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Feb 19, 2021

Minister of Forestry Tours Machaca Forest Station

Orlando Habet

Habet’s tour also took him to the Machaca Forest Station, next to the NEMO headquarters in Toledo. There he met with the forestry officer to tour the facilities. Habet tells us about some of the challenges that the department faces and how he plans to address the issues moving forward.


Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change & Disaster Risk Reduction

“What we wanted to do is a familiarization with the area and what they are doing. Additionally, from a standpoint of the stakeholders – there are a lot of complaints that they do a little logging and some extraction and they have problems with the forestry department. What we want to impress upon our OICs is the fact that the sustainable part means that you can get something just as long as you get your permits; you get your licenses, just as long as everything is done legally. I mentioned also that what we want to do also is to make certain that our officers can use some discretion. Yes, there are laws and regulations but at times you have to really think about what you are doing especially when things can become one sided at times if a big person does it, a big company does it that they get away but when a small person does it they don’t get a break. It is not a matter of getting breaks but our forestry department has to make sure that there is the educational component so that the public knows why we are doing such things or implementing such regulations. Where is ownership, then if they are part of it then they will be able to preserve, conserve and take care of the resources which will benefit them now, their children and for generations to come.”

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