Native forest operation in Argentina is FSC certified
These forests are some of the world's richest tropical and subtropical montane forest ecosystems, supporting a variety of endemic bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian species. The certification will help guarantee the survival of these important forests, which are under threat from clearing for agriculture.
Forest Santa Barbara SRL received FSC certification for its operations in the provinces of Salta and Jujuy, which include more than 81,000 hectares of native forest in the Yungas region.
Of the certified area, 65,700 hectares are classified for forest use — mainly extraction of cedar, walnut, cebil, lapacho, and Peruvian bark — while 10,700 hectares are classified as protected areas and the remainder classified as areas of special handling (reserves of multiple use and experimentation). The certification ensures that the native forests on properties owned by the company will be managed according to rigorous environmental and social standards.
The forests owned by Forest Santa Barbara SRL are located in an area affected by clearing of forest for the expanding agricultural sector. This clearing is threatening the survival of important ecosystems, such as the low-altitude subtropical pedemontana forest, of which 67 per cent has already disappeared.
Forestry operations in native forest was not previously considered profitable in Argentina, with most operations being in plantations. The FSC certification demonstrates that native forest operations are an economic alternative to land clearing.
Forest Santa Barbara SRL is owned by a North American company (Candlewood Timber Group) and has operated in the provinces of Salta and Jujuy since 1998. The certification covers seven of its eight properties in the area. The FSC certification was granted by SmartWood, an acredited FSC auditor organization.
Forest certification is a system of forest inspection plus a means of tracking timber and paper through a "chain of custody" — following the raw material through to the finished product. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit organization whose objective is to ensure environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of forests. FSC provides a labelled system that guarantees that products with the FSC seal come from well-managed forests.
In addition to Forest Santa Barbara SRL, six other companies in Argentina are currently FSC certified for their forest operations, covering almost 131,000 hectares altogether (including the newly certified area). They are Faplac, Fiplasto, Forestal Las Marías, Lipsia, Tabepicuá, and the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS). These six companies all operate plantations in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Corrientes, and Misiones.
For further information
Communications Manager, Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina (WWF's partner organization in Argentina)
Tel: + 54 11 4331 3631