Afforestation of Generation Forests as part of the climate solution
With our Generation Forests, we have developed a flagship project – which promotes biological diversity and substantially strengthens Nature’s resilience. In a nutshell: A climate solution that is Nature-positive.
Our afforestation areas comprise several generations of valuable tree species native to Central America. We apply an innovative approach to create a diverse forest over time, which is economically self-sustaining and closely resembles a naturally-occurring rainforest.
Our forests and our climate are under threat
Our forests can make a decisive contribution to the stabilisation of the global climate. But instead, every year, the loss and degradation of our forests significantly contribute to the extinction of species and climate change. The intensive clearing of forests presents us with far-reaching problems: they can no longer protect us from the impending impacts of climate change that occur in the form of violent storms and droughts. In addition, numerous forests are less healthy and resilient than before. Through our commitment to tackling climate change, creating new habitats, and linking ecosystems, we can reduce the risk of zoonotic diseases and future pandemics. There is a phenomenon called the “Dilution Effect”, which describes how the destruction of intact ecosystems can promote the emergence of pandemics. Through our afforestation projects and the protection of rainforests, we are strengthening the resilience of our natural biotopes.
So not only are Nature and our climate endangered, for the sustainable availability of timber as a resource is likewise at risk. Therefore, stopping global deforestation and forest degradation, together with the renaturation of areas already degraded, is one of our most crucial tasks.
Turnaround in forestry management to reduce CO₂
Deforestation and the resulting change in land use account for approximately 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions.1
Instead of focusing on offsetting or damage limitation, we must act in a nature-positive way to sustainably restore the resilience of nature, society, and our planet. Apart from the consequential reduction of emissions, it is therefore necessary to facilitate the additional absorption of harmful CO₂ without causing ecological damage.
The solution: Our Generation Forests, which every year absorb 20 tonnes of CO₂ per hectare of trees, plants, and soil and which grow four times as fast as European forests!
Furthermore, through ecological forestry, our forests can absorb almost three times more carbon in their living biomass than in the case of conventional forestry methods. Because our forests will, at the same time, become near-natural again, they constitute an important prerequisite for the conservation of the natural diversity of species and the fulfillment of international conventions and treaties. Of course, this means we must exhibit considerably more responsible handling of timber as a resource and achieve greater productivity of resources – defining features of our Generation Forests.
Our Generation Forests against climate change
Through the reforestation of tropical rainforests, we can take effective action against climate change. For we plant trees in exactly those places where the need is particularly high due to the tremendous destruction that has happened there.
Compared to conventional forests, the tropical rainforest comes with even more advantages:
- The leaf canopy of our mixed forests protects the soil from the sun, wind, and heavy rains, and helps to cool it, too.
- Our forests are some of the most important drinking-water filters in the world – because they function like a sponge whereby the water does not flow off across the surface – but is instead slowly absorbed and filtered into the groundwater.
Where is reforestation taking place?
Our project sites in Panama will show you the progress of our Generation Forests. Others will be regularly added, and our forests will continue to grow. We are growing steadily and assuredly – with an ecologically and economically rational alternative orientated towards the natural rainforest.
Generation Forests – the most sustainable method of afforestation
The concept of Generation Forests is based on a forestry principle that takes equal account of the needs of people and the environment. Furthermore, it is orientated towards the natural rainforest for this has proven its resistance over millions of years.
Our goal: to fill degraded land with life again.
We want to create large and healthy forests that are both ecologically and economically valuable. With the Generation Forest, we are pursuing a robust and yield-proof concept that turns fallow pastures or former monoculture plantations into mixed forests rich in species. In this way, we offer a local economic alternative to unsustainable soybean cultivation and livestock farming and create a social perspective.
Creation of a permanent mixed forest
Generation Forests are planted with a balanced mix of local tree species that are ideally suited to the environment, meaning they can grow optimally. In contrast to monoculture plantations, we only remove individual trees, and the resulting gaps are quickly planted with new saplings so creating a “multi-storey” ecosystem orientated towards a rainforest.
This resilient, permanent mixed forest comprising young and mature trees not only makes a positive impact on our climate – but also provides a home to 50% of the species of flora and fauna living on the land, as well as economic prospects for the local people. In this way, we are creating an all-embracing, sustainable economy.
The cooperative is a way for me as an individual to play a small part in balancing the environmental, economic and social aspects of sustainability. Local employees play an important role in the cooperative's reforestation projects. When you talk to them, you sense that they feel involved in every tree that is planted in our forests.
Co-Founder and Board Member - The Generation Forest
Our long-standing partnership
The Generation Forest concept was developed by our team of founders, Iliana Armién and Andreas Eke, in collaboration with important stakeholders such as the indigenous communities, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the United Nations Environment Programme (link to partners’ websites). THE GENERATION FOREST is a cooperative initiated for the purpose of realising as many Generation Forests as possible.
Our partner FUTURO FORESTAL is responsible for the on-site operational activities. This is an organisation with almost 30 years of experience in sustainable afforestation, and it has supported us from our formation. We are proud of our lengthy collaboration with this pioneer, which is the first forestry enterprise in Panama to have been awarded a B-Corp certification.