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Ivonne de la C. Diago Urfé

J. Teresa Suárez Sarría

Jorge G. González Suárez



The Cuban archipelago includes the island of Cuba, the island of the Youth (Isla de la Juventud), and more than 1 600 small islands that together occupy an area of 110 981 km2 with 5 746 km of coastal areas. The current population is 11 038 602 inhabitants and the Cuban economy is based mainly on sugar production, tourism, agricultural production and mining.

The forest sector contributes only 0,8% of Gross National Product (GDP) in Cuba and represents on average 8.7% of all agricultural activities, including hunting and silviculture.

The current levels of forest exploitation represent approximately 1.8 to 2.0 millions of cubic meters of wood. Of these, 65% are harvested for use as fuelwood, either directly, or after transformation to charcoal.

Cuba possesses a forestry estate of up to 3 019.71 million hectares from which 77.28% correspond to forests (2 333.62 million hectares). These cover approximately 21.71% of the total national territory. 29% of the forested areas are production forests and the rest are protection and conservation forest. The current composition refers to the fundamental use of the forested areas according to their intended purpose as described in Chapter III of the recently approved Forest Act, whose execution began during the current year 2000. In this Forest Act, new and modern concepts about sustainable forestry development have been introduced. The Forest Act also defines the main regulations for every one of the different classifications and categories as well as descriptions of the different types of forests, which are under a special system of protection.

In this context, the plantation forests reach a total of 352.92 million hectares (without counting young plantations of less than three years of age that total 77.19 million hectares) and the natural forests reach 1 980.72 million hectares.

The country each year harvests different products from its forest sector that present a vital importance for the Cuban economy, including roundwood, sawnwood, industrial roundwood, fuelwood, various sizes of poles for drying and curing tobacco, fence posts, electricity and telephone poles and also charcoal. All of this production contributes millions of pesos to the Cuban economy. Pine resin and tree seeds are some of the forest products that are exported and help in getting needed foreign resources.

At the same time that the Cuban State is harvesting products from the forestry sector every year, it also invests millions of pesos in planting, maintaining managing and preserving the same forests. All the new plantations have very clear objectives in accordance with the short- and long-term plans that have been prepared for the forestry sector in Cuba and use both local species and introduced species. There is also a special programme for the rescuing of endangered species that are either threatened or close to extinction, in order to maintain the existence of the rich Cuban flora.

Annually, 27% of the total of plantations which are done correspond to production forests with objectives that could be described in percent form as follows:







Scaffolding poles






Approximately 60% of the total of new forest plantations done every year are dedicated to protection forests; these can be described as follows:

Watershed protection


Wild flora and fauna protection


Coastal areas protection


Soil and water protection


Other protective functions


From an ecological point of view, the natural forests are the most important since they include a very rich flora with some 6 000 species and that they have a critical function is preserving the existing biodiversity. They are also the natural habitat of many species from the fauna since these animals find refuge in the forest. They also find their source of food, whether the seeds, fruits or other parts of the plants in the forest, thus forming together with the plants a community that function in a very close relation.


Total forestry estate of Cuba



1985 (*)


Area (mha)

vol. mm3

Area (mha)

vol. mm3



17 990


6 211



15 723


6 211



2 267


Natural forests

Area (Mha)

Vol. Mm3

Area (Mha)

Vol. Mm3


1 981

101 017

1 729

85 909


1 859

94 956

1 729

85 909



6 061


Area (Mha)


Deforested areas





Reforested areas





Total forestry estate

3 020


2 751


(*) At this time, privately owned plantations or privately owned natural forests were not tabulated.


In Cuba the System of Protected Areas consists of 286 recognised sites. Some other smaller sites are included into the bigger areas, which brings us to a total of 424.

Natural reserves


22 353 ha


Quantity 14

National Parks


312 967 ha


Quantity 14

Ecological Reserves


187 484 ha


Quantify 21

Protected Area (Managed Resources)


846 842 ha


Quantity 31

Wildlife Reserves


32 868 ha


Quantity 49

Flora (Managed Reserve)


28 475 ha


Quantity 79

Eminent Natural Site


1 616 ha


Quantity 28

Protected Natural Site


9 700 ha


Quantity 23

Other Protected Areas:


Quantity 20


Forestry Products (1999)



405,9 Mm3

Industrial roundwood

291,7 Mm3


145,9 Mm3

The national production is not enough for the demand. Everything harvested in Cuba is sold on the Cuban market and in 1998, in order to cover the unmet needs, the country had to import approximately 45 million of cubic metres of forest products at a cost of US$22.5 Million.

The local plywood is not made with wood but mostly with processed sugarcane bagasse and the production level reaches 17.6 mm³


_ Fuelwood (wood for burning) 1 187,2 Mm3;

_ charcoal 1 361,5 thousands of bags;

_ scaffolding poles and stakes for drying tobacco 74,9 Mm3;

_ electricity and telephone poles 28.2 MU;

_ railwood sleepers 150,1 MU.

Non-forest products (1999)

_ mangrove harvesting 125.9 metric tonnes;

_ forest residues (leaves etc) 25.6 million units;

_ pine resin 1044.2 metric tonnes;

_ tree seeds 292.9Mkg.

Tourism and recreation


In Cuba, the Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR), the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment (CITMA) and the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAG), have approved a Joint Resolution that authorize the exploitation of 116 different tours for ecotourism. All of these must follow strict regulations as described in the Resolution.

The tours offerings are managed by the MINAG, CITMA and other entities mainly through the National Enterprise for the Protection and Conservation of Flora and Fauna and the participation of other specialized entities of the Forestry Division.

During 97-98, the country received approximately US$7 million while in 1999 they received US$11 million. For the year 2000, some 3 500 000 tourists are expected to visit the country and tour the national parks and the natural reserves to practice ecotourism. Seven million tourists are expected by 2010. By this time, the country should offer diversified and combined products and services.

The success of the next ten years will be dependent on the capacity of the Cuban specialists to identify the unique possibilities of each site, what makes them different from other sites and how to incorporate these differences in a creative manner. Cuba possesses sufficient variability in its natural and cultural areas for this to be achieved.


This is an activity that has been existing in Cuba since a very long time. We must stress, however, that the current legislation on this matter dates from July 1949, is obsolete and is no longer relevant. These statutes, however are still present on the books, and every year are produced hunting calendars describing the approved periods for the hunting season.

The new responsibilities of each of the concerned Ministries, MINAG and CITMA, relating to the wildlife, as well as the Environment Policy of the Nation (through the adoption of Act N° 81 of 1997 about the Environment and Act N° 85, Forestry Act of 1998, based over modern conceptions of Sustainable Development) have since been defined. These have led to the redaction of a project of Decree regulating the hunting activities in Cuba. This project is now in a process of extended debate, as a step towards its final approbation. This new Decree will allow the strengthening and reorganization of hunting activities in conformity with the economic and environmental situation of the country.

The Hunting Decree includes eight chapters and 53 articles that cover the general principles of the activity, the definition of the terms used in the text, the different types, methods and modalities of hunting, the declaration of the sites and areas where hunting is allowed, the permit licenses needed for the practise of hunting, the calendars describing the days and hunting hours.

The decree also establishes the definition of all violations of the law related to hunting and proposes 15 levels of penalties in accordance with the dispositions of the Decree, including personal fines, the confiscation of any products obtained illegally, as well as the weapons used and the cancellation of the permits in the cases when such punishments are necessary.

The authorities responsible for the application of the Decree are the National Forest Service, the National Office for Agricultural Inspection from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Corps of Forest Rangers and the National Revolutionary Policy that depends of the Ministry of Interior.

Today we are working with the fundamental objective of practising hunting in a sustainable manner while respecting all the agreements signed by the country regarding the protection of the environment.

Watershed protection

In 1997, a Decree of the Council of Ministers created the National Council of Watershed Protection, which is led by the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment (CITMA). The Council also includes other national institutions. It has identified eight watersheds of national importance because of either their economic importance, social importance or because of the status of the natural resources in these watersheds. These eight are: Toa, Guaso-Guantánamo, Cauto, Hanabanilla, Almendares, Ariguanabo, Cuyaguateje and Zaza.

In every one of the 14 provinces and the special Municipality of the Island of the Youth, Provincial Councils for Watershed Protection have been created. These Regional Councils have prioritized, at the regional level, the study and the evaluation of the various other watersheds in their areas of action, (at least one for every province).

From the legal side, the problem of the Management and Protection of the Watersheds has also been addressed in different laws such as Act N° 81 about the Environment (1997), Act N° 85, Forestry Act and its Rulings (1998 and 1999) and the Decrees regulating Surface Waters and Soil (both of these dating from 1993).

There is also a programme of reforestation of the protected areas along the rivers, torrents and of dams (big and small). On average, every year, 7-8 thousand hectares of protected watersheds have been created as well as a much bigger area of new forest plantations with the purpose of protecting soil and water.

Recycling of fibres is not done in Cuba.


Laws and policies relating to forest management

Recently, the three legal acts covering forestry activities in Cuba were approved. These are: Law N° 85, "Forestry Act"; Resolution No. 330-99, "Regulations of the Forestry Act"; and Decree N° 268 of the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers, "Violations of the Forestry Regulations". These three legal instruments constitute the basic forestry legislation of the Republic of Cuba in order to ensure the conservation and the development of its forestry estate using the most modern concepts of sustainability. They are also the legal support indispensable for the execution of the national programme for forestry development.

All projects of Forestry Management in Cuba are covered by the three legal texts mentioned earlier.

In the fifth Chapter of the Forestry Act, First Section, it is established that the projects of Forestry Management constitute the base of the sustainable forestry development as well as the planning, organization and control of all managing activities to be realized in areas that are part of the forestry estate. The projects are approved by the Minister of Agriculture in consultation, when needed, with the competent organizations and institutions and then become mandatory.

The First Section of the Regulations of the Forestry Act informs that the preparation of the Projects of Forestry Management must follow the Methodology for the execution of the Forestry Estate Planning of the Republic of Cuba, as approved by the National Forestry Directorate. It also specifies that the projects must cover a period of ten years, although, in some cases these can be authorized for a shorter period. Once a project is completed, a new one will be elaborated, in which will include the changes observed in the National Forestry Estate, the results of the economic activity, the different activities realized as well as the new proposals of forestry activity in the country.

In this same section, the responsibilities of the various administrators and managers of the forestry estate are established. They are in charge of preparing the Projects of Forestry Management and must ensure the execution of these Projects once approved.

The Projects of Forestry Management are approved through a resolution taken by the Ministry of Agriculture upon a proposal of the National Forestry Directorate. The Directorate will have previously received the results of the previous evaluation done by the Provincial Forestry Estate Service. The Directorate is responsible for registering every one of the ministerial resolutions that approve these Projects and then becomes responsible for managing these Projects once they are approved.

Also, for smaller areas of the Forestry Estate, where forestry activities do not constitute the primary economic activities of the administrators and managers, smaller Plans for Forestry Management are established, rather than Projects of Forestry Management. The smaller Plans are prepared following the same methodology approved by the National Forestry Directorate, as do the bigger Projects.

The administrators and managers of the forested areas are responsible for the actualization, every year, of the approved Projects of Forestry Management or the Plans for Forestry Management, including in these documents relevant information about activities done during the period covered by these Projects or Plans.

Failure to respect the dispositions of the Forestry Act or its Regulations is considered a violation, sanctioned by Article No. 4, Chapter II of the Decree No. 268 of the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers.

Investments in silviculture and other forestry products

Since the end of 1996, a Resolution of the Ministry of Finance and Prices established the funding of silviculture This Resolution decrees that the total cost of funding plus 30% of the real value for long-term plantations, either for production forestry or projection forestry may be provided for all the economic systems, no matter the type of land-ownership.. The goal is to ensure a yield of at least 80% or more for people or institutions investing in forestry. The Ministry of Finances and Prices also encourages self-reliance through loans for forestry plantations of short cycle (up to seven years) with 4% interest for the private sectors and 6% interest for the state enterprises. These loans will be paid at the time of commercialization and no taxes will be applied to them.

The state will finance all the costs and the activities related to protection forestry, silviculture treatments or the regeneration of degraded forests. If some economic benefit is derived from the management of these protection forests, no tax will be applied to these revenues. On the other hand, the state has financed and will keep financing the Programme for Forestry Research as a primary objective of the national forestry development.

The annual portion of the national budget of the state for forestry activities is 30 million pesos and 15 million more pesos are supplied to the forestry sector through bank loans for new forest plantations every year on average.

This budget is distributed at the provincial level and inside the provinces to enterprises, cooperatives and even private individuals or farms according to the Projects of Forestry Management and the activities that are scheduled based on evaluations, which are presented by these entities and approved by the National Forestry Service.

Capacity building

The forestry sector is part of the Ministry of Agriculture and has both regulating structures and investment structures. The Ministry of Interior (MININT) also includes a structure related to forestry activities, the Corps of Forest Rangers (CGB). In the Ministry of Education (MINED) and the Ministry of Higher Education (MES) also exist institutions that supply forestry training at intermediate and higher levels.

The structure of the forestry sector is as follows:

_ The National Forestry Directorate that functions as the representative of the state and develops its activities in order to execute the activities mandated by the Forestry Act. It controls the State Forestry Services in every one of the 14 provinces and 169 municipalities of the country.

_ Recently an investment group called Agro-Industrial Forestry Group of Cuba was created that includes the 31 state-owned companies that realize production activities whether in the field of silviculture or the fields of processing and supplying wood and other forestry products. Inside of this group exists an entity called the Group of Forestry Managing, responsible for conducting inventories, executing evaluations and projects all over the Cuban territory. Right now, however, the Group of Forestry Managing is suffering from a lack of equipment and resources that has prevented it from correctly executing its activities, and these have suffered, specially over the last ten years.

_ The Institute of Forestry Research, which has been conducting forestry research for 30 years already.

_ Other scientific institutions from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment and the Ministry of Higher Education also conduct research on forestry-related fields.

_ The National Institute for the Protection of the Flora and the Fauna includes 24 units that manage the system of protected areas that extend over 635 000 hectares

_ The Corps of the Forest Rangers whose specific functions are to apply the law, prosecute violations of the law as well as doing prevention and control of forest fires.

_ Teaching and training in forestry science are executed by the Western Polytechnic Institute and the Forestry Faculty of the University of Pinar del Río, The Polytechnic Institute is responsible for training middle-level technicians while the Forestry Faculty is responsible for training university graduates and degree holding professionals.

_ There also exist three University Faculties for Mountain Agriculture that also train professional and other scientific people with an interest in forestry management.

_ The Consultative Council for a Sustainable Forestry Development whose mandate is to act as a consultative organization and provide evaluations and assessment of the forestry sector.

_ The Reforestation Commissions created at the provincial and municipal levels and functioning under the authority of the National Commission for the Turquino-Manatí Plan. They are responsible, among other things, for executing the activities of the National Reforestation Programme in every area.

The Programme for the Integral Development of the Mountain areas, Turquino-Manatí Plan, is active in the four mountain ranges of Cuba. It also covers the wetlands known as Ciénaga de Zapata. These areas represent approximately 20% of the national territory. The Programme for the Integral Development of the Mountain areas, Turquino-Manatí Plan, also participate in the development of management techniques for production forests, as well as the development of protection and conservation forests in the mountain areas.

The State Forest Service (SFS) is the entity that executes the activities for the control and tax collection in the different production activities, which are conducted in the Cuban Forestry Estate. It was organized at the central level, (National Forestry Directorate), provincial and municipal levels in 1997 and is executing, among other activities, one of the recommendations adopted in the Rio de Janeiro Summit in 1992.

However, this new organization was created at a moment when Cuba was undergoing an extremely difficult economic situation that is still not completely over. Because of that, the SFS would have been severely affected, if not for the support of the project CUB/97/G81.

The SFS has helped to equip 80 municipalities of the existing 169 in Cuba with motorcycles and has helped all the provinces and 15 more municipalities to benefit from modern computing equipment.

At the central level the Forestry Directorate has been strengthened with the acquisition of three automobiles, various computing equipment as well as training material and other equipment.

On the technical part, the SFS has made possible the following, among others:

_ a computerized system for managing statistical information related to the forestry has been designed and is now ready to operate;

_ nine training sessions have been conducted in Cuba (three of them were led by foreign specialists under contract of the SFS). During the course of the training, more than 1 500 specialists and civil servants of every level of the SFS were trained;

_ more than 50 Cuban forestry specialists were trained in foreign countries.

Biodiversity and sustainable eco-systems

Cuba possesses an extensive network of Protected Areas that include various types of forests and also include non-forested areas such as lagoons, swamps, as well as the habitat zones of various endemic wildlife species either from the vegetal and the animal kingdom where Cuban biological diversity is preserved.

The investigations related to the management of the natural forests and realized by the Institute for Forestry Research have a direct impact over biological diversity. The following topics have been studied:

_ floral composition;

_ annual increases per species;

_ changes in availability;

_ posterior reforestation.

The country harvests the highest production of precious wood or high-quality woods from these natural forests. Inadequate management in the past resulted in that 112 forestry species were declared under various levels of danger over the past ten years and 35 of these were palm trees.

The Cuban mangroves have not been sufficiently studied in terms of adequate management and have shown serious levels of damage in the northern coast as well as the southern coast of the main island of Cuba. As of now, the causes of these damages have not been identified, and this creates problems for the associated fauna.

As for new tree plantations, the most beneficiary impact is felt on the employment level, especially during the nursery stage and the period of application of chemical products like fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.

The Institute for Forestry Research also studies areas of extreme ecological conditions in Cuba such as the degraded drywood forest, the areas which have been damaged following open mining operations, the swamps and the semi-arid area called Guantánamo - Maisí. A negative impact of this degradation is the partial or total substitution of the native forest by other species recommended by the local technicians. In other cases, the necessity of using foreign introduced species because of their demonstrated superiority and adaptive qualities (needed for surviving in these difficult ecological conditions) can also result in the loss of the autochthon genetic resources.

Taxation structure

The Ministry of Finance and Prices through Resolution 50/96 has established the taxation structure for the utilisation or exploitation of forestry resources whether natural or artificial as well as the use of wildlife. From this Resolution are derived regulations concerning the utilisation, the exploitation of forestry resources, whether natural or artificial, wildlife use, the harvesting, marketing of wood and non-wood products such as resins, small cuttings, seeds, foliage, vines, thatches as well as the utilisation of specific areas for hunting and ecotourism purposes as long as these are lucrative.

The tax base to which the Resolution refers differs according to the product: it may be the quantity of cubic metres of wood per species or the metric tonnes, kilograms, thousands of posts, linear metres or the estimated production of non-wood products as well as the number of hectares used or under exploitation.

In the case of the natural forests, a 10% tax increase is applied to species harvested there, as opposed to species harvested on plantation forests.

In the case of areas used for hunting and ecotourism, the specific tax rate corresponding to the activity that generate the most revenues will be applied.

The State Forestry Service is also responsible for delivering authorizations for each and every activity that is subject to taxation. It will send to the local offices of the Tax Administration corresponding to the legal residence of the taxpayer all relevant taxation documents.

However, the Ministry of Agriculture, in order to stimulate a sustainable forestry development, and based upon established policies and dispositions may propose to the Ministry of Finance and Prices:

_ the reduction or exemption of tariffs to the importation of technologies, equipment, their parts, which are necessary to the forestry development in Cuba;

_ the reduction or exemption of taxes for forestry products harvested on plantations;

_ granting financial incentives to persons or to individual organizations that are actually planting or managing forests;

_ granting exceptional tax exemptions or other financial benefits to enterprises, cooperatives, small landowners, and other users of lands or communities in order to stimulate new forest plantations forestation and reforestation activities.


The Forestry Development Programme is a prognostic of forest production with, basically, an economic aspect even though, in Cuba, the forests play a highly important function of protection, mainly in all the watersheds of the mountainous and coast areas. This protection function should be preserved and even increased.

This Programme is based on an estimation of the current consumption of forestry products as well as on short and long-term needs with an expected rate of increase of 6% every year in the consumption of forestry products. This is also the same rate of increase that is estimated for the whole Cuban economy. In the case of forestry products of immediate use, a stabilization of consumption is expected thanks to a higher efficiency in the use of forestry products.

The Programme has been conceived so that the national needs are covered while some excess productions are generated that can be sold over the international market in order to generate the needed foreign exchange to support the development and the investments required by the whole forestry sector.

This Programme has been prepared according to the principles of sustainable development adopted at the Rio de Janeiro Summit in 1992 as well as the declarations of the President, Commander Fidel Castro to this forum.


The Development Programme requires 404.8 Mha of plantations and 355.5 Mha of natural forests. The Development Programme intends to use 50% of the natural pine forest and 25% of the natural hardwood forest because at the present moment we do not dispose of an actualized forestry inventory and so the evaluations have been made with a large margin of error.


Measurement Units






Production Plantations






Forest Rehabilitation






With this Programme, as well as the protection forest programme, the area under forestry cover of Cuba will reach 27% by 2015.


This programme was conceived for the forested areas under the control of the state-owned enterprises. Currently, the National Forestry Directorate elaborates and is currently in the process of approving the National Forestry Programme that concerns all the owners and users of forested lands in Cuba. This document will be complemented with the "Programa de Desarrollo Económico Forestal 1997-2015" (Economic Forestry Development Program 1997-2015).

The Management of the Forestry Resources has an ambitious programme that includes all of the national forestry estate independently of its administration but prioritizing the State-owned Forest Enterprises.


The projections of forestry products till the year 2015 is as follows:


Measurement Units












Wood-Based panels






Cellulose for paper






Pine Resins












Turpentine oil












Flooring and parquet tiles for flooring






Industrial roundwood








1 200,0

1 100,0

1 100,0




2 000,0

2 200,0

3 000,0

3 800,0


The estimated revenues in foreign exchange through internal sales or exportations are estimated as follows:


Measurement Units

Number of years






Total revenues

US$ (Mn)






Yearly average

US$ (Mn)






As the level of productivity increases in the forestry sector, new jobs will be created for the population either directly or indirectly since very important sectors of the Cuban economic activities and of Cuban productive and social services depends on an adequate supply of forestry products in order to maintain their viability.

Products and Services

Types of Forestry Products Needed


Sawnwoods, sleepers, fuelwood


Sawnwood, industrial roundwoods, fenced post, scaffolding poles, leaves


Sawnwoods, crates, pallets


Sawnwoods, pallets, poles, beams


Sawnwoods, palm logs


Sawnwood, roundwood, charcoal, fuelwood and leave matter material for craft

Electricity and telephone

Poles for public service and sawnwood


Sleepers, and sawnwood


Under the Projects of Forestry Management are included all of the administrative, economic, legal, social, technical and scientific aspects related to natural forests and artificial forests, that require the intervention of mankind to protect and maintain the forestry eco-system and its functions in order to reach the strengthening of specific species or groups of useful species as well as the highest production of goods and/or environmental services.

The Programme of Sustainable Forestry Management will ensure that the revenues proceeding from the forestry sector will be used for meeting the current needs and will, at the proper time, guarantee the availability as well as the permanent contribution to the development of the forestry sector in the long-term, the preservation of genetic resources, the protection of biological diversity as well as the protection of the environment.

The Programme of Sustainable Forestry Management covers the whole National Forestry Estate of Cuba, while prioritizing the state-owned enterprises.


The forest-based industry requires modernization, development and diversification. In order to achieve this result, Cuba needs sources of foreign exchange. Some of these must come from the benefits of the development project, but are not sufficient at the current time. It is necessary to renew the equipment at well as the vehicles used for forest exploitation and absolutely necessary to regenerate and increase the plantations who will supply the needed forestry products.

Required investments:


Investment (m)





For. Exc.


44 750,0

30 150,0

14 600,0


31 500,0

Wood-based panels

18 000,0

16 200,0


1 800,0

12 600,0


214 300,0

211 300,0


3 000,0

143 600,0


6 300,0

1 500,0

4 800,0



2 250,0

Plywood for (exports)

58 200,0

28 800,0


29 400,0

52 800,0

Flooring and parquet tiles for flooring)

2 100,0

1 500,0



1 650,0

Other products

20 000,0




14 000,0


363 650,0

289 450,0

19 400,0

34 800,0

258 400,0


Th programme will generate products whose value is expected to be US 2 300 millions. Of these, 1 300 millions will come from, exports, local sales of foreign exchange as well as joint ventures. This programme will then be able to satisfy the essential requirements of Cuba for the social and economic development of the country in forest products as well as save some US$80 mn in imports of sawn woods.


When estimating the actual influence of the forests on the environment, we must not forget that the forests can also have an impact on the climatic conditions in various ways.

In the Cuban case, we contribute to the protection of the environment in the following ways:

(a) increasing the plantations in order to reach a survival rate higher than 80%;

(b) doubling the level of commercial exploitation over the natural forest;

(c) increasing regular and rational use of the forestry products;

(d) realizing an adequate management of natural forest plantations in order to reduce losses caused by fires, insects or diseases.


The forests have a large importance not only because of the economic value that they generate but also because the forests protect the soils from erosion whether caused by water or wind. They also protect the water and capture carbon dioxide (CO2) in order to purify contaminated air. They also help with recreation.

In Cuba, some 35 thousand workers are directly employed in the forestry sector, both in the industrial sector and the silvicultural sector. Yet we can say that, one way or another, all Cuban citizens have a relation with the forest.

As a new way to increase social participation in the forestry sector, forestry farms have been created with diverse objectives that go from protection forests to agro-silviculture. In general they have an area that can be managed by the farmer and his family. So far, 598 forestry farms have been created and during the year 2000, 272 more farms will be created. The farms' ownership remains with the state and they cover between on or three hectares. Any production excedent may be marketed through state-owned enterprises. There exist regulations that cover these farms.


_ Define and localize the land for the new projects required by the programme. It is expected that 700 0 Mha will be planted during the following 19 years of which 380 0 Mha will be plantations for industrial use;

_ realize the inventory and prepare the Projects of Forestry Management and the Programme of Forest Plantations that must support the Forestry sector;

_ establish systems of financial incentives for the benefit of the forestry workers;

_ accelerate and conclude the negotiations for the production and export of plywoods and wood-based Panels;

_ negotiate the necessary credits for modernizing the forest industry in order to reach the expected productivity targets;

_ realize the feasibility study of a project to produce woodpulp using pine residues.


Política Forestal de Cuba, E. Linares 1998

Fortalecimiento de la Capacidad Institucional del Servicio Forestal en la República de Cuba, Dirección Nacional Forestal, January 2000.

Resolución 7-96, Ministerio de Finanzas y Precios, 1996

Resolución 50-96, Ministerio de Finanzas y Precios, 1996

Instrucción 9-96, Ministerio de Finanzas y Precios, 1996

Ley No. 85, Ley Forestal, 1998.

Resolución 330-99, Reglamento Ley Forestal, Ministerio de la Agricultura, 1999.

Decreto 268 del Comité Ejecutivo del Consejo de Ministros, Contravenciones de las regulaciones forestales, 1999.

Proyecto de Organización y Desarrollo de la Economía Forestal. Proyecto Nacional. 1985-1994.

Programa de Desarrollo Económico Forestal 1997-2015, Ministerio de la Agricultura, 1996

Programa de Desarrollo Forestal 1998-2002, Grupo Agroindustrial Forestal de Cuba, 1997.

Informe - Situación Actual y Perspectiva de la Actividad Forestal, Ministerio de la Agricultura, 1998.

Instrucción No. 1/99, Grupo Agroindustrial Forestal de Cuba, 1999.

Dinámica Forestal, Dirección Nacional Forestal, Ministerio de la Agricultura, 1998.

Proyecto de Decreto de Caza y sus Contravenciones, 2000.

Propuesta Programa Forestal Nacional 2000-2015, Dirección Nacional Forestal, Ministerio de la Agricultura, 1999.

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