Tropical rain forests are located primarily in some of the world’s poorest countries, it is therefore imperative that these unique global assets are responsibly managed in order to generate sustainable incomes for the communities that live there.
Our Sustainable Timber Harvesting Model
Iwokrama employs a polycyclic, silvicultural harvesting system which is based on the selective harvest of 20 species on a 60-year cutting cycle. The average annual harvesting area is about 1,800 ha (less than 0.5% of the forest) which will result in only a few stems per ha (5-6 trees per ha) being removed and no large gaps created in the forest canopy.
Iwokrama started its sustainable timber harvesting operation to demonstrate the sustainable use of forest resources through low-impact harvesting. The Centre has developed a model of ownership and responsibility, involving the private sector and forest communities as stakeholders and shareholders in the business.
Iwokrama and its private sector partners will be using this model business to demonstrate is that it is more efficient to employ a “cutting for value” strategy rather than the industry standard of “cutting to order,” this allows for a higher recovery of high grade lumber from the log and therefore the greatest value.
To validate the use of best practices, Iwokrama is once again on route to achieving international accreditation of its forest management practices and operations by the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™) for which funding has already been secured. FSC™ is the most prestigious international forest certification scheme and in 2008 the Centre was the first to have achieved and maintained FSC™ Certification in Guyana.