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Nicaragua: Precious Woods
(BioCarbon Fund)

UNFCCC Reference No.: 3970

1 Project Documents

Project Photo 1
Monitoring and accounting carbon sequestered by the project

Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Central America. In Southern Nicaragua, near the villages of Sapoá and Esperanza, the majority of the population depends on small-scale agriculture for their everyday livelihood. The primary economic activities are subsistence agriculture and cattle farming, which offer very few employment opportunities. The land in this area is former pasture land and dominated by invasive grass species. The natural forests have completely disappeared because of logging, fires, and establishment of pastures several decades ago. This process of land degradation has impacted the local environment, as well as the local communities.

The Project:
The Nicaragua Precious Wood project is reforesting 813 hectares of degraded pasture lands near Sapoá and Esperanza with teak and native wood species.  Most of the native species being considered are threatened and some of them are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).  The project is contributing to the sustainable development of Nicaragua through reforestation, and it is helping to generate sustainable wood supplies that reduce pressure on natural forests and serve as carbon sinks.  The project is developed by Precious Woods Holding AG, a Swiss private agro-forestry company that has operations sites in Brazil, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. Precious Woods Holding AG and its subsidiaries already have Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for several of their existing agro-forestry activities.

Project Photo 2
Environmental Benefits:
The species planted under the project are teak as well as a variety of valuable native species.  Teak has been planted in Central America for several decades and has proven to be not invasive, well adapted to the prevailing ecological conditions and to have no significant negative ecological impacts on other ecosystems.  Most of these native species have become rare or threatened due to overexploitation of natural forests in Central America, and they are important as fruit, food, and habitat for wildlife. The reforestation of the area is resulting in numerous environmental benefits, including prevention of fire and erosion, groundwater protection, and improvement of soil, microclimate, and biodiversity.

Social and Community Benefits:
The project is helping to alleviate poverty by generating income and employment opportunities for the rural poor and landless, preventing their emigration to neighboring Costa Rica. It is a major source of employment, and the project operations are run almost exclusively by the local communities. Jobs are offered on a permanent basis, as well as a plethora of seasonal jobs for tasks such as planting, weeding, pruning, fire control, thinning, harvesting, and wood processing. The wages paid to workers are above average, which is significantly above the minimal wage. The project also provides training and career opportunities for young people.

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