The Nicaforest High Impact Reforestation Program
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 high impact project has received Gold Standard for Global Goals certification, due to its contribution to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Where they have a track record of successfully implementing impactful initiatives that address sustainability in the three key areas: environmental, social, and economic. They are now measuring, taking more action, monitoring and will be reporting on three SDGs: 4. Quality Education, 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth and 13. Climate Action.
SDG 4. Quality Education
The project facilitates education through sustainability-based initiatives for Middle, High, and University Students and holds workshops to improve practical skills in actual forest management.
SDG 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
Work within the project includes Shared Benefit Agreements and the creation of a Sustainable Value Chain around the forest. The project also enables the local community to use the space between trees to plant and harvest beans, contributing to food security.
SDG 13. Climate Action
Nicaforest has planted 360,000 trees sequestering approximately 98,000 tons of CO2. The teak and protected forests serve as a natural form of carbon storage. They also manage and secure watersheds through avoiding harvesting next to bodies of water, delaying road construction, and more.
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
This program has planted approximately 360.000 trees in 4 different farms: Amelia farm, Santa Elena farm, Rosario de Fatima farm and Santa Maria farm.
As of the end of 2021, this program sequestered 86,478 tCO2e (Ex Post). Total expected sequestration is expected to be 98,000 tCO2e.
Natural Forests and Bio-diversity protected
Since the project plants 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 boarders a prioritised REDD+ zone by Nicaraguan Government and Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF).
Providing quality education
The Nicaforest Reforestation program facilitates education through sustainability-based initiatives for Middle, High, University Students and working adults. Providing internships for students from universities of natural sciences and working adults, through field studies. Aimed at enhancing the students practical skills in forest management through a learn-by-doing approach, complemented with theoretical instruction.
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.
Strengthening food security
To utilise 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 tonnes have been 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.