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The objective of this study was to thoroughly document and establish data on "environmentally sound forest harvesting associated with careful planning of each phase of the harvesting operations in tropical natural forests of the Amazon in Brazil" as an alternative to the "traditional logging systems" generally used in the Amazon-region in Brazil.

Another aim of the case study was individual testing of the applicability of the FAO Model Code of Forest Harvesting Practice for each phase of the harvesting operations under conditions of a company working on a commercial basis. The result of this phase is the recommendation of the FAO Model Code for general use where more specific regional codes are missing or existing laws and rules are insufficient to attain low impact harvesting. Low impact forest harvesting is a prerequisite part of sustainable forest management.

The case study on "Environmentally Sound Forest Harvesting. Testing the Applicability of the FAO Model Code in the Amazon in Brazil" was initiated by Rudolf Heinrich, Chief, Forest Harvesting, Trade and Marketing Branch, FAO - Rome and co-author of the FAO Model Code, and Ronnie de Camino, Chief Forestry Officer, Precious Woods Management.

In order to meet the targets of the case study, the "F2M forest management project" of Precious Woods Ltd. was chosen to serve as the study object. The F2M project started in 1993, near Manaus, Amazonas. Precious Woods Company Ltd. intends with the project "to demonstrate the economic viability of sustainable forest management integrated with a wood processing industry" (Precious Woods 1996).

The efficiency of the applied harvesting system was investigated by work and time studies analysing the work performance of the operations. The environmental impacts of harvesting were investigated by postharvest assessments. Efficiency and environmental impacts of the "environmentally sound forest harvesting system" were compared with those of the "traditional logging systems" by harvesting in the "traditional way" in another cutting unit of the F2M project area.

The field studies have been carried out by Norbert Winkler, consultant for FAO, in co-operation with Carlos Alberto Guerreiro, Forest Manager of Mil Madeireira, with support of João Heitor Faraco Jr., João Cruz Rodrigues, and Tim van Eldik, all forest staff members of Mil Madeireira Itacoatiara Ltd. Norbert Winkler prepared the report.

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