Country Could Suffer Wood Shortage

August 4, 2006

By next year, Costa Rica will be unable to supply wood for 50% of its internal demand because illegal logging and insufficient reforestation efforts have meant the nation’s harvestable tree plantations have nearly run out, according to an estimate from the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE).

According to the Vice-Minister of Environment and Energy, Jorge Rodríguez, Costa Rica goes through 800,000 cubic meters of wood each year, of which 64% comes from plantations. Another 30% comes from ranchlands and illegal logging, and 6% – 48,000 cubic meters – comes from primary or secondary forest, the daily La Nación reported.

While the Environment Ministry estimated this shortage could mean $115 million in additional costs yearly for the country to meet the demand for wood, Alfonso Barrantes, director of the National Forest Office, said builders and mill owners would be forced to import 400,000 cubic meters at a cost of $200 million yearly to keep up, La Nación reported.

To avoid a wood shortage, Rodríguez said the ministry would carry out a program to “promote reforestation and forest management and push forward the modernization of the forestry industry and the fight against illegal cutting.”

This would include allowing for increased harvesting of primary and secondary forest. Rodríguez told La Nación that the government would authorize harvesting six or seven trees per hectare in 20,000 hectares of primary and secondary forest outside of protected areas.

The program will include new legal mechanisms, institutional programs and training of workers in new technology to manage forests, the statement said.

Luis Diego Marín of the Flora and Fauna Conservation Association took issue with MINAE’s plan, saying he doubted that Costa Rica had enough hectares of land outside of protected areas to adequately supply the demand. He added he fears the government would turn to vast forest reserves in the Southern Zone, near the Golfo Dulce gulf, on the Pacific coast, the daily reported.

–Tico Times and ACAN-EFE Reports

 

You may be interested

Costa Rica at a glance: top news from the past week
The Alvarado Administration
95 views
The Alvarado Administration
95 views

Costa Rica at a glance: top news from the past week

The Tico Times - May 21, 2018

Newly inaugurated Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado is closing in on two weeks on the job. Here are some of…

PHOTOS: International Museum Day in Costa Rica
Arts & Culture
110 views
Arts & Culture
110 views

PHOTOS: International Museum Day in Costa Rica

Mitzi Stark - May 21, 2018

May 18 is International Museum Day, and Costa Rica celebrated with 31 mini-museums all in one at the Casa del…

Costa Rica, Panama refuse to acknowledge Venezuelan election results
Latin America
141 views
Latin America
141 views

Costa Rica, Panama refuse to acknowledge Venezuelan election results

AFP - May 21, 2018

Costa Rica and Panama were two of 14 countries in the Americas to announce they would not acknowledge the results…