Multiple Use Forests

An innovative proposal of forest production in areas formerly covered by the Atlantic Forest, combining environmental protection with economic use, was developed by Guenji Yamazoe at São Paulo’s Forest Institute and is currently being applied in some small farms of this state.

This proposal is called “Multiple Use Forests”. This forest model invests in product diversification, managing the production area in a sustainable way. This model may also be used in the “legal reserves” by landowners who want to earn economic benefits. The idea is to obtain economic benefits even during the development of the forest, initially with the intercalation of annual cultures such as cotton and peanuts, then with native fruits, and finally with the extraction of wood. Each of these groups is cultivated within a specific strip following ecological and economic criteria.

The idea of this proposal derives from the forest management system applied for centuries by the German and Japanese forest services.

On a short term time scale, from 4 to 5 years, fruits with potential economic return will begin to be produced, such as Psidium, Eugenia, Campomanesia, Plinia, etc., beside seeds of pioneer tree species, which are characterized by rapid growth and short lifes. On a medium term time scale, from 10 to 15 years, landowners will get return on their investment with the extraction of light wood such as Schizolobium, Enterolobium, and Didymopanax, as well as the production of palmheart (Euterpe edulis). In the long term, e.g. 30 years, valuable timbers with high market value like Hymenaea, Cariniana, and Calophyllum will be produced.

The Brazilian and world society should not keep complaining about deforestation. Heavy investments in the reforestation with native tree species are urgently needed. This will offer excellent economic return if it is done following some technical criteria. After initial investments and the existence of a growing forest, a sustainable forest management (that is, not getting out more than its growth rate) will guarantee a regular and permanent return , like the interest rates of a financial application.

“Matas nativas” is looking for partners interested in implementing this model on a wider scale. We are thinking about areas of legal reserves that need to be restored, within a big scale project (for example, ethanol production, coffee, pulp & paper).

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