Climate change, global warming, extinction of species – these modern phenomena are inextricably linked. They are not just mutually reinforcing, they also entail negative effects for our welfare as people. So, it is high time that we tackled the underlying ecological problems and join to find a solution – for a liveable, green future.
The tropical rainforest is not just an effective brake on the advancement of climate change by storing huge quantities of carbon, it also represents an important habitat for numerous different plants and animals that find food and shelter there. So tropical forests have an essential role to play in the global conservation of species.
Tropical rainforests are our most important eco-systems, and they perform a significant role for our climate and our resilience. At one time, the forests of Panama formed a green bridge between North and South America, but now just 40% of the country is covered with forest. Extensive tree clearing has radically debilitated the key natural functions of the “green corridor”.
To reverse this progression, we ignore monocultures and plant various indigenous tree species instead. The result is a permanent mixed forest that not only counters the displacement caused by imported tree species, but simultaneously also revives degraded land. This sustainable management is how we ensure that 100 years from now, the forest will still be able to perform its critical tasks – and help ensure a green future.
Our work and our projects have a great impact – both locally and globally. To make this impact measurable and transparent, we work with our partner organisation, Sociedad Mastozoologica de Panama (SOMASPA), to conduct regular biodiversity monitoring. By using camera traps for a monitoring project that ran from 2018 to 2020, we were able to identify a significant proliferation of fauna:
The number of species of mammal in the Colón project area grew from 18 to 26.
These include four species that are classified as threatened or endangered nationally: the puma (Puma concolor), lowland paca (Cuniculus paca), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and the jaguar (Panthera onca).
It was found there was a large stock of fruit-eating birds, which are crucial to the dispersal of seeds and therefore to forest preservation, too.
Through our afforestation projects, we plant more than 20 indigenous tree species.
More than 20 indigenous species of trees are planted as part of our afforestation projects. Many of these are protected to prevent the endangerment of existing stock, such as with the American mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), Spanish cedar (Cedrela odorata) and rosewood tree (Dalbergia retusa).
In addition to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), we have been assessed under the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards (CCBS) for our impact on climate, biodiversity and work with local communities.
We are currently working on a new, comprehensive biodiversity study. We expect the results by the end of 2022 – and we are truly excited to see them! Our partner Futuro Forestal already commissioned such a study back in 2015.