Laws & Regulations
CITES Agreement Information
Honduran forestry has a long history and continues to be an important source of income for the country. Over 50 percent of the country is covered in forests, of which around 60 percent is hardwood and 30 percent is coniferous forest. Unfortunately, illegal logging has historically been a major issue in Honduras, with 2003 estimates of illegal logging making up 30-50 percent of total felling for pine and 75-85 percent for deciduous tree species.
75 percent of forests are publicly owned, while 25 percent are under private ownership. The new Forest Law, passed in 2008, has re-structured the forest sector in the hopes of curbing illegal logging. The National Institute for Conservation and Forest Development, Protected Areas, and Wildlife (ICF) is in charge of the forest sector and manages public and private forest areas. Inspection and certification of timber and wood products for import and export is carried out by the Secretariat for Agriculture and Livestock (SAG) and its subsidiary, the National Service of Agricultural and Livestock Health (SENASA). The inter-governmental Agriculture and Livestock Protection Service (SEPA) also assists with these tasks. The National Commission of Human Rights (CONADEH) Independent Forest Monitoring Project carries out monitoring of forest use and produces reports on Honduran forestry.
CITES Agreement Information
Pine (Pinus elliottii), cedar (Cedrela odorata), and mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) are the three most exported species, going primarily to the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and neighboring Central American countries. Pine is exported as sawn timber and wood products such as stakes, tool handles, and furniture, while cedar is exported mostly as furniture. The trade of mahogany is restricted due to its status on CITES Appendix II. In general, mahogany is not exported as sawn timber but rather as semi-finished or finished products including doors, windows, furniture, and guitar parts.
Civil Society Organizations
Tools & Resources
The Illegal Logging Portal, hosted and maintained by Chatham House, provides information on illegal logging and the trade in illegal timber. The country pages provide a brief overview of the forestry sector in the country, followed by a regularly updated list of news articles, reports, and other related contents.
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The Spanish Timber Trade Federation (AEIM) has developed a risk assessment tool, "Madera Legal", that allows users to learn about timber producing countries. The tool includes information about main product categories sourced from these countries and legality and governance concerns, and provides a risk rating and recommendations for due diligence steps.
Madera Legal (website is only available in Spanish; use Google Chrome browser to auto-translate pages)
Global Forest Watch (GFW) is a dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system that unites satellite technology, open data, and crowdsourcing and provides access to timely and reliable information about forests. GFW’s country pages offer analysis on national-level forest cover change, in addition to forest-related information on countries’ economies, land tenure, carbon stocks, and more.