Last updated: 07 March 2020



Forestry and legality

Region Latin America & Caribbean (2019) UNSD
FLEGT status VPA negotiating (2019) FLEGT Facility
Forest area 4.6 million ha (2015) FAO
Deforestation rate 0.12 million ha/year (2010-2015) FAO
Planted area 0 million ha (2015) FAO
Tree cover loss 1.01 million ha (2001-2018) Global Forest Watch
Tree cover loss (%) 13 % (2001-2018) Global Forest Watch
Tree cover gain 58.3 kha (2001-2012) Global Forest Watch
FSC certified area 17,815 ha (December 2019) FSC
PEFC certified area 0 ha (December 2019) PEFC
Double certified area (FSC & PEFC) 0 ha (Mid-2019) FSC & PEFC

VPA status of Honduras

  • Honduras was the first Latin American country to initial a VPA with the EU in 2018. Implementation will begin once the Agreement has been ratified.

  • The VPA has been characterized by broad stakeholder engagement, including public and private sectors, civil society and, in a FLEGT VPA first at the time, indigenous peoples’ groups.

  • The VPA includes in its legality definition an indicator stating that the Forest Institute will respect the right to free prior and informed consultation in the territories of the Indigenous and Afro-descendant Peoples of Honduras where commercial timber harvesting is intended to take place and by which those Peoples are directly affected.

  • The timber legality assurance system will be based on Honduras’ existing national strategy against illegal logging (ENCTI).

  • Honduras has expressed an explicit desire to use the VPA to increase transparency in the forest sector. The Honduras VPA includes an annex on public disclosure of information that lists the information the government commits to making publicly available.

Forest resources in Honduras

  • FAO estimated the total forest area in Honduras at 4.6 million hectares in 2015, 41% of land area.

  • Deforestation averaged 120,000 hectares per year between 2005 and 2015 according to FAO, an annual rate of 2.2%, the highest rate in the Americas. Forest area has fallen from 8.1 million hectares in 1990. Demand for land by small-scale farmers is thought to be the major cause.

  • According to the Honduras Institute for Forest Conservation, Protected Areas and Wildlife (ICF), 500,000 hectares of softwood woodland have been destroyed by insect infestation since 2015.

  • According to ITTO’s 2011 Status of Tropical Forest Management report, at that time Honduras’ central highlands and the Mosquito Coast savannahs had nearly 2 million hectares of pine and mixed forests, while about 3.5 million hectares of broadleaved forests covered much of the Caribbean coast, the Agalta mountains and the eastern lowlands.



Economic and industrial status

GDP 23.8 billion USD (2018) World Bank
Population 9.6 million (2018) World Bank
Income group Lower middle income (2019) World Bank
Ease of Doing Business (EDB) Rank 133 / 190 (2019) World Bank
Global Competitiveness Index Rank 101 / 141 (2019) World Economic Forum
Liner Shipping Connectivity Index 13.4 (maximum value in 2004 = 100) (2019) World Bank

Timber industry competitiveness of Honduras

  • The Honduras forest products sector is dominated by micro, small and medium-sized businesses.

  • Honduras’ ranking on international competitiveness indices is low and has declined in recent years. Ranking on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness fell from 88th in 2017 to 101st in 2018. Honduras Ease of Doing Business ranking fell from 105th in 2016 to 121st in 2018. The country’s connectivity is low, ranked 93rd on the Connectivity Index.

  • According to the European Support to Honduras Forestry Sector (EUROFoR) project, centralized bureaucracy has undermined the competitiveness of this sector with illegal logging activities escalating the problem, while extended droughts, due to changing climatic conditions, have contributed to forest degradation, with the expansion of epidemic infestations being the most prominent challenge.

  • Nevertheless, according to ICF, the Honduras forest products sector produces around 700,000 m3 of logs each year and annual export earnings of US$66 million. In the six years 2013 to 2018, the sector created over 100,000 jobs, while 236 community forest management contracts were issued.

Trade Overview

Trade Overview


  • According to the ITTO Biennial Review, national log production was stable at around 770,000 m3 in 2017 and 2018, a rise from 710,000 m3 in 2016. Honduras has implemented a ban on exports of unprocessed roundwood and squared logs.

  • Annual sawnwood production was stable at around 306,000 m3 in 2017 and 2018, up from 259,000 m3 in 2016, according to ITTO. A large proportion of sawnwood is exported. Sawnwood exports were 175,000 m3 in 2017 and 2018, a rise from 148,000 m3 in 2016 and only 74,000 m3 in 2014.

  • Honduras produces small volumes of plywood, estimated by ITTO at around 49,000 m3 per year between 2016 and 2018. Plywood exports were no more than around 10,000 m3 per year during this period and most production was consumed in the domestic market.

  • There was negligible production of veneer in the country between 2014 and 2018.

Honduras’s imports and exports of timber products in the latest 12 months (USD value from January 2019 to December 2019)

NOTE: Mirror data from STIX, drawing on trade data reported by Honduras’s main trading partners, is used. Read more about the data in ‘Data Sources and Issues’.
Hover over the chart to see the value.

Imports (202.8 Million USD) Exports (52.78 Million USD)
Region Country Product Product Country Region

Honduras’s production, imports, exports and domestic consumption of primary wood products in 2018

(data source: ITTO) Hover over the chart to see the value.

Trend in production, imports, exports and domestic consumption of primary wood products (logs, sawnwood, plywood, and veneer) in Honduras

(data source: ITTO)