Our forests

Rainforest & species protection

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.

Climate protection

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.

Mixed forests instead of monocultures

A ForestFinance forest consists of up to seven different exotic tree species and a selection from 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.

Our forest products

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.

 

 

Tree encyclopaedia

Acacia mangium Acacia mangium A pioneer tree that helps bind nitrogen in exhausted soils and prevents erosion with its long roots.
Almendro Almendro The fruits of the almendro tree (almendra = almond) have a hard shell containing a nut with a bittersweet taste.
Amarillo Amarillo The name means ‘yellow’ in Spanish and comes from the extraordinary, honey-like colour of the wood.
Caoba Caoba The caoba tree is popular for its heavy and beautiful wood and better known as mahogany.
Cocoa Cocoa The cocoa tree belongs to the genus Theobroma, which comprises a total of 22 different species.
Cocobolo Cocobolo Better known as rosewood; its wood is extremely hard with a beautiful red-brownish colouring.
Cedro espino Cedro espino A tall tree with a large trunk; its wood is relatively light compared to other hardwoods.
Teak Teak Teak is particularly popular due to its excellent quality, exceptional colouring and rot-resistant wood.
Zapatero Zapatero This tree (zapato = shoe) owes its name to its widespreading roots stabilising the tree.

 

 

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.