A new dynamic of relationship with the community
MLR Forestal has created a new dynamic in the relationship with its neighboring communities. Through the area of Social Management has strengthened its interactions with these communities. The vision of the company is to work and coexist in harmony with the communities neighboring its operations and, following this line, it has signed collaboration agreements with the mestizo populations in Siuna, with the owners of farms near the plantations and with the Mayangna indigenous communities.
Thanks to a relationship of trust and mutual support, MLR Forestal has donated school supplies, has training programs, especially on the subject of cocoa, and follows up on complaints and suggestions through a mailbox provided for this purpose, which has been located in the communities neighboring its operations. There are also other channels of communications such as WhatsApp, phone and email.
Relations with the Mayangna communities in Bonanza are based on respect for their worldview, authorities and language. The main interest of MLR Forestal is that indigenous communities feel respected and be taken into consideration.
Mayangna communities of the Mayangna Indigenous Territory Arungka Matumbak and the agroforestry company MLR Forestal de Nicaragua signed in 2021 a five-year community relationship and mutual cooperation agreement where the protection of the environment and natural resources, the social development of these indigenous communities within the framework of respect for indigenous peoples were established as main axes. its rules and authorities of governance and its customs.
The process of approving this relationship agreement directly included the authorities of the Matumbak Indigenous Territorial Government (GTI Matumbak), communal authorities and residents of the three Mayangna communities Pansuhwas, Mukuswas and Ispayulilna. The agreement directly benefits these three communities, the closest to MLR Forestal operation in Bonanza, in the North Caribbean, and indirectly, in some areas, the rest of the communities in the territory.
Currently, an Inter-institutional Working Commission has been created, made up of the communal authorities of Pansuhwas, Mukuswas and Ispayulilna, Members of the GTI, companions of the Mayangna Nation, Luis López, sustainable development manager of MLR and Mabel Lazo Quino, responsible for social management of MLR, who meet periodically to monitor the progress of each of the actions embodied in the 2021 and 2022 annual operational plans that were developed successfully.
MLR Forestal seeks to create harmony with its neighboring communities, both mestizo and Mayangna. It is for this reason that in each adjoining area a complaint and suggestions box has been installed and a delegate elected in a community assembly is responsible for it.
MLR places an information mural and a mailbox in the external area of the delegate´s house so that other residents can communicate their complaints or write them down and put them in the mailbox. These can be signed or anonymous. Complaints or suggestions can also be verbal. In addition to the mailbox, there are other channels such as WhatsApp messages, phone calls to +505 2298-5300 and emails to [email protected]
Every fortnight, whether or not there are complaints and suggestions reported, the mailbox is opened and a record is written. To carry out this procedure, the delegate or a community member designated by him must be present, as well as the responsible for social management of the company and the prosecutor of complaints.
Both the complaints and suggestions box and the other communication channels have fulfilled their objective of providing greater rapprochement and transparency with the company's neighbors and their communities.
Aula Verde is an environmental education and values promotion program developed by the Network of Private Wildlife Reserves of Nicaragua to which MLR Forestal belongs. This project offers the opportunity to discover nature through experiments and games and is carried out with primary school students outside the classroom, in green areas, in contact with the environment.
In the same way, Aula Verde seeks that all people are recognized as part of the environment and extends to the company's employees, who receive talks regarding environmental protection and carry out dynamics and activities related to the subject. This initiative is currently implemented in three schools in the communities neighboring the main campus of MLR Forestal in Siuna.
Collaborators, the soul of MLR Forestal
Lucía García | Nursery Area
Lucía García is 40 years old, originally from Empalme La Bú, a rural community in Siuna and since 2011 she has been working at MLR Forestal in the nursery area. A large number of the tall trees seen in the company's plantations have first passed through her hands. She works with teak when it is just a green and thin shoot. She sows, cleans and cuts cuttings, that is, the stems, branches or shoots of one plant that are grafted onto another.
Félix Jaime Silva | Head of Forestry
Félix Jaime Silva is 26 years old, is originally from the municipality of Siuna and since 2016 works at MLR Forestal. His beginnings were as a field technician, then he was promoted to monitoring and measurement supervisor and in 2021 he was appointed head of forest use.
Siuna, home of MLR Forestal
Since 2013 Siuna is home to MLR Forestal, an impact investment in teak and cocoa in association with teak. More than 95 percent of MLR Forest's 5,126.77 hectares of plantations and conservation are in Siuna.
The municipality of Siuna is part of the buffer zone of the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve. MLR's agroforestry plantations are located in this area and are natural allies of the Reserve because they have recovered the forest mass for thousands of hectares of land that had been deforested decades ago; and because they provide quality direct employment to hundreds of Siuneños, who have a stable and competitive income.
In the city of Siuna there is a lot of commercial movement and shops of different sizes and offer, it has cell phone signal and internet, a bank branch and microfinance facilities, as well as an airstrip.