BaumInvest: Marco, how did the workshop in El Porvenir go?
Marco Soto: First of all, I want to emphasize that we were positively surprised when a whole 47 people accepted our invitation to the workshop. Also, during the workshop, we received feedback that the activities of BaumInvest are viewed very positively in the region. The planting of trees, especially the use of native species for reforestation, is perceived as an enrichment for the region. In an ecological sense, an intact ecosystem is important to local people. In a social sense, this provides more employment opportunities in a region where people often have to migrate to find work.
BaumInvest: What was the feedback from the community in El Porvenir?
Marco Soto: Firstly, people were interested in what exactly BaumInvest actually is – namely: many investors, in the 2000s, who believe in this business model of sustainable reforestation and thus also implement a positive change in the production of tropical value timber. On the other hand, there was also a lot of interest in CO2 certification and global sustainability goals. Above all, the exchange and discussion around the reforestation activities in El Porvenir were important to the people. There were ideas to further expand the cooperation with the community and to strengthen the local engagement, e.g. sharing agricultural machinery or developing infrastructure. There were also suggestions on how reforestation can have even more benefits for the community, e.g. by discussing different agroforestry systems together and exploiting the potential for beekeeping.
BaumInvest: What do you think will be possible to implement in the future?
Marco Soto: I think we will be able to tackle some of these ideas soon. It is always exciting for us to hear what ideas and needs people have. We will work on this together with the local communities, the interest is great and we will keep a finger on this pulse.