In the Peruvian Amazon region around Pucallpa, near the Ucayali river, the forest that once covered the area has disappeared in the last years, principally due to forest clearance for land speculation. To regain nature and support economic activity Form International has set up this long-term project to restore the deforested and degraded land. Our initiative seeks to establish a reforestation business that will produce value-added timber products from fast-growing commercial species native to Peru.
With this project, we want to create a sustainable forestry company to develop timber value chains that supply major cities in the country while restoring priority forest areas that positively affect smallholder livelihoods, local economies and ecosystems. To do this, we only utilize land that is already deforested or degraded and largely devoid of natural forest cover, containing a limited number of solitary trees.
Our colleague Erik Schinkel has been working for 30 years in rural areas of Latin America, he is a specialist in the development, implementation, and management of forestry projects in rural and institutional settings and is taking the lead in the forest landscape restoration in Peru: “like most people I adore forests and like most people I am aware that the world (we) needs forests. However, preserving and restoring forest landscapes as such is not sufficient. The communities that live in and from these forests, as well as the local decision-makers, need to feel the benefits of the forests in their daily life. Here Form International makes an impact: making local communities participate in and benefit from sustainable forest landscape restoration projects financed by global capital.”
He continues “If we manage to execute the project properly then we will be able to bring back the forest and we can set up a healthy economic activity. This can make a big difference in the region, for the long-term”. Working with neighbouring landowners is a critical part of our project, which seeks to enable local communities to stay in the countryside by creating 200-300 jobs. We have just started with a pilot plantation of 70 hectares, with the land and plants recently purchased. We expect to grow a few hundred hectares per year in the first few years and aim to reach 6000 hectares of mixed native tree plantations in 10 to 12 years. Additionally, we plan to involve 600 farming families to help us reach our goal of 3000 hectares under agroforestry systems.
It’s not only important to create economic activity within the region, but it is also important to bring back the sense of the benefits of trees and forests. “We want to be able to connect people with the forest again. We want to bring back the feeling of what the forest is”, says Erik. Another component of the project is that we want to make animal migration possible again. We want to explore the possibility of creating a biological corridor to enable animal migration and re-establishment in the region. This would allow for greater movement of species and the potential for increased biodiversity.
Another key element of this project is the storage of carbon dioxide (CO2). Through capturing and storing CO2, this project seeks to reduce emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. Trees on the plantations and in the neighbourhood of the farmers will store CO2, allowing them to generate carbon credits. In 2022, Form International launched Treevive, an initiative to bridge the gap between forest landscape projects that wish to receive carbon finance and businesses and investors who are looking to finance projects of this nature. Treevive will introduce carbon credits generated from this project to the market.
To make Form International in Peru a success we opened a new office in Peru. We are pleased to work with our team members Daniel, Liz, Fredy, and Jhon. Liz is responsible for all internal financial and administrative processes of the company, budget execution and the management of permanent and temporary personnel: “I am fortunate to be part of the Form International Peru team, because it gives me the opportunity to participate in the interactions with the local communities, with the forest producer and with other local co-operators who work in forest and environmental conservation for the benefit of the Ucayali population, and I can contribute to the good administrative management of the company”.
If you would like to know more about our activities in Peru, please contact Erik Schinkel via firstname.lastname@example.org.