Mitigating Illegal Logging
A recent paper produced by the World Bank titled Justice for Forests notes that every two seconds, across the world, an area of forest the size of a football field is clear cut by illegal loggers. In some countries, up to 90% of all logging is illegal. Belize also suffers from illegal logging though it is not clear how much forest is lost annually as a result of this practice. In the case of Chiquibul, FCD has observed the damage that this causes, and the complexity of the matter due to the fact that this is caused by Guatemalan nationals.
The FAO/FLEGT Program has been instrumental in helping FCD mitigate the impacts of illegal logging for the last two years and eventhough there have been major milestones achieved, the problem still continues, necessitating further efforts in the Chiquibul forest. Thanks to the FAO/FLEGT supported project we have enabled to put boots on the ground, generated better knowledge about the area, started up support systems in Guatemala, generated awareness about the present problem and improved our human capabilities to deal with this problem. For FCD, illegal logging is of serious concern and are requesting from the Forest Department to obtain international support through the CITES Secretariat in order to investigate the actual situation. To learn more on CITES go to www.cites.org