United Nature has from the beginning been involved with conservation. We do not only do sustainable plantations, we also invest in buying rainforests for conservation. United Nature has today around 900 hectares of primary rainforest that we protect.
We are seeing a decreasing amount of natural forests due to global deforestation. If we begin to provide lumber from sustainable sources, we help to save our natural forests.
This is a simple question of supply and demand. Due to deforestation, we are seeing a decreasing supply of tropical woods throughout the world. Also, due to increasing ecological pressure, many of the industrialized nations have banned the importation of tropical woods, unless cut from sustainable sources. Therefore, due to the rapid depletion of the remaining natural forests and the increasingly responsible legislation of some of the industrialized nations, the supply of tropical wood is diminishing. Notwithstanding, the world demand for tropical woods has not diminished. For these reasons, the price of tropical wood continues to rise.
Because of the global nature of the Third World, poverty appears relentless and irreversible. Given such an apparent “manifest destiny,” there seems to be little ground for optimism. Yet throughout the tropics a growing number of people are undertaking projects specifically designed to promote the wise use and preservation of the remaining forest land. It is hoped that by building on these efforts, tropical deforestation can be stemmed and possibly even reversed.
The sustainable utilization and conservation of tropical forests is now high on the world political agenda. Central to this is whether it is possible (technically, economically and socially) to harvest timber from suitable parts of the forests in a sustainable and environmentally acceptable manner. If the tropical forest is managed properly, the forest may survive. Otherwise, the forest is likely to disappear and with it all of the many benefits that the forest provides – not least of which is the supply of beautiful woods that form the core material of the timber trade.
By harvesting planted forests in an environmentally acceptable way, a unique opportunity exists to generate a substantial return on one’s investment. Reforestation is critically needed, not only in Panama but around the world.