A timber harvesting license granted to a Canadian company will allow the exploitation of Colombian rain forest on the Pacific coast, with potentially serious consequences for regional biodiversity, W Radio reported Tuesday.
The project, called “Los Delfines-REM-Prima Colombia Hardwood,” or simply the “Timber Agreement,” is to take place in Bahia Solano in the Choco department and will allow the cutting, harvesting, and export of wood in over one million cubic meters of forest.
The Canadian company REM Forest came to the area in June 2007 and obtained a contract from the local community council “los delfines” (“the dolphins”), who by community law are responsible for the land. The contract granted the company license to commence operations in a section of regional rain forest.
REM Forest was bought out by Prima Colombia Hardwood Inc. in September 2010. The company is “a Canadian based forest products company focused on international tropical hardwood timber development, production and marketing,” according to a September article on website digitaljournal. The company claims to use sustainable harvesting methods.
The contract was endorsed by the Colombian government, but according to local foresters, will have harmful consequences for plants and animals living in the region’s jungle.
According to the W Radio article, the corporation in charge of ensuring sustainable development in the Choco department, Codechoco, said that it was not in agreement with the license.
The company is scheduled to begin commercial operations in May and “intends to explore the opportunity to increase the number of forest licences in Colombia.”