3. Futuro Forestal: Redefining the forestry sector

Together with a number of local and international stakeholders and investors, Futuro Forestal developed the ‘generation forest‘, a combination of the dynamics of a natural forest and reforestation.

This combined approach allows the organisation not only to tackle climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide and ensuring biodiversity, recover soils and water sources, it also helps to make a viable business case that reduces poverty locally by making sustainable forestry possible and economically viable. 

Andreas Eke, Futuro Forestal

“The natural forest in itself doesn’t have a viable business case, and political and financial entities lack the ability to create a system where environmental services are paid for.” Andreas Eke, Director of Futuro Forestal

Even though the company is largely driven by foreign impact investments, the business model ensures long-term profitability. Futuro Forestal attempts to be a game changer for the forestry sector:

“Generation forest is a concept, not a product. We need others to use it, so we can be on time with climate change. Our work is a small drop into the ocean and we have to be successful with what we are doing, so others copy what we do.” explains Andreas Eke.

With alarming climate change data, Futuro Forestal is in the process of expanding its approach through land ownership in addition to forest management and environmental services provision, creating an asset in which to invest.

What does success mean at Futuro Forestal?

 

“The biggest success moment for me was when the Jaguars came back to an area where we had reforested; an area that had been a cattle field 5 years ago. That was a moment of plain fulfilment, we celebrated this moment with champagne.” remembers Andreas Eke.

Futuro Forestal started off as a small family retail forestry company that has, over the last 25 years, transitioned to one of Latin America’s largest and premier providers of tropical hardwood, with reforestation of over 9000 hectares, the creation of 4,500 hectares of private reserves and FSC and bcorp certification. Find out more about generation forest and how to support the initiative here.

Images in this article: Copyright FF, 2 and credits to 3 Emir Lebedev.

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This is an extract from the forthcoming ‘The Business of Wellbeing – Alternatives to Business as Usual’ Guide, launching in January 2020. For more extracts, please click here

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