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Dominican forests are untapped resource

Speaking at an international forestry workshop organized by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources yesterday, Monday 7 December 2015, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the president of the Dominican Forestry Chamber Jose de Moya spoke in favor of the development of a local wood industry and commercial forests in the Dominican Republic. He said that locally grown wood was 25% cheaper than imported timber.

He added, however, that statistics showed that at present, only 20% of the wood used locally is from Dominican forests, but there are many opportunities to replace imported wood with local commercial forest wood.

There are also opportunities to export wood products such as furniture, moldings and others.

De Moya says that 100,000 hectares of forest are already planted in the country with the potential for producing 800,000 cubic meters of wood every year. He says there are 6,500 small and medium-sized forestry farms from which 40,000 families make a living. The farms provide direct jobs in the planting, care, harvesting, marketing, industrializing and craft industry generated by the wood industry, benefiting more than 200,000 Dominicans who can make their livings in rural areas and not have to relocate to cities. De Moya says that there are around 1,600 small companies in the wood industry.

He mentioned that 13 large companies have replaced their energy matrix with biomass, a clean energy source that is produced with planted local trees, with an estimated production of 2,500 metric tons per day.

He said that there are over 800 management plans for natural forests registered with the Ministry of Environment in productive forest areas in San Jose de las Matas, Restauracion, Jarabacoa, Santiago Rodriguez, Monte Plata and Cotui.

He said there are 217 small raw materials processing industries with a capacity to process 250,000 cubic meters.

He added that the country imported between US$180 and US$200 million in wood products per year and a local production of less than 20% of domestic consumption is estimated.

Moya stressed that the culture of using wood products for construction and furniture was an advantage for the forestry sector, so there are many business opportunities for replacing timber imports.

Source: DR1, Hoy

Dec 8, 2015

Category: DR News |

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