Risk Tool

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Last updated: 2014

Forest Resources

Resources Overview

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.


Forest Resources

About Forest Resources

This section provides an overview of the country's forest cover and a list of species found naturally and on plantations.

Forest Management

Management Overview

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.


Transparency

The new Forest Law, passed in 2008, has restructured the forest sector in the hopes of curbing illegal logging. Honduras receives relatively poor rankings from international governance assessments conducted by the World Bank and Transparency International.

 

According to Transparency International’s 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index, which measures perceived levels of public-sector corruption, on a scale of 0-100 (0 = 100% corruption), Honduras scored a 26, meaning it is perceived to have relatively high levels of corruption. It ranked 140 out of 177 countries assessed in that year.

 

Global Witness, in collaboration with the Honduran National Commission for Human Rights (CONADEH), carried out an independent forest monitoring project in Honduras in 2005 and 2006, the reports from which are available here.

 

The World Bank compiles a set of Worldwide Governance Indicators for all world economies. This country data report on Honduras covers the years 1996-2010.

 


Management Links
Forest Management

About Forest Management

This section provides an overview of the country's forest management, transparency indicators, CITES Agreement information as it applies to the country, and relevant laws and regulations (i.e. forestry laws, processing/manufacturing laws, trade laws, tax laws, and transport laws).

Forest Products

Products Overview

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.


Production Status

Honduras’s major trading partners for exported forest products include the United States, the European Union, Mexico, and Caribbean nations. To see a satellite map of Honduran ports, visit World Port Source.

 

The vast majority of Honduran wood production stays on the domestic market. In 2010, Honduras exported almost 70,000 cubic meters of sawnwood (about 26 percent of Honduras’s total sawnwood production) and about 1900 cubic meters of plywood, altogether worth about $18 million (USD). The ITTO estimates that broadleaf forests in Honduras carry a total commercial timber volume of about 33.5 million cubic meters, while the conifer forests carry about 72 million cubic meters. The total annual allowable cut in these pine forests is 1.97 million cubic meters.

 

As of 2010, nearly 1.2 million hectares of natural and planted forest within the production forest estate were under management plans in 903 separate forest management units, comprising about 1.1 million hectares of pine forest and 96,000 hectares of tropical moist forest. In 2010, the ITTO estimated that 276,000 hectares were “sustainably managed,” with 111,000 hectares of that number certified. Management plans had also been prepared for 19 protected forest areas covering about 608,000 hectares.

 

Honduras has relatively little area (about 48,000 hectares) of planted forest, and many planted areas are comprised of native pine species. Teak (Tectona grandis) is also planted in Honduras.

 

Honduras’s forests are very biologically diverse. More than 330 tree species have been inventoried, but only about 25 are traded in significant commercial quantities. Pines (pino costanero, Pinus caribaea, and pino ocote, Pinus oocarpa) are by far the most important. Ocote pine is harvested from natural pine forests, while costanero pine comes from both natural forests and plantations. Other important timber species include santa maria (Calophyllum brasilense), which is mostly for domestic use; laurel (Cordia alliodora); ceiba (Ceiba pentandra); andiroba (Dialium guianesis); san juan (Vochysia guatemalensis); breadnut (Brosimum alicastrum); palo de sangre (Virola koschnyi); cumbillo (Terminalia amazonica); mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla); macho (Carapa guianensis); cedro (Cedrela odorata); and apamate (Tabebuia rosea).

 

The forest sector generates nearly 70,000 direct jobs in Honduras. Generally poor silvicultural and management practices, along with an incidence of illegal logging that the ITTO describes as “probably widespread,” may put these jobs and forests at long-term risk.

Forest Products

About Forest Products

This section provides an overview of the country's forest production and product trade.

Contacts


Industry Associations

AMADHO, the Wood Processor’s Association of Honduras, is the largest association of forestry companies, including larger Honduran companies.

 

FIDE, the Foundation for Export, Investment, and Development, is a private-sector organization that provides information and support for new investments in Honduras. Some of the top companies involved are in the wood and paper industry.

 

ASMUCAL, the Association of Multiple Services in Catacamas, Ltd, is an association of 30 wood-processing companies in Catacamas municipality.

 

ANDI, the National Industry Association, is the main industry association in Honduras. Its members include major wood, paper, and furniture companies.


Civil Society Organizations

The Honduran Forest Agenda, an organization comprised of a number of Honduran forestry-related NGOs, has a number of programs focused on sustainable forestry.

 

Greenwood is a US-based NGO that supports training and business development with Honduran cooperatives. The website is also for MaderaVerde Foundation, the Honduran counterpart to Greenwood that works directly with cooperatives in Honduras.

 

Rainforest Alliance works with UNICAF, the Honduran cooperative association, on the management and marketing of FSC-certified wood. Current projects include the selling of wood parts to Gibson Guitar.

 

COPADE, Commerce for Development, is a Spanish NGO that supports the extraction of FSC-certified wood by small businesses and cooperatives in the Atlántida municipality.


About Contacts

This section provides a list of local contacts who can serve as sources of further information, including industry associations, civil society organizations and government ministries.

Tools & Resources

Tools and Resources

About Tools & Resources

This section directs you to useful and relevant tools and resources, developed by WRI, our partners or other organizations, that provide more information about the country.

Laws & Regulations

Forestry Laws

The Honduran forestry industry is primarily regulated through the Forest Law, created in 2008 as an attempt to better regulate forestry activities. The National Institute for Conservation and Forest Development, Protected Areas, and Wildlife (ICF) was also created by this law, replacing CONADEH, the institution that was formerly in charge of forestry affairs. 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.

 

The new Forest Law distinguishes among three different types of managed forest areas: private plantations, community forest management, and public protected areas. All three types of areas are required to operate under a Management Plan that is approved by the ICF and includes an environmental impact assessment. The exact requirements of these plans vary depending on the size of the territory (small, medium, or large). All plans should be formulated by certified forestry professionals and then submitted for approval to the ICF and the municipality in which the forest area is located.

 


Processing/Manufacturing Laws

Currently unavailable.


Trade Laws

The Forest Law allows the exportation of hardwood species from natural forests only as transformed or processed wood. Exporting hardwood species as roundwood or squared logs is prohibited. At the port of export, the wood or wood products are inspected and sanitized by the National Service of Agricultural and Livestock Health (SENASA) and the inter-governmental Agriculture and Livestock Protection Service (SEPA). Before exportation, the products must receive certificates of sanitation verifying that they have undergone this treatment. In addition, mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) is on CITES Appendix II . Trade is restricted. CITES permits must be certified by the Secretariat of Agriculture and Livestock (SAG).

 

According to the 2008 Forest Law, anyone whose business is geared towards forest conservation and protection and can receive tax breaks if they register with the ICF. These registered companies do not have to pay customs tariffs or sales tax on any inputs related to their forestry business. Any existing properties devoted to forestry management within reserve areas are also exonerated from paying sales tax. The ICF and the Executive Directorate of Revenue (DEI) are jointly in charge of forestry-related sales tax and customs tariffs. Those companies who are not registered as conserving the forest are required to submit the appropriate taxes and forms to the DEI.

 

Executive Directorate of Revenue (DEI)

 

National Service of Agricultural and Livestock Health (SENASA)

 

Agriculture and Livestock Protection Service (SEPA)

 

List of species on CITES Appendices I, II, and III.

 

Regional International Organization on Animal Health (OIRSA), an intergovernmental body that works to increase technical cooperation among the nine Member States of Mexico, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Dominican Republic.

 

Honduras Ministry of Agriculture

 

 


Transport Laws

The Forest Law regulates transport of wood, wood products and sub-products. Transporting these products requires a mobilization guide (guía de movilización) or original encoded invoice that includes a valid and approved Management Plan. The amount of transported wood must correspond to the authorized quantity that can be harvested and transported in the vehicle that is being utilized. The guide or invoice must include these amounts and should be filled out and signed by the party responsible the product’s transport from where it originates. Either document must be signed, stamped, and delivered to the ICF through the Regional Forest Office.

Transporting wood in any form can only be carried out from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and the product should be visible in the vehicle in which it is being transported. Any other mechanisms for the control of transport of forest products and sub-products will be developed by the ICF in coordination with the National Police, the Public Ministry, and other departments of the State. 


Tax Laws

Currently unavailable.


CITES Agreement Information

Honduras became a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1985. CITES is an international agreement among governments whose purpose is to ensure that international trade in wild animals and plant species does not threaten the survival of these species. 175 countries have agreed to be bound by CITES, which is a binding legal agreement. It is up to each Party to CITES to draft its own domestic legislation in order to comply with its CITES obligations.

Seven commercially traded tree species that grow in Honduras are currently listed on one of the three CITES appendices, and require additional valid documentation in order to be legally traded out of Honduras. For more information about how CITES works, see the official website of the Convention at http://cites.org.

Importers of CITES-listed species into the United States can use this handbook from APHIS. While long, it contains a number of useful flowcharts and examples of permits so that importers can see what is needed.

Laws & Regulations

This section provides a list of local contacts who can serve as sources of further information, including industry associations, civil society organizations and government ministries.