When the Briceño administration took office, a hold was placed on the issuance of short-term logging permits and long-term sustainable management licenses to evaluate the situation on the ground. And as it turned out, there was unsustainable logging happening, leading to a shortage of timber.  This was compounded by forest fires and hurricanes. In an interview with Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, Orlando Habet says that the government has had to issue licenses for the importation of hard and soft woods.

Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management

“The department has issued what they term salvage licenses so that you can take out those logs affected by fires or hurricanes so that we don’t lose it, so that at least we could recover it. The problem is that from 2015 to 2020, we have seen a drastic reduction in the amount of logs that have been turned into lumber and so there is a shortage of about somewhere close to four million board feet per year, that’s including pine lumber. So a few years back the government had instituted a policy where they had started to issue licenses for the importation of pine lumber. Now we took to cabinet a proposal to also issue licenses for the importation of hardwoods because there is also a requirement and a need for hardwood apart from the softwood which is pine. And government has approved that so we will now go through the protocol and the requirements that people will have to go through to be able to get it.”

Channel 5