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Cablegate: Cites, Cedar and Mahogany in Peru

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RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPE #1878/01 1491609
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 291609Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5615
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 4689
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7359
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 2897
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0420
RUEHGE/AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN 0525
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ MAY PARAMARIBO 0161
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 1235
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 1298
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/DEPT OF INTERIOR WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

UNCLAS LIMA 001878

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

USEU FOR DCM MCKINLEY
DEPT FOR WHA/AND, EPSC AND OES/ETC,ENV
USTR FOR LINSCOTT AND BURR
BRASILIA FOR ESTH HUB - J STORY
USAID FOR LAC, EGAT, J.Kunen
USDA FOR /AS/FAA/BAILEY,/FAS/ITP/FSTSD/BREHM,/FS/MAYHE W,DROTH
INTERIOR FOR USFWS/GABRIEL,ST.JOHN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR SENV ETRD EAID PE
SUBJECT: CITES, CEDAR AND MAHOGANY IN PERU

REF: (A) STATE 51890 (B) Lima 1451 and previous

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Both of Peru's CITES management and scientific
authorities for plant species concur that cedrela (cedar) species
should remain on CITES Appendix III, allowing the GOP to manage
trade without required export permits. Management authority INRENA
does track cedrela as it is logged. Scientific Authority UNALM
concurs but would like to see better management of cedrela species
and a comprehensive inventory conducted. Experts concur that cedar
in Peru has been inadequately studied. There is a strong domestic
market (unlike mahogany) as well as export market for Spanish Cedar
and other cedar species in Peru. UNALM cannot easily integrate
ongoing mahogany surveys to include cedar, as they are not found in
the same areas. A Cedar inventory would be a good project for the
U.S./Peru Environmental Cooperation Agreement. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) This cable responds to Ref A request for information on GOP
views on Germany's proposal to include cedrela (deciduous cedar)
species on Appendix II of CITES. Although Ref A asked for the views
of host country scientific authority, after email exchange with U.S.
scientific/management authority Fish and Wildlife Service (USF&WS),
ESTHoff met with Peru's separate management and scientific
authorities and solicited opinion from NGOs involved in forestry
issues. The scientific authority representative was Dr. Ignacio
Lombardi of the National Agrarian University (UNALM). For the
management Authority, Natural Resources Institute (INRENA) Director
Ignacio Angeles provided oral and written answers. (Note: mahogany
in this cable refers to broad-leaf mahogany, Swietenia macrophylla;
positions by INRENA or UNALM refer to communications from Angeles or
Lombardi. End Note.)

CONSERVATION STATUS OF CEDRELA SPECIES
--------------------------------------
3. (U) Both INRENA and UNALM agreed that cedar species have been
inadequately studied in Peru. Mahogany has been studied much more.
Among the cedar species, Spanish Cedar (Cedrela odorata) has been
studied the most. INRENA and UNALM do not have any scientific
studies or population inventories for the cedrela species, and in
fact any sort of information is scarce. UNALM notes that anecdotal
field studies have noted that mahogany and cedrela species are not
found near each other, and so current mahogany inventory efforts are
not able to simultaneously note cedrela populations with any
accuracy.
4. (U) UNALM confirms five known genus cedrela species occurring in
Peru, with the possibility that others exist (Peruvian Spanish
language common names in parentheses):
- C. fissilis Vell. (Cedro el bajo, cedro de agua, cedro); - C.
odorata (cedro);
- C. lilloi Hars (cedro de altura, atoc cedro)
- C montana Moritz ex Turczaninnov (cedro de altura, cedro) (UNALM
agrees with Reynel 2006 publication that population is probably
threatened)
- C. Weberbaueri Hams (cedro) (UNALM agrees with Reynel 2006
publication that population is probably very threatened)

5. (U) INRENA explains that exports of C. odorata increased from
2004 to 2006, probably due to "restrictions" in mahogany exports
connected with the mahogany CITES Appendix II listing. As a result
of the World Conservation Union's (IUCN) listing of C. odorata as a
vulnerable species, the GOP also classified it as a vulnerable
species for which INRENA should pay special attention, in Supreme
(Presidential) Decree 043-2006-AG, in 2006, following also Peru's
voluntary inclusion of C. odorata in CITES Appendix III in 2001.

HARVEST/INTERNATIONAL TRADE IMPACTS
-----------------------------------
6. (U) C. odorata is the species most impacted by harvest and
international trade, because in part of the preference by Peruvian
consumers and wood workers for it that has generated a substantial
(and untracked) domestic market. The similarity of the cedrela
species makes them somewhat interchangeable in domestic and
international markets. Quotas in mahogany export (GOP actions in
response to the Appendix II listing and concerns over mahogany
populations) have led to increased C. odorata exports. Harvest is
generally of wild trees, with virtually no cedar plantations.

7. (SBU) INRENA said that concerns over cedrela species have lead
inclusion of cedrela species in the general forest management
system. The 2000 General Forestry law sets out requirements for
forest management plans for concessionaires and native populations;
verifications of inventories of cedrela species occur (or are
supposed to) alongside mahogany before and after timber harvests.

8. (U) INRENA notes that listings of cedrela found and taken are
contained in the records for the 624,251 hectares to date of
voluntary forest certification. (Note: using Forest Stewardship
Council processes, supported in Peru by World Wildlife Fund and
USAID programs. End Note.)(Note: this leaves, however, many
thousands of hectares that are not part of certification programs
for which there is no reliable information on cedrela harvests. End
Note.) UNALM notes that verifications of non-certified concessions
are frequently not done on time (that is, starting before harvest to
get an accurate population count) and that INRENA has not
sufficiently shared results of verifications with UNALM.

VOLUMES EXPORTED FROM PERU
--------------------------
9. (U) INRENA's figures for cedrela species' exports from 2002 -
2006 state 131,900.52 cubic meters (m3), equivalent to approximately
18,843 trees, using the formula seven m3 per tree. By year:
2000 5550.18
2001 2988.82
2002 8760.96
2003 11,588.04
2004 29,390.88
2005 29,163.48
2006 36,538.47
UNALM notes the general trend of increase as worrisome.

10. (U) (Note: Several factors make precision difficult. A number of
woods are commonly called cedar (cedro in Spanish), including
species that are not cedrela but are similar from the point of view
of woodworkers. The other similar species are hard to distinguish
from cedrela species. Export authorities (GOP customs agents) have
little training in distinguishing tree species and it is commonly
thought by GOP and NGO observers that export allocations by species
are not accurate. Finally, while INRENA lists species through its
forest management system, the GOP customs agency SUNAT does not
appear to publish systematic exports of wood by species, aside from
mahogany for which there are international obligations through CITES
to track.)

PARTS/PRODUCTS EXPORTED FROM PERU
---------------------------------
11. (U) Peru's Appendix II listing includes logs, lumber and
laminates. Export permits are given for lumber and laminates;
export of trees or logs are not permitted. The vast majority of
cedrela exports are lumber.

PERU OPPOSES CEDRELA IN APPENDIX II
-----------------------------------
12. (SBU) Management Authority (INRENA) chief Roberto Angeles said
that Peru's position is to maintain cedrela species on Appendix III,
opposing the proposal to move cedrela to Appendix II. The GOP would
like to continue to manage the cedrela without additional external
requirements. UNALM's Lombardi concurred, although he said that he
would like to see more tracking of internal trade in cedar species
as well as a comprehensive inventory. Neither thought that an
annotation should involve only certain parts or products. INRENA
noted that in general Peru is in the midst of many measures to
assure sustainable forest management, in particular voluntary forest
certification and measures against illegal logging. Cedrela species
are an integral part of forest management initiatives.

13. (U) ESTHoff is emailing primary documents from scientific and
management authorities to U.S. scientific/management authority
(USF&WS), and will email NGO information as received. For further
information contact Hal Howard, howardhh@state.gov.

COMMENT
-------
14. (SBU) Both UNALM and INRENA (as well as other GOP and NGO
observers) noted that part of the problem with the illegal logging
that threatens cedrela as well as mahogany is the prevalence of
exporting only raw products, mainly lumber. Helping to develop a
furniture export industry in Peru would be one way to involve more
Peruvians in the market chain for cedrela, as well as decrease the
anonymity and difficulty in assuring a chain of custody with lumber.
In any event, Post is well aware that forestry conservation and
sustainable development for residents of the forests will need to
include cedrela species as well as mahogany, and we take this into
account when cooperating with Peru using USAID, USDA and other
mission programs. If funds are appropriated for a work plan
associated with the Peru/U.S. Environmental Cooperation Agreement,
cedrela could be included in forestry programs.
STRUBLE

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