Forestry Incentive Program



The Forestry Law mandated the National Forestry Institute (Instituto Nacional de Bosques; INAB) ​to set up and run a Forestry Incentive Programme (Programa de Incentivos Forestales; PINFOR) for reforestation and natural forest management (Art. 71) to be resourced with 1% of the national annual budget (Art. 72) for a period of 20 years (Art. 73). This is one of the main ways that communities and small landowners can participate in the forestry sector and receive an income from it. In order to participate in PINFOR, landowners must have legal title to at least 2 Ha of natural forest or land appropriate for reforestation.  80% of the subsidies are earmarked for reforestation and 20% for natural forest management. INAB verifies performance and subsidies are paid directly to landowners by the Finance Ministry over a six year period.

According to INAB, between 1998 and 2012, PINFOR has subsidised the reforestation of 112,342 Ha and the management of 216,135 Ha of natural forest. Subsidies have totalled US$182m and have benefited 760,355 people (INAB 2013).

The current regulation of PINFOR is JD 01.35.2010 issued by INAB's board of directors. It contains detailed parameters on the programme. For example 50% of the subsidies are earmarked for properties of less than 15 Ha and no single project can receive more than 1% of the total subsidies.

The majority of peasant smallholders are excluded from participating in PINFOR by the requirement to have a legal title and an extension of over 2 Ha. This led community forestry organisations to successfully pressure for the creation of a new scheme, the Incentive Program for Small Possessors of Forest or Agro-Forest Land (Programa de incentivos para pequeños poseedores de tierras de vocación forestal o agroforestal; PINPEP).

PINFOR began operating in 1996 so is due to expire in 2016. INAB has prepared a draft law for a programme to replace it called "Probosques".