Flor Angela Martinez is a mother, campesino and entrepreneur. Based in the Colombian Amazon, her company has become renowned for its sustainable timber harvesting practices. But before she made the transition in 2014, Martinez used to cut and sell wood illegally. “To work illegally is based on luck. There are days when it goes well, there are days when it doesn’t,” Martinez says. “When you are working illegally you are not worried where it comes from, where it goes, what compensation you have to pay, what taxes need to be paid, nothing.” Martinez’s business is based in Tarapacá, a nearly pristine stretch of forest in the country’s southeastern tip. Here, her company cuts three to four trees per hectare in a 1,600-hectare (4,000-acre) concession, serving as a model for how timber can be sustainably harvested from natural forests. Tarapacá is in the southeastern tip of Colombia near the border with Brazil. “I was just looking at the economic aspect,” Martinez says of her timber trafficking days, before she incurred a huge loss for being caught with an illegal consignment. That forced her hand. “I like my work, I was going to do what I needed to do it legally.” Due to its relative remoteness, lacking a road to the interior of the country, this region of the Colombian Amazon has been saved from some of the worst levels of deforestation and the advance of the agricultural frontier. But to harvest timber legally here, Martinez first had to have a forest…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer