Results of a stable state policy in support of forests: the case of Chile
Friday, 14 June 2013At the beginning of his speech Hans Grosse Werner congratulated the congress organizers on this splendid event and underlined that this congress will certainly have increased the visibility of IUFRO in Latin America.
The focus of the presentation was on the development of forest cover and forest legislation and institutions in Chile with particular emphasis on forest plantations, production and exports, progress made and pending tasks for the future.
Grosse gave an overview of Chilean forest history from prehistoric times to colonialism and the dramatic loss of forest cover mainly due to mining activities in the 19th century, and important steps in implementing regulative legislation in the 20th century.
“Thanks to the policies and laws that were introduced between 1912 and 2011, about 30% of the native forest could be recovered and 2.6 million ha of plantation forests could be added so that the overall forest cover in Chile eventually amounts to 16 million ha today”, said Grosse.
These legislative instruments relate mainly to the introduction of inventories, reforestation programmes, management plans, conservation areas and the development of forest curricula. However, the establishment of institutions to implement and control these regulations and ensure sustainability lagged somewhat behind. The Chilean forest institute INFOR and the national forest corporation CONAF were only founded in 1961 and 1973, respectively. A Ministry for the Environment was set up in 2010.
Yet, despite the progress made, there are still challenges to be overcome. One of these, says Grosse in conclusion, is the strengthening of the small and medium-sized forest-related enterprises. There are incentive programmes in place, but more needs to be done.
This keynote address was the final one in a series of high-level keynote speeches presented in the course of the 3rd IUFRO Latin American Congress.