A new dynamic of relationship with the community
MLR Forestal has created a new dynamic in the relationship with its neighboring communities. Through the Social Management area, it has strengthened its interactions with the environment. The company's vision is to work and live 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 mayangna indigenous communities.
MLR Forestal has made donations of school supplies, has trained members of the neighboring comunities especially on the subject of cocoa; and has developed a system to attend to complaints and suggestions through mailboxes set up for this purpose, which have been located in four mestizo communities neighboring their operations. They also have other channels of comunication such as WhatsApp, telephone and email.
Relations with the Mayangnan communities in Bonanza are based on respect for their worldview, authorities and language. MLR Forestal's main interest is that indigenous communities feel respected and taken into account.
Mayangnan Communities of the Mayangna Arungka Matumbak Indigenous Territory and the agroforestry company MLR Forestal de Nicaragua signed in 2021 a five-year community relations and mutual cooperation agreement where the main pillars of the agreement are the protection of the environment and natural resources; as well as the social development of these indigenous communities within the framework of respect for native peoples, their rules and governance authorities and their customs.
The approval process for this relationship agreement directly included the authorities of the Matumbak Indigenous Territorial Government (GTI Matumbak), community authorities and residents of the three Mayangna communities benefited: Pansuhwas, Mukuswas and Ispayulilna. The agreement directly benefits these three communities, the closest to MLR Forestal's operation in Bonanza, in the North Caribbean, and indirectly, in some areas, to the rest of the communities in the territory.
Currently, an Inter-Institutional Task Commission has been created, made up of the communal authorities of Pansuhwas, Mukuswas and Ispayulilna, members of the GTI, companions of the Mayangna Nation, as well as Luis López, manager of sustainable development of MLR and Mabel Lazo Quino, responsible for social management of MLR. The commission meets periodically to monitor the progress of each of the 19 tasks embodied in the 2021 annual operational plan that is being satisfactorily developed.
MLR Forestal seeks to create harmony with its neighboring communities, both mestizo and Mayangnas. It is for this reason that a complaint and suggestion box has been installed in each neighboring area, which is managed by a delegate elected in a community assembly.
MLR places an information wall and a mailbox outside his or her 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 fifteen days, whether or not there are complaints or suggestions reported, the mailbox is opened and minutes are drawn up. To carry out this procedure, the delegate or a community member designated by him or her must be present, someone else from the company and Mabel Lazo, responsible for social management of the company and complaints prosecutor.
Both the complaints and suggestions boxes 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.
Similarly, Aula Verde seeks that all people recognize themselves as part of the environment, that extends to the company's collaborators, who receive talks regarding environmental protection and carry out dynamics and activities related to the subject. Currently this initiative is being implemented in three schools in the neighboring communities of the MLR Forestal main campus in Siuna.
Employees, the soul of MLR Forestal
Lucia Garcia | Nursery Area
Lucía García is 40 years old, she is originally from Empalme La Bú, a rural community in Siuna and since 2011 she has worked at MLR Forestal in the plant nursery area. A large number of the tall trees seen on the company's plantations have passed through her hands first. She works with teak when it is just a thin green shoot. She sows, cleans and cuts cuttings, that is, the stems, branches or suckers of one plant that are grafted onto another.
Felix Jaime Silva Head of forest harvesting
Félix Jaime Silva is 26 years old, he is originally from the municipality of Siuna and since 2016 he has worked 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 harvesting.
Siuna, home of MLR Forestal
Since 2013 Siuna has been home to MLR Forestal, an impact investment in teak and cocoa in association with teak plantations. More than 95 percent of MLR Forestal's 5,139.63 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 said area and are natural allies of the Reserve because they have recovered the forest mass for thousands of hectares of lands that had been deforested decades ago; and because they provide direct quality 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 stores of different sizes and offerings, it has cell phone and internet signal, a bank office and offices of microfinance institutions, as well as a landing strip.