In order to promote compliance with the standards for the MSMEs, a legal verification strategy was created in two forestry value chains in Honduras
A new project was created on December 11, 2020. Its purpose is to elaborate on a proposal to promote legality and competitiveness of forestry businesses in Honduras. This initiative will be implemented by Zamorano under the AVA-FLEGT Honduras agreement. This agreement is financed by the European Union (EU) thru the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and its Program FAO-EU-FLEGT
The agreement AVA-FLEGT is a mechanism created by the EU to guarantee that the lumber and wood products that are traded within the European bloc are sought from legal origins. This implies that the product must comply with the regulations of the issuing country as regards the control of lumber and wood products. The initiative, to be implemented by Zamorano, represents an opportunity for our institution, as it will contribute to Honduras achieving legal lumber and wood products.
The project helps define a methodology and a compliance guide for evaluating the laws of the forestry value chain. Two value chains in particular will be analyzed. One from the forest plantation in Valle de Sula and the second from the municipality of Campamento, Olancho, where a wooden door craft industry that is important for Honduras exists. When the project is complete, there will be a strategy to promote laws protecting forests as well as laws regarding the competitiveness of the forestry industry. Those laws will cover the technical capacities of professionals charged with the verification and legality of forestry oversight, thereby strengthening the promotion of forestry competitiveness.
According to Zamorano´s former President, Dr. Jeffrey Lansdale, laws protecting forests are part of a culture which Honduras must embrace. “If the country is successful in getting the population to adequately use its natural resources, there will be better conditions for the country´s development. It is important to achieve synergy between research, education and institutional service providers, in order to generate proposals that promote change in the country´s production models”, he commented.
Dennis Latimer, FAO´s representative in Honduras, shared that the initiative developed by Zamorano will contribute to improving the competitiveness of forest MSMEs. “Honduras faces very difficult economic conditions, not only as regards climate conditions, but also because of the pandemic, and so it is important to strengthen de MSME’s capacities which will allow them legal access to markets”, he added. He also highlighted that the initiative is an excellent opportunity to strengthen alliances between various institutions linked to the development of the Honduran forestry sector.
According to Francisco Escalante, Vice Minister of the Forestry Conservation Institute (ICF), Honduras faces many challenges in achieving processes that guarantee laws surrounding of forestry production. He highlighted the country´s commitment to improving the governance of the forestry sector by seeking a balance between production and conservation. In addition, the participation of all value chain actors is required to strengthen this governance. The vice minister highlighted the support received from the European Union in the process aimed to improve the forestry governance in the country.
Representatives from FAO, ICF, Lake Yojoa Municipality Association and its influence area (AMUPROLAGO), International Association GOAL (Pana Pana project), the Technical Secretariat of the Voluntary Agreement Association (SETAVA), Green Wood Foundation, Honduran Federation of Agroforestry Cooperatives, (FEHCAFOR), European Forestry Institute (EFI), and independent consultants, participated. Upon completion of the workshop, participants pledged to support the initiative, as well as pledging to support the Association Voluntary Agreement.