Prime Minister Reinfeldt paid an official visit to Chile, signing a memorandums of understanding on sustainable forest management

A memorandums of understanding on sustainable forest management

On May 18th and May 19th, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt paid an official visit to Chile, signing three memorandums of understanding, namely on green technologies and urban sustainable development, sustainable and innovative mining, and sustainable forest management.

“Mining and forestry are very important for both countries,” said President Piñera.

Undoubtedly, the official visit to Chile of Prime Minister Reinfeldt contributed to broadening and deepening the historical ties and new areas of common interest for both countries.  Such successful experiences have already taken place in the past, but certainly there is a greater potential for the future.

The following priority areas were identified for the forest memorandum: promotion of high value added uses of timber from native forests species, with bioenergy as one priority; promotion of rational biomass energy production; promotion of research, training and technology transfer with regard to sustainable forest management; promotion of wooden constructions; promotion of forest owners´ associations and promotion of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises linked to corporate social responsibility. The private sector, including small and medium-sized enterprises, academia and research institutions, plays the major role in realizing this task. However, the public sector, including the Swedish Forest Agency and the Chilean Forest Institute, may participate actively in the information exchange on policy and regulation between implementing entities for this purpose.

Fair Trade Wood from Chile

For many years, the forest industry in the Curacautín Valley was based on unsustainable methods with its subsequent environmental, social and economic impacts. In recent years, this valley has been gradually re-establishing its native forest as a result of responsible forestry technique, partially thanks to the establishment of a sawmill owned by SSC Forestry Group of Sweden (Svensk SkogsCertifiering AB). Through this initiative, forest education has been provided to the local community as well as to small forest farmers, who have been organized and trained in sustainable forest management. This process eventually led to the granting of both FSC and Fairtrade certification to the timber produced in the valley. Wooden floor maker Kährs of Sweden is the first company in the world to support and place an order of this dual-labelled timber from Chile and will begin later this year to produce flooring products, initially in limited volumes.

Francisco Ulloa, Third Secretary, Embassy of Chile in Sweden

For more information about Chile´s forestry production and challenges, see SIFI:s 2nd Newsletter (December 2010).