Local August 10, 2015 | 5:30 pm

Official denies illegal lumbering in Dominican Republic´s forests

Santo Domingo.- Dominican Republic´s timber policy for the more than 900 management plans comply with International Nature Conservation Union (IUCN) rules which seek pragmatic solutions to the most pressing environment and development challenges facing the planet.

The statement by the Environment Ministry comes in the heels of widespread criticism across the country on reported razing of lands of trees despite the devastating drought that has gripped the country for nearly 12 months.

Deputy Forestry minister Manuel Serrano said policies restricting the use of trees were predominant here and abroad for decades, but time proved the methodology was counterproductive.

He said since the early 80s experts and strict specialists from international organizations have determined that the use of the forests is the best way to preserve them.

In that regard the official said Environment has adopted such strategy for over 20 years, aware of the benefits to the national forest cover which he aifirms has increased by 39.8 percent.

In a press release Serrano said in addition to the management plans Environment develops initiatives such as payment for environmental services, training on the topic through the National Environmental School and has established a Forest Fire Vigilance Center.

“All trucks carrying timber have also been labeling by the Forest Management Plans which have been authorized by the Ministry, among others.”

“The initiative forms part of Environment´s interest to bolster control strategies to ensure effective and profitable development of forest management plans promoted by the institution at different points,” Serrano said.

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