Concession agreements mandate specific forestry practices, including reduced impact logging, rotations of no less than 20 years, minimum diameter limits for each species, and the retention of at least 10 percent of adult trees of each harvested species for seed trees.
Third-party certified forest area has increased dramatically in the last five years, and over 700,000 hectares of forest are now certified.
The Ministry of Economy and Finances has an online transparency portal designed to share information.
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), Peru scored a 38, meaning it is perceived to have relatively high levels of corruption. It ranked 83 out of 177 countries assessed in that year.
The Peruvian government passed a Transparency Law in 2002 that includes the right to access to information, and the Ministry of Economy and Finances has an online portal devoted to transparency and the sharing of information. In 2008, the Regulations on Transparency, Access to Public Environmental Information and Citizen Participation and Consultation in Environmental Issues was approved by the government and made into law in 2009.
The World Bank compiles a set of Worldwide Governance Indicators for all world economies. This country data report on Peru covers the years 1996-2010.
Laws and Regulations
Legislación Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre (in Spanish), a joint project of the Peruvian Directorate General of Forests and Wildlife (DGFFS) and the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law, is a very useful website that lists all relevant forest legislation in Peru.
Forestry laws in Peru have a complex history. A Forestry Program was established in 1986, but the first Forests and Wildlife Law was not approved until 2001. In 2010, a new legislative bill was introduced to Congress to create a modified Forests and Wildlife Law, which was published in July 2011 (Law 29763, “Ley Forestal y del Fauna Silvestre”, available here in Spanish).
All links are in Spanish unless otherwise noted.
Law 29763, the Forests and Wildlife Law, states that those who have title to authorization certificates (títulos habilitantes) of forest concessions must abide by the corresponding management plan that is approved by the regional forestry and wildlife authority. Privately-owned or communally-owned forest plantations must have authorization certificates and management plans, and the products derived from these locations are considered “forest resources” but are not part of the “national patrimony.” Title-holders of forest concessions are legally responsible for ensuring the legal origin of their forest and wildlife products. Publicly-owned national parks and conservation areas are considered part of the “national patrimony.”
The Forests and Wildlife Law Project created a consultative committee to discuss proposed changes to the new law. This website includes PDF documents of the proposed new Forests and Wildlife Law.
The Peruvian Society of Environmental Law (SPDA)’s 2009 Basic Manual of Forestry Legislation is a helpful outline of some of Peru’s current and proposed forestry regulations.
The Peruvian System of Juridical Information (SPIJ) provides information on current and previous legislation in Peru.
Global Witness, an international NGO, published its 2009 Annual Transparency Report, including information on the current revision of the Forests and Wildlife Law. This webpage (available in English) may provide updates as the proposed legislation progresses, and it also provides a concise description of Peru’s relatively complicated forest sector and institutional bodies.
According to the Forests and Wildlife Law (Law 29763), the transportation of forest products is regulated through transport guide documents (guías de transporte). These atr legal documents given to the title-holder of a forest authorization certificate, regulated and standardized by SERFOR, part of the National System of Forestry and Wildlife Information. SERFOR will inspect forest products intended for transport, and their transportation will be entered into a national registry.
Article 121: Transport Guides are documents that cover the transport of forest and wildlife products in their natural or transformed states. They are legal declarations given to the title-holder of forest authorization certificates and/or property owner. SERFOR will establish a standard format of the transport guide, to be used for all types of forest and wildlife products. SERFOR is part of the National System of Wildlife and Forestry Information.
Article 110: The transport guides are given out by the government, free of charge, for forest products from legally recognized private and communal plantations.
Article 117: SERFOR and the regional forestry and wildlife authorities are in charge of inspecting forest and wildlife products and collection centers, and the transportation of these products must be entered into a national registry.
Article 118: Title-holders of forest concessions are legally responsible for ensuring the legal origin of their forest and wildlife products.
The Forests and Wildlife Law (Law 29763) states that SERFOR will regulate all forest products intended for export (including those that are subject to international agreements). In addition, the document states that the export of logs for commercial purposes is prohibited, except for logs cut from concessioned forest plantations.
The export of 6 species found in Peru is regulated by CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. These species include mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), which is on Appendix II, and a type of cedar (Cedrela odorata) listed on Appendix III. This Ministry of Agriculture database lists all legitimate CITES permits from 2009 onward. Permit numbers of CITES-listed cedar (“cedro”) and mahogany (“caoba”) from Peru should be checked against this database for inconsistencies.
US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement of 2007 includes mandates for the environment and forest sector. The Annex on Forest Sector Governance outlines commitments made by the Peruvian government to combat illegalities in the forestry sector. It also created the bilateral Environmental Cooperation Agreement (ECA) and SNIC, the National System of Information and Control of Forestry and Wildlife. SNIC is a bilateral body composed of Peruvian agencies and the US Forestry Service that aims to combat illegal logging.
The Ministry of Agriculture hosts a CITES database that lists export permits for CITES-controlled species, including the companies holding the permits, the specific types of products they are allowed to export, and the products’ destination markets.
Peru ratified and became a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1975. Six commercially traded tree species that grow in Peru are currently listed on one of the three CITES appendices, and require additional valid documentation in order to be legally traded out of Peru.
The website of the Peruvian CITES authority, DGFFS (in Spanish), lists all legitimate CITES permits from 2009 onward. Permit numbers of CITES-listed cedar (“cedro”) and mahogany (“caoba”) from Peru should be checked against this database for inconsistencies.
DGFFS has also compiled a helpful flowchart (Spanish only) that walks through the process of obtaining a CITES permit for mahogany in Peru.
Importers of CITES-listed species into the United States can also 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.
Approximately 53 percent of Peru is covered in forests, the majority of which is closed-canopy broadleaf tropical forest with a minority of native coniferous forest. Peru has the ninth-largest forest resource in the world and in South America is second only to Brazil.
Around 83 percent of forested lands are publicly owned, with 15 percent privately owned and the remainder under another type of ownership. The forest sector contributes 1 percent of Peru's gross domestic product and supplies a number of high-value timbers to the international markets.
Peru has 104.9 million hectares of forest land or potential forest land. Of this total, approximately 67.9 million hectares are forested. Nearly all of those hectares - 92 percent - are located in the vast Amazon basin in the northeast. As of 2010, 33.3 million hectares had been designated as permanent production forests (for timber and for non-timber forest products), and of that total, about half (18.7 million hectares) had been allocated for production. As of 2010, 7.56 million hectares were concessioned to more than 500 operators, nearly all in the Amazon basin. Most concessions are relatively small, averaging 12,900 hectares each, and commercialization of those concessions depends heavily on timber prices. Communities are estimated to own 12.6 million hectares, and nearly 1200 indigenous communities have land rights in the Peruvian Amazon. Indigenous tenure rights are often contested.
About one-third of Peru's forest estate is considered either degraded or secondary forest.
Wood is exported mainly as lumber (sawnwood), plywood boards, and, to a lesser extent, wood panels for siding and flooring. The Peruvian government classifies wood species based on their value in their natural state. Mahogany is the only species in Class A, or high value, while cedar is Class B, or valuable. Tornillo, lupuna, and moena are Intermediate Class C, and the rest of the major species are Potentially Valuable in Class D.
Important timber species exported from Peru include:
- Bigleaf mahogany, (caoba, Swietenia macrophylla)
- Eucalyptus (eucalipto, Eucalyptus globulus)
- Cumala (Virola spp.)
- Tornillo (Cedrelinga catenaeformis)
- Lupuna (Chorisia integrifolia)
- Cedar (cedro, Cedrela odorata and the other Cedrela species)
- cerejeira (ishipingo, sorioco, Amburana cearensis)
- cumaru (shihuahuaco, Dipteryx micrantha)
- catahua (Hura crepitans)
- cachimbo (Cariniana decandra)
Peru has about 250 sawmills, 14 plywood factories, 6 decorative veneer factories, 50 parquet factories and more than 600 joinery, furniture, door and window workshops, plus an estimated 10,000 wood-processing microenterprises operating in both the formal and informal sectors. Most Peruvian sawmills are relatively low capacity, producing on average 2900 cubic meters per year.
Peru’s major trading partners for forest products include the United States, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic, along with other Caribbean nations. To see a satellite map of Peruvian ports, visit World Port Source.
In 2010, Peru exported roughly 367,000 cubic meters of sawnwood (about 40 percent of total sawnwood production) and 22,000 cubic meters of plywood products. Because log exports are not permitted, Peru does not export industrial roundwood, nor does it export significant quantities of veneer products. Forest product exports in 2010 were valued at over $122 million (USD).
As of December 2009 (the most recent available statistics), just over 7.5 million hectares of forest were being managed in 588 concessions. By far the largest areas under concession are located in the administrative regions of Loreto and Ucayali, which are located in the northeastern Amazonian region of the country. Together, the two regions contain more than two-thirds of the forest area under concession.
Peru’s forests are extremely biologically diverse, and over 100 tree species are used for timber production. A group of about 20 species, however, meets most of demand. The five most commonly harvested species are eucalyptus (eucalipto, Eucalyptus globulus), cumala (Virola spp.), tornillo (Cedrelinga catenaeformis), lupuna (Chorisia integrifolia), and cedar (cedro, Cedrela odorata). Cerejeira (ishipingo, sorioco, Amburana cearensis), cumaru (shihuahuaco,Dipteryx micrantha), catahua (Hura crepitans), and cachimbo (Cariniana decandra) are also commercially important.
Bigleaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) - known locally as caoba - was previously the most important harvested species from the Peruvian Amazon, but is no longer in the top ten harvested species by volume. Illegal practices related to harvesting of caoba in Peru remain a concern in some cases.
For more information
- International Tropical Timber Organization 2010 Annual Review Statistics Database
- ITTO Technical Series 38. Status of Tropical Forest Management 2011: Peru.
- Tree species PDF information files are produced by CIRAD as part of the TROPIX 7 program.
Association of Integral Research and Development (AIDER) coordinates the forestry business of 12 FSC-certified forests run by indigenous communities. They also manage some non-certified forests in Peru.
National Society of Industries (SNI) is a private non-profit association of various businesses, including wood, paper, and furniture companies.
National Agrarian Confederation (CNA) is composed of farmers, indigenous peoples, and small-scale agricultural producers and promotes sustainable development of agriculture and local markets. It has been involved with the National Council for Forestry Legislation.
Civil Society Organizations
Peruvian Society for Environmental Law (SPDA) is a non-profit organization that works on environmental policy and has been integral to the revisions of the new Forests and Wildlife Law. It has numerous forestry-related programs, including improving transparency and combating illegal logging. SPDA has played an integral role in the National Council for Forestry Legislation.
World Wildlife Fund Peru has three major projects–the Amazonian Program, the Marine Program, and the Climate Program. It has been part of the new forestry legislation talks along with many other civil society organizations.
GTZ is a German NGO that is assisting with the El Sira indigenous community forest reserve, particularly by creating sustainable development initiatives.
Peruvian Society for Eco-development (SPDE) is an NGO that works on forestry issues and has played an integral role in the new Forest and Wildlife regulations.
Peruvian Foundation for Nature Conservation (ProNaturaleza) works on conservation and sustainable development in national protected areas and on forestry issues in Loreto, Ucayali, Madre de Dios, and many other municipalities. It has also been part of the new forestry law discussions.
Association for the Conservation of the Amazon Basin (ACCA) has research and conservation programs, including the management of two protected areas in the Amazon. It focuses on biodiversity conservation and sustainable development initiatives.
The Fund for the Promotion of Forestry Development (FONDEBOSQUE) is an NGO that promotes sustainable forestry by financing timber extraction, production, and technical support initiatives.
Grupo GEA is an NGO that promotes social and environmental sustainable development. They support ecotourism, educational, and sustainable business projects.
Confederation of Amazonian Nationalities of Peru (CONAP) includes numerous Amazonian indigenous groups and works on sustainable development. It has been involved in the National Council for Forestry Legislation.
Interethnic Association of Development of the Peruvian Amazon (AIDESEP) is an NGO that has various programs in natural resource conservation and sustainable development. It has also been involved in negotiations through the National Forestry Legislation Council.
Derechos Ambientales y Recursos Naturales (DAR) is an NGO with a very useful website on forest transparency (in Spanish).
Ministry of Environment is a cabinet-level ministry responsible for overseeing environmental issues in Peru.
Institute of Peruvian Amazon Research (IIAP) is a national organization that oversees the Peruvian Amazon Forestry Information System.
Peruvian Amazon Forestry Information System (SIFORESTAL) is designed to provide information on forest use and management to all actors in the forestry sector, especially businesses, government agencies, and academic institutions.
National Protected Areas System (SINANPE) is an organization is in charge of managing the country’s national protected areas.
General Directorate of Forestry and Wildlife (DGFFS) is a new body created within the Ministry of Agriculture to oversee forest policy and help create the new Forests and Wildlife law. The DGFFS includes the Directorate of Forestry and Wildlife Promotion; the Directorate of Forestry and Wildlife Management; and the Directorate of Forestry and Wildlife Management and Control. The National System of Information and Control of Forestry and Wildlife (SNIC) is part of the DGFFS and was created by mandate of the Peru-US 2008 Free Trade Agreement. It aims to combat illegal logging by creating a chain of custody and legal verification for CITES species and improve legality in the production, transportation, and export of all wood species.
Ministry of Exterior Commerce and Tourism (MINCETUR) has collaborated with MINAG and the DGFFS on the National Council for Forestry Legislation.
Ministry of Economy and Finances has also been part of the National Council for Forestry Legislation, helping to draft a new Forests and Wildlife Law.
Organization for the Supervision of Forest and Wildlife Resources (OSINFOR) was created in 2008 to supervise and monitor the sustainable development and conservation of forest and wildlife resources, including any environmental services coming from publicly-owned forests. It is in charge of supervising inspection of forest products and monitoring the quota system for protected species. It can also impose sanctions on those who commit forestry and wildlife infractions.
Tools and Resources
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
- Anuario Forestal Peru 2009, Peruvian Ministry of the Environment
- International Tropical Timber Organization, Status of Tropical Forest Management 2011
- International Tropical Timber Organization, Annual Review and Assessment of the World Timber Situation
- CIRAD, TROPIX 7