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6 Priorities and strategies for the sustainable development of the forest sector

The priority actions to make the “positive scenario” viable are the following:

• Through international cooperation, support should be given to the forest sector with a Technical Cooperation Project that, within a relatively short period (18–24 months), could develop a framework of forest policies accompanied by recommendations to adapt the legal framework to these identified policies. These would also be accompanied by a Forest Strategy for implementation.

• This technical financial cooperation must have commitment at the highest governmental level to initiate land use planning in the entire country, taking advantage of previous studies, and to incorporate the changes identified in this new study, especially within the new legal and institutional framework.

• For the adoption of a mechanism for the charging and payment of environmental services, advantage should be taken of the support that international cooperation is offering to the region through the Central American Forest Strategy (EFCA) so that, together with neighbouring countries, alternatives for implementation could be offered.

• The Forest Department should aim at granting long-term forest concessions, taking all the necessary measures to ensure the long-term sustainable supply of forest products.

• The National Protected Areas System should aim at its consolidation through an adequate representation of the existing natural ecosystems, for which it should seek financial support from traditional users in the tourism and water sectors.

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