Frequently asked questions
A forest plantation consists of a forest cultivated for commercial or conservation purposes. These forests may have exotic or native species.
As specifiedby the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), "native (or natural) forests are those that have not been significantly intervened by man; And planted forests (or forest plantations) are those that man has intervened with reforestation processes to the point of changing their structure and functioning. Commonly, this type of forest is quite symmetrical: it has the same distances between trees and holds a maximum of two species.
An agroforestry plantation is defined as a system that combines timber tree species with agricultural crops. In the case of MLR Forestal, teak (Tectona grandis) is planted in association with cocoa (Theobroma cacao), in which the teak being a tree of greater height, provides shade and lowers the ambient temperature, according to the climatic requirements of cocoa as it has understory characteristics. The combination of species also fosters biodiversity in a plantation and provides many environmental services to the ecosystems.
In accordance with Art. 25 of Law 462 "Law of Conservation, Promotion and Sustainable Development of the Forestry Sector": Plantations can be established in areas preferably suitable for forestry or with other aptitudes, as long as there are no laws prohibiting it, as well as the emphasis of not replacing natural forests with plantations. In the case of the Regulation of the same Law 462, in its article 59 indicates that it is allowed to establish plantations on fallow lands, which is consistent with degraded areas, which have generally been deforested for decades because of other economic activities.
Forestry and agroforestry companies are also known as reforesters because they are precisely established on degraded soils and not only provide tree cover that protects soils, water resources, but also maintain natural conservation areas.
In the case of MLR, to date it has 1,425.24 hectares of natural conservation area, representing 28 percent of the total area of the operation.
The conservation zones serve as biological corridors that allow the movement of many species between forest plantations and other existing natural forest strongholds.
MLR does not have any forestry concession for the use of natural forest, because that is not the economic activity of the company, therefore, it does not extract wood from natural forests. MLR plans to harvest the timber it has planted on farms it owns, which were purchased from farmers and ranchers; These farms were generally converted into pastures for extensive cattle ranching presenting degraded soils, mainly due to deforestation.
Since 2013, MLR Forestal forest plantations have been certified based on international criteria and indicators established by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
The cocoa plantations have been certified by the Rainforest Alliance since 2017. This guarantees the environmental and social sustainability of the project, which requires quality in the responsible production methods of the crop, safety of the collaborators and environmental protection in the cocoa products.
In our plantations we grow and harvest teak, which is a tree that does not exist in the natural forests of Nicaragua.
Teak (Tectona grandis L.) is native to Southeast Asia, India, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, where it can reach heights of up to 40 meters. Due to its rapid growth and the characteristics of the wood, it has become a species of interest for forest plantations in tropical areas in Africa and Latin America, where trees grow faster than in their place of origin, which reduces cutting shifts and makes their use more interesting every day.
The entire process of harvesting and transportation is done in strict compliance with national laws and under the observance of the governing bodies and social control.
MLR generates 650 quality jobs annually. These are positions without distinction of gender, ethnic origin, religion or political affiliation, being an opportunity for job development in the North Caribbean Coast.
More than 80% of the workforce are young people from rural areas with access to training and technical qualification in agroforestry and production technologies. Many of the technical processes are led by young people trained in the company.
It has also attracted a considerable number of professionals who graduate from local universities, becoming one of the main employers in the region.
Teak wood is considered worldwide as a precious wood, highly valued for its sturdiness, durability and stability in changing environments, versatile for countless uses, such as: exterior and interior carpentry, façade coatings, boats, port infrastructures and bridges, turnings, cooperages and more.
MLR produces teak wood with the highest genetic quality and under strict management protocols that guarantee quality wood.
Teak wood has a uniform honey color, does not presents knots, tight and has a straight, even grain.
It has a natural shine due to its high content of oils that protect it from the most inclement weather conditions, rot and pests.
- Genetic material: Teak clones from Costa Rica (BARCA) and Malaysia, which have been genetically validated and are considered superior for these latitudes.
- Sustainable: 100% of our wood comes from FSC Certified plantations that attest to socially responsible, environmentally sustainable and economically viable management.
- Quality Standard: Systematic and adequate management of plantations to obtain wood of constant quality.
- Privileged location: The wood is grown in the best climate and soil conditions.
- Technology: Know-how from seedling production and management, site selection, planting and plantation management, harvesting and processing.
- Logistics: Continuous and stable supply of wood during the year.
MLR Forestal supports all claims regarding indigenous rights and has a very relationship with all the communities that are neighboring its operations, as is the case in Bonanza where the company has less than 5% of its total operation. In this area there is also an excellent relationship with the Mayangna Sauni Arungka Matumbak Indigenous Territorial Government, with whom it collaborates closely through strategic guidelines approved by both parties. This includes a five-year partnership agreement (2021 – 2025) and an annual operational plan based on its communal governance regulations for the communities of Pansuhwas, Mukuswas and Ispayulilna.
The agreement includes inter-institutional strengthening actions, training of women and youth, technical assistance in the establishment and management of cocoa crops and native species of interest, employment opportunities, scholarships and reforestation of the areas affected by hurricanes Eta and Iota.
The vision of MLR Forestal is to create harmony with its neighbors, so it maintains an open channel of communication through a delegate elected by the community. MLR Forestal, through the Social Management area, has signed collaboration agreements with neighboring populations and has located complaint and suggestion boxes in these communities to promote the social audit of all operations. These mailboxes are managed by community delegates.
In addition, since 2018 the schools of these communities receive from MLR Forestal donation of school supplies for both preschool and primary students and teachers.
In the case of the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve, it has a buffer zone that extends for 8,355 square kilometers, due to its characteristics, it is populated among others by the municipalities that make up the region known as the Mining Triangle, however it is called a buffer zone because it serves as protection to the core. Nicaraguan law allows the establishment of sustainable investments such as forest plantations, which are regulated by State institutions.
The 4,445.47 hectares that MLR Forestal owns in the North Caribbean, are distributed between agroforestry plantations and conservation areas that have been established in the buffer zone of Bosawás in Siuna and, to a lesser extent in Bonanza; these plantations not only recover degraded areas but they are also the economic activity par excellence of the buffer zone because it rescues the forestry vocation of the region.
The economic activity that should be promoted in these municipalities is precisely agroforestry because it has been proven that teak and cocoa plantations conserve the soil, promote biodiversity, capture carbon dioxide and recover water sources, all this in addition to other environmental services. At the same time, they create quality jobs.
The association of forest plants with agricultural species is an innovative and sustainable method that MLR Forestal is validating in Nicaragua and consists of locating cacao within teak plantations to take advantage of the cultivation space in a more efficient way. Cocoa requires shade because it does not withstand high temperatures or direct sunlight
Currently, MLR Forestal has a total area of 4,445.47 hectares, comprised of:
- 1,245.34 ha. cocoa with teak shade
- 1,761.54 ha. of pure teak
- 13.35 ha. of other forest species
- 1,425.24 ha. intended for the exclusive protection of forests and biological diversity of the buffer zone of the Bosawas Biological Reserve, in accordance with the SDG Sustainable Development Goals.
Forestry MLR will continue to grow, reclaiming degraded land to give it tree cover and extending the conservation area as well. The company's goal for 2031 is to expand its plantations to:
6,500 hectares, distributed as follows:
- 1,500 ha. cocoa with teak shade
- 3,000 ha. teak solo
- 2,000 ha. intended for the exclusive protection of forests and biological diversity of the buffer zone of the Bosawas Biological Reserve, in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs.
In 2022, Verra granted MLR Forestal the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) certification that guarantees the positive impact of the reforestation that MLR has carried out in its plantations and conservation areas and that generates compensation bonds for the elimination of greenhouse gases (GHG).
Over the life of the project, the plantations will remove at least 1,100,000 tons of CO2.
Offset bonds can be used by customers to reduce scope 3 GHG emissions that occur in the customer's value chain.
As of 2022, MLR Forestal began an ecological restoration process that consists of reforestation with native plants produced in our nursery, of more than 550 hectares over the next 10 years.
Reforestation is carried out with species that serve as feeders, umbrellas and hosts for wildlife.
These areas are part of the 1,425.24 hectares destined for conservation areas but where natural regeneration has needed the helping hand of MLR Forestal.