Panamanian forest company commits to FSC | WWF

Panamanian forest company commits to FSC

Posted on 11 March 2005
Panama is one of the few remaining countries without natural forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Amistad National Park, Panama.
© WWF / James W Thorsell
Panama City, Panama – A Panamanian forest company has become the first in the country to commit to sustainable forest management, selling tropical hardwoods according to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification standards. 
The sale of teak and amarillo by Futuro Forestal to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) for construction material in a turtle exhibition area is being welcomed by WWF and several of its partners in Latin America.  
“We are encouraging companies and buyers to further promote the trade of wood and wood products with the FSC certificate,” said Noemí Pérez, Director of JagWood+, the Mesoamerican and Caribbean Forest and Trade Network  

Developed and supported by WWF Central America, Jagwood+ is an independent network of timber producers, intermediates and distributors that enforces responsible forest management through the sale, processing and trade of certified timber products. The objective of the network is to connect certified or potential wood producers, forest owners, certified processors and fabricators with buyers and investors inside and outside the region.

“Jagwood+ was established with the goal of better maximizing the benefits of FSC certification and to ensure the expansion of responsible forest management,” said Steve Gretzinger, Forest Director of WWF Central America.

Forest certification is a system of forest inspection that tracks timber and paper through a "chain of custody" — following the raw material through to the finished product — to ensure that the products have come from forests which are well managed and take into consideration environmental, social and economic principles and criteria. 

Panama is one of a number of Latin American countries that is now recognizing the growing trend in certified timber. 
“We as a forest investment company receive requests from potential buyers asking for certified wood almost every week and are happy that we can now start delivering,” said Andreas Eke, General Manager of Futuro Forestal. 
Teak (Tectona grandis) and amarillo (Terminalia amazónia) are both fast-growing, durable tree species that are traditionally used for veneer, furniture or yacht building. Futuro Forestal’s certified wood reaches a price of US$120 per cubic meter, almost double the market price for uncertified processed wood. 

• Futuro Forestal is a German-Panamanian reforestation and service company who has developed an innovative model for sustainable reforestation in the tropics, offering investors a unique opportunity to own a forest, to invest in a high yield product and to help improve ecological and social development. Since its foundation in 1994, the company has reforested more than 2,000 acres and 600,000 trees in the region of Las Lajas, in the province of Chiriqui, near the Panamerican Highway. Futuro Forestal has been voted by the independent rating agency SICIREC for its innovative approach “Best Forest Investment in Latin America”. 
• The Global Forest & Trade Network or GFTN is WWF’s initiative to eliminate illegal logging, improve the management of the world's valuable and threatened forests, and promote credible forest certification. By providing support to and facilitating trade links between progressive forest industry companies, the GFTN seeks to create market conditions that will help conserve the world’s forests while providing economic and social benefits for the businesses and people that depend on them.  
• The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent, non-profit, NGO based in Bonn, Germany. The Council provides standard setting, trademark assurance, and accreditation services to companies and organizations interested in responsible forestry. Founded in 1993, FSC’s mission is to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests. 
For further information:
Cinthya Flores, Communications Officer
WWF Central America
Tel: + 506 234 84 34
Soh Koon Chng, Communications Manager
WWF Global Forest Programme
Tel: +41 22 364 90 18   
Panama is one of the few remaining countries without natural forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Amistad National Park, Panama.
© WWF / James W Thorsell Enlarge
Turtle exhibition area at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Punta Culebra, Panama, built with certified teak from the Panamanian FSC certified company, Futuro Forestal.
© Juan Jacobo Mejia Enlarge