GUATEMALA – In order to publicize the best practices being used in Guatemala’s tropical forests, the National Forestry Institute (Inab) has honored Agua Tibia Ranch for its exemplary success in woodland management.
After rating 88 selected ranches across the country, Inab honored this property belonging to Central American Agricultural Industries, S.A. with its top prize in the Forest Plantation for Industrial Purposes category of the 2017 National Forestry Awards, the company announced Tuesday.
The competition is made up of eight categories of woodland propagation and use: Production, Protection, Agroforestry, Energy, Industrial Purposes, Restoration of Wooded Landscape, Seed Source and Forest Industry.
For each category, Inab picked the winning ranches for their success records, which then serve as examples and guides for dealing with today’s environmental challenges.
“We’re very proud to see our work of care and conservation over more than 40 years on Agua Tibia Ranch being rewarded. This is further motivation to keep improving our use of clean, nature-friendly practices,” ranch manager Jacobo Lainfiesta said.
A breath of fresh air for the capital, Agua Tibia Ranch is located in the capital municipality of San Jose Pinula, covers 271.46 hectares (670 acres) on which are grown and managed such species as Pinus maximinol, Pinus chiapensis, Cupressus lusitanica and Acrocarpus fraxinifolius.
The ranch has been there for almost a century, but it was in 1976 that it was converted to a forestry company. Today it is planted yearly with a minimum of 30,000 pine and cypress trees so that timber harvests do not affect the sustainability of its plantations, and makes sure they are protected from the environmental damage that would be caused by clear-cutting.
In 2014, Inab also awarded a prize to Agua Tibia Ranch for Good Management, and used it as a model of best practices in technical and forestry training courses.
According to Inab statistics, the biggest loss of natural resources occurs in Peten province (85 percent), though it is estimated that illegal felling represents a cost of 2.2 billion quetzals ($298.7 million) in losses from soil erosion and the value of the carbon dioxide (CO2) absorbed and stored in trees.