- WISH LIST
Learn how GreenWood entrepreneurs are earning a livelihood and preserving forests. See more videos of our work.
Changing Lives and Protecting Forests
People and the environment are not two separate entities, but one interdependent whole. GreenWood believes that the best way to protect a forest is to enlist the participation and support of the people who live there—the folks who stand to gain the most by its sustainable management or to lose the most by its destruction. The good news is that the people who make their homes in isolated forest communities often comprise their strongest line of defense—but only if they can connect their own personal livelihood to the survival of those forests. That's where GreenWood focuses its attention.
Here are some of ways in which GreenWood is making an impact:
Since our official founding in 2001, GreenWood has trained more than 100 Honduran artisans, sawyers and guamileros (secondary-forest owners). In 2008 we added another two-dozen Peruvian artisans to that list. A few of these artisan clients earn their full-time living from the sale of Green Wood furniture, but most combine their part-time artisanal production with small-scale agriculture or other forms of traditional local employment.
GreenWood has trained artisans, sawyers and landowners in more than ten isolated forest communities on the North Coast of Honduras and another five in the central Amazonian region of Peru. In the process, we provide the tools and resources that empower the most enterprising individuals in these communities to take control of their own forest assets and preserve them for future generations.
Lesser-Known Species Put to Use
Thanks to the great work of our artisans, sawyers and community partners, more than a dozen different species of secondary trees, bark and vines are being used to create high-value, low volume GreenWood products. By using lesser-known species—and cultivating high-end markets for the most valuable species, like mahogany—GreenWood is providing incentives to preserve tropical forests.
Products & Sales
GreenWood artisans in Honduras have developed a diversified catalog of more than 25 standard furniture products, which are sold to local markets, often by the artisans themselves. (Two unique furniture designs are currently under development in Peru; watch this website for more information, as they become available.) We have also trained artisans to make boats and rustic fencing. But the largest volume of sales and income for GreenWood producers has been generated through the export of mahogany guitar parts and the local sale of other kiln-dried, graded lumber (approximately 20,000 board feet per year) over the last several years. All of these production activities provide vital income to families who would otherwise be reliant almost entirely on subsistence agriculture.
Forest Area Under Management
Through the combined efforts of our community partners, more than 8,000 hectares (20,000 acres) of rainforest are now under active management by GreenWood's local partners in Honduras. Timber harvesting decisions incorporate a strong emphasis on conservation and biodiversity protection.