Reforesting is at the heart of MLR Forestal’s ecological restoration project
MLR Forestal’s ecological restoration project is ready to be implemented. The goal is to reforest with native species 550 hectares, of the 1450.80 hectares that the company has allocated to conservation.
The plan is to reforest at a rate of 55 hectares per year for the next 10 years, starting in this same year 2022.
By reforesting areas that were degraded decades ago by cattle ranching and agriculture, the agroforestry company wants to promote the region’s biodiversity.
Last June, the plants that will serve for this first stage had been produced in the company’s nursery, among which the species that serve as umbrellas, feeders, hosts and others that activate biodiversity stand out for their ecological function.
To reach the execution phase of this project that is starting this year, it has been necessary a process of research and elaboration of six products that serve as the backbone to carry out the plan. These products are:
Baseline of Environmental Management
It is the document that laid the foundations “for the development of a corporate strategy of ecological restoration, which allows to orient the efforts of the company towards concrete, feasible and measurable goals”.
The baseline presents the vision of MLR Forestal and its corporate commitment to the recovery of the forestry vocation of the Northern Caribbean and in particular the Mining Triangle area.
It also includes the international certifications that the company has, explains its location, biophysical and socioeconomic environment, the characteristics of its properties, its environmental management, as well as the first keys to the restoration strategy.
Corporate Strategy for Ecological Restoration
This is the core document of the project. Here the conceptual framework, objectives, actions, key elements, general cost estimation, feasibility, limitations, community involvement are specified and explains one of the main points of this plan: the biological connectivity that is basic to promote biodiversity, and the landscape matrix.
“The ecological connectivity related to this restoration project can basically occur in two directions: (a) within the properties of MLR Forestal with its protection zones; and b) between areas of natural forests located outside MLR properties and company protection zones.
“In any of these scenarios, connectivity could increase the area of natural forests and restored areas (product of reforestation activity) to allow biodiversity to be better likely to subsist in a fragmented environment and under constant pressure from agriculture and livestock occurring around company properties.”
Biodiversity Management Plan
It is a text that brings together “the information published in different instruments, so that it can be articulated with new corporate instruments related to environmental management that have been recently prepared.”
Its purpose is “to propose actions for biodiversity management within the framework of the ecological restoration and reforestation strategy prepared by the company, giving coherence, vision and synergy to the company’s efforts to conserve biodiversity, within the framework of ecological restoration in the area”.
Ecological Restoration Monitoring Plan
It is a document that gives continuity to the Corporate Strategy for Ecological Restoration and its Action Plan and consists of “a technical proposal for the definition of indicators for the monitoring and measurement of progress of compliance with the proposed action plan, and therefore, compliance with the ecological restoration strategy, at least for the first two years”.
In addition, it “details a series of indicators and sources of verification for each of the actions defined in the action plan of the restoration strategy, emphasizing when these activities should be completed, and how/where it could be verified that they were carried out.”
Ecological Monitoring System of Forest MLR
Ecological monitoring is “a way to detect changes in the characteristics of the natural community that is being managed, the forest in regeneration within the protection areas in the case of Forest MLR.”
In this case, “the information collected with the ecological monitoring system will allow changes to be made in the work strategy, as well as being able to demonstrate to national and international bodies the impact and results achieved with the implementation of the restoration strategy.
“Of particular importance are the certifications of the Forest Stewardship Council, FSC, Rainforest Alliance, and the Verified Carbon Standard VCS; as well as IFC standards, which will support the company’s actions in biodiversity conservation, as well as being able to objectively measure the impact of ecological restoration on local biodiversity and its habitats.”
Integrative Analysis of Existing MLR Instruments and IFC Compliance Standard 6 Guidelines
This is an effort that brings together the work of the company in terms of conservation and protection of biodiversity. This text emerges as a way of articulating the different thematic and sectoral instruments that the company has, in the light of the guidelines of the IFC performance standard number 6.
Here the recommendations emanating from the construction process of the Ecological Restoration Strategy and the field visit of The Biodiversity Consultancy carried out in June 2022 are followed.
It is an integrative analysis that seeks to connect the instruments, strategies, policies, programs and sectoral plans of the company using the IFC performance standard number six as a common thread.
This document includes the Environmental Impact Measurement Plan, Environmental Management Program (EMP) and the Management Plans of: Water Resources, Wastewater, Solid Waste, Soil Monitoring and Environmental Monitoring.