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Palo Santo | The Integrated Management Plan (PMI) Part 1

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The dry forests are those ecological formations that presents a very lush vegetation in the rainy season and drop their leaves in dry seasons. A native species of the dry forest is Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens). This tree has a distinctive, pleasing and intense aroma.

The dry forest is considered an area of great biological importance because of the number of species of flora and fauna that this has.

The few dry forests of Ecuador bring development to local populations by giving them multiple benefits. It is necessary to promote planned management actions in order to preserve that benefit.

The reforestation project consists in planting 5,000 trees of Palo Santo and give them a sustainable management for their conservation. It also includes the participation of nearby communities in forest-control and land-use planning.

The Ministry of Environment of Ecuador (MAE) promotes management actions and forest harvesting of dry forests where the PaloSanto grows. It aims for the conservation of Palo Santo, and encourages to reap its benefits sustainably.

The MAE grants the license of sustainable forest harvesting prior executing a Integrated Management Plan (PMI) of a determined area where palosanto grows; The MAE also issues the inland waybills. This is done when the lands meet the requirements and established data.


The PMI is a plan that outlines actions to prevent, control, and correct the environmental impacts of the Project. It also includes evaluation plans and monitoring of flora and fauna.

The PMI must meet the following requirements:

  • Meetings of association with nearby communities.
  • Location of description of area.
  • Sketch of the terrain.
  • Evaluation of flora and fauna in the area.
  • Report on the prevention and control of forest fires.
  • Sworn declaration on forest soil maintenance.
  • Georeferenced information of at least 4 GPS points.

Within the PMI are excluded the sites that are part of the National System of Protected Areas (SNAP).

It's necessary a PMI for sustainable forestry operation of Palo Santo. It is done on the basis of criteria and indicators, and community participation in forest control activities. These requirements are necessary to obtain a license to recollect palosanto wood, for prior processing of its products (essential oilpalo santo agarbatti, prayer beads, palo santo malas, etc.) The Company commercializes and exports these products.

The members of the community are beneficiaries when the Palo Santo is exploited in a sustainable manner. They sell the wood to processers of Palo Santo.  

The goal is to make a collection center where surrounding communities can participate. It includes among its objectives signing an agreement with the UNESUM (University State of Southern Manabi), so that students of forestry, environment and agriculture can do their practices in these lands.

The vision is to generate interest in the myth of Palo Santo, and promote the proper use of it oriented in reforestation and protection of the environment.

This first project is located in the comunity Joa, canton Jipijapa; It has 50 hectares for forest restoration; The Cerrito is another community that would participate in the reforestation of Palo Santo.

In the ecological assessment of flora and fauna are found plantations of Madero Black, Guayacan, Ceibo and Algarrobo. There are also white snails; this species is native to the forest and is not harmful to the Palo Santo.

For the conservation of Palo Santo it is needed to apply some recommended techniques. One of them is to place native species near the property to prevent deforestation. Likewise prevention and pest control is very much needed.

The site has 90% of Palo Santo female and 10% male; monitoring of these plantations will be in charge of the Ministry of Environment. (marketer and exporter) works for the approval of the license of sustainable forest-harvesting. 

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