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Promising opportunities for sustainable use of Amazon forest resources


The Brazilian Amazon is home to a third of the world’s rainforests. The most conservative estimates indicate that it has more than 60 billion cubic meters of tropical wood, which places the region as a leader, with the greatest reserve of this wealth. In addition to wood, Amazon has the greatest genetic value represented by oils, resins, fruits, fibers, medicinal plants and for cosmetic purposes.

The Amazon shelters about one third of species animals, plants and micro-organisms assessed in the planet. More than that, there are services provided by regional and global forest, especially the maintenance of hydrological cycles and climate balance.

Since the Europeans arrival, the predatory logging in Amazonian has begun. History has the same characteristic of the Espirito Santo and Bahia, where the forest has given way to agriculture and livestock.

Despite this bleak scenario, there are promising opportunities for use Amazon forest’s resources sustainable.

Marcello Guimaraes, Mahogany Roraima’s CEO

Marcello Guimaraes, Mahogany Roraima’s CEO, is an entrepreneur who believes in the sustainable use of the Amazon. “After a lot of research, consulting many people planting mahogany all over Brazil and reading a lot, I decided to attract some investors to the business,” he says.

“We are dealing with investors in the USA, Dubai, Hong Kong and China. The expectation is to attract from U $ 30 to U $ 70 million dollars for the planting of this great forest of 3,000 or 5,000 ha. These values include the creation of seedlings, planting, irrigation for 14 years and the maintenance of the forest for the same period” says Guimaraes.

To grow trees has always been a good business, and when it is mahogany, its price has risen since 1990, never back down, which makes the business even better and a safe investment with certain return. Unlike other raw materials, once you cut the tree, you can plant it all over again and the business remains.

African mahogany is a species that does not have natural predators in Brazil

Mahogany of the species “Khaya ivorensis”, whose main characteristic is its hardness and reddish color, very appreciated for the manufacture of high standard furniture and building luxury homes, has a high selling price, the price of the cubic meter, equival 1,3 yard³, is prised now between US $ 1,100 to US $ 1800 US dollars.

Besides the high selling price, the African mahogany is a species that does not have natural predators in Brazil, and is a tree that can handle all kinds of trials. Even in the worst of conditions, he lives, remains alive, and the moment he receives water he begins to grow even  after  he  has  suffered  all  kinds  of  natural aggression.

The municipality of Boa Vista, in the state of Roraima, offers perfect conditions for the Marcello Guimaraes’ venture. Climate, soil, pluviometric regime and much land with reduced value are characteristics for a return business between 10 and 15 years.

Guimaraes explains that EMBRAPA has been growing African mahogany in Roraima for more than 10 years, and that after 10 years, the trees studied reached an average of 2 m³ of wood, going up to 4 m³ at 14 years. This average is only found in Africa. In other Brazil’s regions the average is 2 m³ in 18 years. Therefore, the best place to plant African mahogany in Brazil is undoubtedly the state of Roraima.