Planting Biodiverse Forests in Panama

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By sourcing timber from a primary rainforest or harvesting large-scale monoculture plantation, the timber trade has significantly depleted tropical rainforests.

CO2OL Tropical Mix is looking to change that by introducing sustainable timber production while reforesting degraded pastureland with a mix of native tree species and teak. The resulting forests offer a natural habitat for native animals and plants, protect and enrich the soil, save and filter water and contribute to the mitigation of climate change.

The project, initially developed by Forest Finance and recently extended by the partner Sustainable Timber and Isla Cebaco, is based on a model that combines sustainable, high-quality timber production with biodiversity protection and ecosystem restoration. By also planting a mix of cacao and native tree species in some areas, the project also enables sustainable cacao production.

Project impacts and benefits:

> More than 3.5 million trees have been planted – capturing carbon and emitting O2

> 15% has been declared nature reserve, protecting the forest and the animals and plants living there

> 15 threatened animal species from the Red List have found a habitat in the project

> The reforested areas serve as bridges for wandering animals seeking new habitats

> The project provides long-term employment for the local population. So far, the Forest Finance Group has created 150 jobs, through their reforestation projects in Panama. The training and further education of the native population leads to an improved living standard.

> Knowledge transfer around the use of sustainable and innovative forest management technologies, GIS and monitoring-systems in Panama lays the ground for future projects

> All employees receive a wage above the legal minimum, health insurance, and a pension fund. Furthermore, they receive additional optional benefits such as life insurance as a security for their families, an internal credit program, training, and further education and special seasonal bonuses.


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