lack the skills to develop and run forestry enterprises. As a result, people are often forced to subsist through small-scale illegal logging activities, selling high value wood (mostly mahogany) to intermediaries at low prices.
Rainforest Alliance's Training, Extension, Enterprises and Sourcing (TREES) program, which has been active since 2005, is working to address these problems. Our current efforts are on communities that are situated in the buffer zone of the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve as well as with indigenous producers of non-timber forest products in the eastern portion of Honduras, known as La Mosquitia. We are collaborating with the USAID and local partners on a project named the Forest, Climate and Communities Alliance (FCCA), designed to help communities manage their forests, earn certification for their efforts and market their certified wood and non timber forest products. The initiative will also prepare these communities for participation in emerging markets for forest-based carbon credits.
For more information: Rainforest Alliance