GreenWood: Forestry Management Meets Skilled Craft to Create Sustainable Livelihoods

GreenWood artisans photo

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During my time in Ecuador in 2007, apart from reporting on Kallari chocolate, and interviewing Daryl Hannah and David de Rothschild, I also reported on EcoMadera, a company working hard to promote responsible forestry management and sustainable use of the forest's resources. Thanks to TreeHugger's Sami Grover we've learned that an organisation called GreenWood is working along similar lines in Honduras and Peru. Read on to find out more about the amazing work they are doing with local artisans to promote sustainable livelihoods...Forest Management in Honduras
The GreenWood project started work in Honduras in 1993 as a field project for the Woodworkers Alliance for Rainforest Protection (WARP). In 2001 they became a registered non-profit organisation and since then they have trained more than 100 artisans, sawyers and forest owners in ten different communities and helped to manage more than 30,000 acres of tropical forest.

Furniture, Guitars and Boat Building
GreenWood currently produces more than 40 furniture designs and accessories, which are sold mainly to local and regional clients in Honduras, as well as working on larger international projects such as producing 'ship's knees' for the reproduction Schooner Amistad, at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut and guitar parts for the Taylor Guitar Company in California.

Greenwood furniture photo

Working in Peru
In a similar trajectory to the Kallari Association in Ecuador, founded by American Judy Logback, GreenWood was founded by American craftsman Brian Boggs. However now, like Kallari, the project is now entirely "owned and operated" by a local board and staff. In GreenWood's case in Honduras the project now works under the name of a local nonprofit counterpart, FundaciĆ³n MaderaVerde. As the Honduras program is now flying solo GreenWood is expanding its work to other areas of Central and South America. In 2007 GreenWood began applying the lessons learned in Honduras to indigenous Yanesha communities in the Palcazu Valley of the Southern Andean region of tropical Peru.

GreenWood Forest photo

Small scale + Appropriate Technology
GreenWood describes it's mission as "sustainable development for the real world". They go on to say, "We work alongside residents of remote forest communities to help them earn more by managing their forests and creating valuable wood products than they would otherwise derive from conventional slash-and-burn agriculture or illegal logging. We employ small-scale, appropriate woodworking technologies and creative niche marketing to support good forest management and sustainable development."

GreenWood Videos
To find out more about GreenWood's work you can watch several videos on their website including one with an introduction from renowned environmentalist David Suzuki.
More on Sustainable Wood
Mabeo Now Building With Local, Certified Woods
Ask TreeHugger: Wood vs. Pellet Stoves
Wood Design by TEN on Tour
Certified and Recovered Wood Design Furniture by Arqom
Wood Construction vs Deforestation
Eco-Madera: Sustainable Wood From Ecuador - Part 1
Eco-Madera: Sustainable Wood From Ecuador - Part 2

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