More than 25 per cent of our areas become protective areas. Forest remnants within our fincas are preserved and integrated in these areas. Together with the reforested former pasture land, these protective areas form stepping stones for many rare animal and plant species. The positive influence of our forests on biodiversity is also proven by a study of the Technical University of Munich and a study of the University of Panama. Also, the availability of certified, ecological timber reduces the pressure on the few still existing rainforest areas. Rainforest protection is not possible without the sustainable production of tropical timber. However, the availability of timber from sustainably managed forests in world trade renders the destructive depletion of primary forests redundant.
The greenhouse gas CO2 has a global impact, no matter where on earth it was produced or emitted into the atmosphere. A CO2 emission which is produced in Europe can be compensated by a climate protection project on the other side of the earth. 1.5 ha of ForestFinance forest offsets the lifetime carbon emissions of an average German.
A ForestFinance forest consists of up to seven different exotic tree species and a selection of 50 further native tree species. Contrary to monocultures, mixed cultures do not deplete the soil. Due to the high biodiversity of our mixed forests they are much less affected by pests and diseases than monocultures. In very rare cases we do, however, temporarily opt for monocultures: In Colombia and Vietnam acacia is planted on fallow and pasture land. This tree species is very well suited for reforesting these areas, as it greatly improves the quality of the soil and thus enables us to plant lively mixed forests later on.
Aside from ecological and social benefits our forests also provide natural resources. ForestFinance offers forest products made of wood and cocoa which are 100 per cent retraceable. The RootProof label gives consumers more transparency by showing them exactly where the main product components or the whole product comes from. Our wooden products come from certified forestry. ForestFinance cocoa is produced fairly and the wages paid are above the regional minimum wage.
Child labour is not part of any of our products. ForestFinance supports the EU resolution against child labour in cocoa plantations and works closely with local partners to ensure the strict adherence to the rules of the International Labour Organization (ILO). ForestFinance cocoa forests in Panama are UTZ certified since 2014. As of this year, our cocoa forests in Peru also bear the UTZ label.
ForestFinance forests are not only a supplier of wood and fine cocoa, but also a valuable ecological source of energy, a gene pool for plants and animals and a protected area for water and air. Our ProtectionForest covers an area of about one hundred hectares, which equals 140 football fields. One hectare of this rainforest binds some 188,600 kilograms of CO2; the same amount one German citizen produces in 20 years, on average.
See for yourself how much our ProtectionForest contributes to the protection of people and the climate:
“Although it is not nice to cut a tree, thinnings are sometimes necessary to give the other trees room to grow,” says José Ballestero, a very reliable chain saw operator who is mainly involved in thinnings. He is convinced that the real environmental sinners are the farmers who cut the threes in order to gain pasture land or just to produce fences.