MLR Forestal´s reforestation strategy well valued by Rainforest Alliance director for Mesoamerica
Edgar González Godoy, director for Mesoamerica of the Rainforest Alliance, visited MLR Forestal and learned firsthand about the company’s work. As part of this tour of the operations at Siuna, Nicaragua, Luis López, Sustainable Development Manager, gave a presentation to the executive and his working group on the company’s reforestation strategy, formally known as the Ecological Restoration Strategy.
The objective of this reforestation strategy is to restore the vegetation cover of 550 hectares that MLR Forestal has allocated as conservation areas. These areas, which were deforested decades ago by agriculture and extensive cattle ranching, will now recover their forestry vocation and, in many cases, water sources will be protected.
“They were shown everything related to the agroforestry systems, the ecological restoration strategy, the specific objectives that we intend to achieve in the next ten years by establishing 55 hectares of native species per year. We talked about what ecological restoration represents for the buffer zone of the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve, which is related to improving the existing biological corridors in this area,” López explained.
Regarding this reforestation initiative that will also represent the promotion of biodiversity in the region, González said that both ecological restoration and the nurseries of MLR Forestal “are very important and function as a vital source of employment in the area that is improving the local economy.”
MLR Forestry goes “beyond standards”
González also highlighted the relevance of the work of MLR Forestal because it is going “beyond what the standards expect” and also “the work of relationship with the communities is quite interesting because many companies do not do it,” he said.
The director of the certifying body said that the intention of his visit was “to be able to see what are those areas of collaboration that go far beyond a certification issue, to have a first approach, to understand what they are doing in MLR Forestal and to see where we can go together and what initiatives we can have in close coordination. “
The step-by-step reforestation plan
MLR Forestal has already started the process of reforestation or ecological restoration which main strategic actions are:
- Select the areas where reforestation will be carried out, prioritizing river banks and areas with a slope of more than 35 percent. Because reforesting riparian areas protects water sources, while protecting sloping areas favors vegetation cover, water infiltration and helps reduce soil erosion from natural rainfall.
- Define the typical species of the Siuna region with which the reforestation will be carried out. There will be more than thirty species, including the genízaro, carao, capulín, jocote jobo, chilamate, laurel, ojoche, oak, black wood, among others, which have different ecological functions, among them they serve as umbrellas, feeders, hosts and others that activate biodiversity.
- Produce the plants in the company’s nursery. This work, like the previous two, is already being carried out.
- Prepare the land where it will be planted.
- Sow the plants.
- Monitor the progress of the area where reforestation will be implemented. And thus value the increase in biodiversity, in the volume of water and in the improvement of its quality.
- Involve and educate neighboring communities in the protection of forest areas, both existing and newly planted.