The Nicaforest High Impact Reforestation Program
The Nicaforest Program has 490 hectares of land under management and aims to contribute to the creation of a sustainable value-chain by working closely with local landowners in a Shared Benefit Scheme. The program plants teak and other valuable species for future timber production and added-value wood production as well as other measures aimed at increasing resilience in the local municipalities.
The project protects the remaining patches of native vegetation and creates additional conservation areas on the banks of rivers and other watersheds. The forests offer a natural habitat for native animals and plants, protect and enrich the soil, save and filter water and contribute to the mitigation of the greenhouse effect.
The Nicaforest Program is in its pilot phase and is certified by Gold Standard and Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC). The Norwegian company Across Forest AS is the promoter and the subsidiary, Nicaforest Plantations S.a in Santo Tomas, Chontales region in Nicaragua, is operating the program in Nicaragua.
Project impacts and benefits:
Reduced deforestation and degradation
As of the end of 2018, this program sequestered 45.624 tCO2e (Ex Post) and 32.460 tCO2e are estimated future sequestering (Ex Ante).
Natural Forests and Bio-diversity protected
Since we are planting on deforested land only, approximately 25-30% of the farms are conservation areas where natural forests are left protected. Enhancing native biodiversity and wildlife.
In most farms there are rivers and creeks. Rivers and creeks are very important for preserving biodiversity and soil. To protect the natural growth close to waterways and avoid any negative effect from the planting activities, harvesting is not permitted within 100 meters of the river and creek.
Boardering to REDD+ zones
The Nicaforest High Impact Reforestation Program is boardering prioritized REDD+ zone by Nicaraguan Government and Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF);
By establishing teak plantations on deforested areas, the project has provided more than 200 jobs during the planting periods and approximately 30 permanent jobs to maintain forest management to the highest standards. Employment comes with salary contracts, social security and equal pay for men and women.
Additional income source for farmers
By signing a Shared Benefit Agreement with Nicaforest, the farmers are able to enter the international timber and carbon market, something that would not have been possible without this program. This represents an additional long-term source of income, enabling farmers to benefit from a diversified strategy.
Transfer of technology and know-how
Training and education of staff is an important part of operations. Forestry techniques and issues related to health and safety are an important part of this training. Furthermore, students from universities of natural sciences participate in programs enabling them to complete their education through field studies.
Strengthening food security
To utilize available land the program developed a system for landless people to grow food crops (i.e., beans) in between the tree-rows. In total more than 70 ton where harvested in this Pilot Program.
Increased community resilience
The diversification of income sources for the farmers as they benefit from the timber and carbon market together with the increase in employment opportunities, increases community resilience locally and regionally.