Enviromental & Social
This image shows an Exomad forest, inmediately after harvesting. As seen from above, the density of the canopy is nearly unaffected by the harvest..
In 1993, following years of unplanned and unregulated foresting and facing the threats of deforestation and ecological ruin, the Bolivian Government, in conjunction with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched BOLFOR, the Bolivian Sustainable Forest Management Project. The goals of BOLFOR are to educate the population in forestry management and to protect the country’s biodiversity while maintaining healthy forests, soil and water.
Over 11 million acres of forests — an area larger than Switzerland — can now only be used for sustainable forest activities, ecotourism or conservation.
Monitoring and research results show that Bolivia's forestry model promoted by BOLFOR has a minimal impact on biodiversity.
Deforestation rates are lower in sustainably harvested forests than in non-managed forests — lower, even, than in some national and municipal protected areas.
Families involved in 14 (of a total of 16) community forestry enterprises participating in BOLFOR benefited from an average 23% increase in their timber forestry management income comparing years 2004 and 2006.
INVESTMENTS IN COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL PROGRAMS
Communities participating in BOLFOR benefited from the investment of forest management profits in basic community education, infrastructure and health projects.
INCREASED MARKET OPPORTUNITIES
By helping community enterprises negotiate contracts, improve efficiency, and reduce waste, BOLFOR helped community forestry enterprises and local timber companies secure more than $5 million of timber and wood product contracts with local manufacturers and international buyers.
STRONGER FOREST POLICY
Through BOLFOR work with national and local government, forest policy that promotes sustainable forest management has been put into place
The Autoridad Bosques y Tierra (ABT) is the governmental body in charge of monitoring the extraction and transportation of Bolivian wood. Under the threat of stiff penalties, only trees pre-approved and marked with a unique identifying number by the ABT may be removed from the forests. Trees approved for extraction are recorded by the ABT using GPS coordinates, and each tree is marked by a metal plate, which assists the extraction team in identifying the correct trees and must remain on the tree’s stump once it has been removed.
The ABT’s final inspection of a forest ensures that only approved trees have been removed.
Additionally, the ABT monitors the transport of all wood within Bolivia at numerous checkpoints throughout the country. A transport truck must stop at each successive check point, where its inventory must match the documents prepared by the ABT describing the permissable wood, or the truck’s inventory is permanently confiscated.
The entire forest IS VIEWED AS A GRID each section of the forest grid MAY ONLY BE HARVESTED ONCE EVERY 20 YEARS.
This ensures that ample growth – 20 years worth – can occur between harvests. The removal of larger trees within a section of the forest allows additional light to enter the forest, assisting in the rapid growth of younger trees. Additionally, seedling trees are selected and are left in the forest to ensure that new growth can continue to occur
With a section complete, ANOTHER FOREST SECTION, DORMANT FOR AT LEAST 20 YEARS, MAY NOW BE HARVESTED
Exomad seeks to enrich and sustain the communities whose forests its harvests.
The value of the community, the continuances of the traditions and the improvement of quality of life are all crucial elements of the Exomad Philosphy on social sustainability.
Concepción and the community of Candelaria
Exomad equipped local schools (tnecessary chalkboards and white boards, desks and chairs).
Exomad, continually mantains internal roads within and sorroundig the communities it works in.
Exomad is renovating the water supply.
Exomad is building an athletic field which will host the inter communal athletic games for the first time in the town.