Logging has been and remains an important economic activity in the Amazon basin, with precious hardwoods such as mahogany, Spanish cedar, and other members of the Meliaceae family. Most logging is selective logging, where only a few selected species are removed for sale. Logging is sometimes a step towards land clearing, where the remaining biomass will be burned for land clearing. In well managed logging concessions, timber is harvested on rotations.
Most timber harvested in the Amazon remains domestic, and many estimate that the vast majority of logging is illegal. Certification and legality verification programs seek to improve timber trade by ensuring basic standards and rewarding good management. Similarly, reduced impact logging programs train foresters and logging operators in best practices to reduce negative ecological impacts. Logging also depends on silviculture, including the ecological conditions of forests habitats and the reproductive systems of desirable species. Explore these topics in the following pages.