27 July 2015
Collectively, 20 farming households in a Peruvian Amazon village can easily produce 760 cubic meters of sawn lumber per year on their farms, or rather, agricultural fallows.
That’s 18 tractor-trailer trucks filled with small-dimension lumber going from the Amazon region to the nation’s capital, Lima, primarily for use in pre-fabricated houses for the city’s marginal populations.
The farmers mainly manage the fast-growing species Guazuma crinita, known locally as bolaina, which seeds itself into crop fields going to fallow, creating what often looks like a messy, dense timber plantation.
Farmers manage these forest stands in their complex production landscapes for both the environmental services they provide and timber production.
It’s not a plantation. Or is it?
How the timber produced in these systems should be regulated is a tough and interesting question.
It’s where science and public policy come together.