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We Care about Social Impact

by | 12. Feb 2021 | News from Costa Rica

BaumInvest interacts with the local community in El Porvenir

We are thrilled with the response: 47 residents from the area around our Finca El Porvenir accepted our invitation to discuss BaumInvest’s reforestations in the region. Many new ideas to consolidate and further increase the social impact in the region were brought to our attention.

The occasion for the half-day conference was the ongoing Gold Standard certification for the reforestations of El Porvenir. A total of 336 hectares of land were reforested in the highly remote El Porvenir region towards the end of 2013. Previously, the area had been characterized by extensive grazing for dairy and meat production, which had diminished over the years. In addition, there are still individual citrus trees on the land, which continue to be used locally. The reforestations provide local jobs and create income opportunities where hardly any exist.

The goal of the discussion on this Saturday morning was to inform about how trees reduce CO2. It is important for BaumInvest to have a positive impact in the region and to get feedback from the local community on how to meaningfully expand the commitment in the future. There were many ideas – it’s best if Marco Soto, the managing director of BaumInvest S.A., tells us about it himself:

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.

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