The Mil Madeiras Preciosas forest concession operates as a certified low impact community forest enterprise near the small riverside town of Itacoatiara.
Managing forests sustainably
Precious Woods Amazon (PWA) – MIL Madeiras Preciosas (MIL) owns 493 597 hectares of forest, 250 kilometers to the east of Manaus, Brazil, where the company has carried out sustainable forestry since 1996. The majority of the concession’s activities are concentrated in a 202,104 hectare area that is spread across the municipalities of Itacoatiara, Silves and Itapiranga. The sustainability of the MIL concession is ensured by the fact that it is PEFC certified, and has been FSC certified for close to 30 years.
In order to conserve the integrity of the forest’s biodiversity and ecological services, PWA uses a CELOS Management System (CMS). This approach requires that workers conduct annual surveys of the entire forest concession before any harvesting takes place. The concession area is also divided into 10-hectare functional units, where all trees exceeding 40 cm DBH (diameter at breast height) from over 70 diverse tree species are numbered, identified, measured, and mapped using GPS tracking software. Annual harvests are then carried out in designated areas encompassing around 10,000 hectares, which incorporates protective stream buffer zones surrounding existing watercourses. Through the complete forest inventory process, comprehensive data on over 200,000 individual trees is collected, allowing for the concession to be managed with a deep understanding of the forest's resources.
In addition to the forest management plan, Mil Madeiras Preciosas carries out reduced impact logging to ensure that only two or three trees per hectare are harvested annually, while a lengthy rotation harvest cycle of 35 years allows enough time for the forest canopy in harvested areas to regenerate.
Supporting local economic development
PWA is a leader not only when it comes to sustainable forestry, but also when it comes to building strong relationships, stimulating the economy, and providing social opportunities among its 775 employees. Over the years, the company has worked to foster a supportive work environment by providing fair wages while prioritizing the safety and welfare of its employees. Through training and skill development programs, staff have been equipped with valuable expertise in order to promote them into other important positions within the company. Employees and their families are also given access to housing, education and healthcare so that employees and their families receive the support they need.
Beyond its dedication to employee welfare, PWA actively engages with the surrounding communities. Over the years they have helped construct multiple community centers, and have sponsored a number of important social and cultural events. The company has also made significant investments into road infrastructure, public space developments, and biomass energy production. For example, their MIL Energia Renovável power plant transforms wood waste from their sawmilling operation into electricity, which is used to supply 120,000 Itacoatiara residents with 50% of their power.
Employee showing how Precious Woods' wood waste is used to generate electricity at the MIL Energia Renovável biomass power plant.
GPS tracking in the concession provides important habitat information to PWA so that they can avoid operating in sensitive areas, thereby safeguarding endangered species, such as the giant armadillo, ocelot, giant anteater, black spider monkey, and jaguar.
In addition, PWA collaborates with local groups to ensure the protection of keystone species. For example, in 2021 the company joined forces with the military police of Itacoatiara to undertake several operations against poaching and illegal logging activities. This community-oriented program played a pivotal role in raising awareness and empowering 200 scouts to diligently monitor the forest for any signs of illicit actions. Through this collective effort, PWA fosters a strong alliance with the local community, reinforcing their shared responsibility in safeguarding the biodiversity of the region and preserving its ecological integrity.
MIL Madeiras Preciosas workers examining GPS information about their concession.
Forest-positive products for export
This map of the MIL Madeiras Preciosas concession shows it in relation to its nearby settlements and waterways. Click here to learn more.
Did you know?
Nearly two-thirds of the Amazon rainforest is found in Brazil, and roughly 70 percent of deforestation in the Amazon is a result of cattle ranching.
Brazil alone accounts for 75% of the carbon storage potential of young to medium age second-growth forests of all tropical Latin America.
Learn more about Brazil's forestry
Learn more about MIL Madeiras Preciosas' work in the Brazilian Amazon by visiting their website.
Learn more about about the biodiversity found in the Amazon by reading this article by WWF.
Learn more about the deforestation taking place in Brazil and how carbon credits could incentivize new reforestation initiatives by reading this CPI article.