Timber is one of the most important forest products and, technically, it is possible to manage sustainable extraction without compromising environmental values. In reality, however, there are very few practical examples of such management around the world. Integrating timber and conservation management is one of the great challenges for tropical forest protection on a large scale. PFB is addressing this complex and controversial issue on the RBCMA.
Practically all the Belizean forests have been logged, and the eastern RBCMA is no exception. Indeed, Hill Bank has been a center of intensive timber extraction for over 150 years. Also, as in the rest of the country, the timber resource is now depleted. The question, then, is how to manage timber in a way that allows for income yet also provides for rehabilitation of forest quality while retaining the full array of biodiversity and other environmental goods and services. While an ideal regime is not readily discerned, PfB continues to optimize its approaches used in its forest operations towards this end. This program included experiments, trials at an operational scale, and rigorous monitoring of impacts in its initial phases. PfB continues to monitor these impacts in its on-going operations.