CIVIL SOCIETY PRONOUNCEMENT ON THE WEAKENING OF THE INSTITUTIONALITY AND GOVERNANCE OF THE FOREST SECTOR
Lime. The undersigned express our rejection of the attempt to break the institutional framework of the Peruvian forestry sector by requesting the resignation without support of the executive director of the Peruvian forestry authority, SERFOR, going beyond the functions of its Board of Directors.
Last week we learned that the Vice Minister of Agrarian Policies of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MINAGRI), Paula Carrión Tello, summoned the executive director of SERFOR, Luis Alberto Gonzales-Zúñiga, to a private meeting in which he requested his resignation , by decision of the Senior Management of the sector. Gonzales-Zúñiga asked her to provide him with the request in writing, explaining the reasons, to which she refused.
The attitude of the vice minister is strongly striking, when it is she herself who presides over the Board of Directors of SERFOR, unaware that said instance is the highest body of the institution and clearly violating the procedures established for a measure like this.
We know that members of the Board of Directors, representing indigenous peoples and civil society, have requested the convening of an extraordinary session of the Board of Directors of SERFOR to provide explanations on this fact. Which we support and believe is necessary to contribute to transparency at such a delicate time.
It is worth mentioning that Gonzales-Zúñiga is the first Executive Director of SERFOR who has been appointed through a public merit contest, endorsed by the National Civil Service Authority (SERVIR), and appointed for a period of five years, precisely to be able to guarantee the independence and continuity necessary to manage forest and wildlife resources in the country.
The waiver request occurs when the current management of SERFOR shows progress in the development of traceability mechanisms for wood, so that, finally, its legal origin can be verified in the forest, and in the transformation, marketing and marketing chain. from exportation. Progress to rebuild this traceability has generated a negative reaction on the part of those public and private actors that have been benefiting economically and politically from the commercialization of illegal wood and the corruption required for its laundering. In this process, some officials have received death threats and even physical attacks to intimidate them and try to stop the implementation of the advances.
Therefore, the undersigned express our concern about actions that seek to weaken the institutional framework and forest governance in Peru and put at risk the commitments made by the Peruvian State, through the Free Trade Agreement with the United States. We support efforts for a more transparent and corruption-free forest management that allows increasing the national and global competitiveness of the Peruvian forest sector and that brings sustainable development for the Amazon and its inhabitants.
Lima, March 11, 2020
Amazonian Association for the Amazon-AMPA Peru
National Association of Centers-ANC
Association for Research and Integral Development-AIDER
Regional Chamber of Second Transformation of Wood of Ucayali-CRESETMU
Center for the Development of the Amazonian Indigenous-CEDIA
Peruvian Center for Social Studies -CEPES
Center for Conservation, Research and Management of Natural Areas - Cordillera Azul (CIMA-Cordillera Azul)
College of Engineers of Peru, Departmental Council San Martín - Moyobamba
Committee for the Defense of Water - Iquitos
Law, Environment and Natural Resources-DAR
Environmental Investigation Agency-EIA
Faculty of Forest Sciences of the National Agrarian University La Molina-UNALM
Ecological Forum of Peru
Institute of Legal Defense - IDL
Institute for the Promotion of Solidarity Development-INPET
Nature Services Peru-NSP
Oxfam in Peru
Patricia I. Fernández-Dávila
President of the Chapter of Forest Engineers of the Departmental Council of Ucayali of the CIP
Peruvian Environmental Network-RAP
Silvia Sánchez Huamán
Peruvian Society of Ecodesarrollo-SPDE