Environmental services and mangrove project, successes

28 November 2013

ITTO funded projects in Mexico and Panama have been successful in promoting conservation and rehabilitation of mangroves, while at the same time have provided livelihoods for local populations. Photo: R. Carrillo/ITTO

On 26 November 2013, the second day of the 49th Session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC), reports by independent consultants were presented on the implementation of projects in the fields of payment for environmental services (PES), mangroves, plantation timbers and eaglewood.
The reports of the ex-post evaluations showed that the implementation of these projects has been successful, leading to more outputs than expected, having important impacts, and with sustainable outputs after project completion. In general the ex-post evaluation of these projects demonstrated the contribution of the work of ITTO in enhancing the livelihoods of people who live in and from the forests.
In the field of PES, two projects financed by ITTO in Colombia were evaluated. The projects had the aim of developing financial mechanisms for PES under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto protocol. The projects were successful in putting policies and strategies into practice at national and regional levels to reduce carbon emissions and use the offset credits to finance sustainable forest management (SFM). As a direct result of the project, environmental services were identified, quantified and valued, and local communities were trained on obtaining livelihoods from their forest resources without destroying them. The projects also served as a milestone for other initiatives to finance SFM such as reforestation projects financed by the Interamerican Development Bank, partnership agreements for training on harvesting of timber and non-timber forest products, in-nursery propagation of timber species and timber marketing.
In the field of mangroves, projects financed by ITTO in Panama and in Mexico were evaluated. The projects aimed at the conservation, rehabilitation and sustainable management of mangroves. Local populations were the main beneficiaries as the projects provided them with production activities (timber and other products) and help them to develop businesses under management plans.
A project financed by ITTO in Malaysia on improving utilization of plantation timbers was also evaluated. The evaluation found that the project was effective in transferring technology for appropriate testing of the properties of the planted timber species and for their more efficient utilization by the industry.
In the case of eaglewood (a timber demanded by the perfume and incense industry due to its chemical components), a project financed by ITTO in Indonesia was evaluated. The project identified suitable species of eaglewood producing trees for plantations, and established plantations where about 2 million trees were planted. Training was conducted on standard operating procedures for the inoculation of the trees with the pathogens that give rise to eaglewood and on plantation management, thus relieving pressure on threatened natural stocks of these species and enhancing the capabilities of local communities and small and medium industries in eaglewood processing and product development.