Reforestation and Cocoa cultivation
Rural regions, PANAMA*
Degraded land, originally forest land, later used for extensive cattle ranching, is reforested with mostly native tree species and gradually converted into mixed forests. The project provides sustainable timber production and cocoa cultivation; it protects biodiversity and restores a healthy forest ecosystem.
Sustainable forest management and cocoa production offer employment opportunities, therefore improve the economic and social situation of rural communities and families. Tropical Mix has been one of the first in line to be successfully certified under the renowned Gold Standard for land use and forestry projects. The cocoa production areas have been the first agroforestry systems to be certified under the Gold Standard.
- Long-term and fair employment for local communities
- Integrates capacity building and environmental education programmes
- Sustainable sources of income: sale of certified tropical timber, carbon credits, cocoa and seed material
- Supporting local schools with financial programs and education materials
- Reforestation with 20 native tree species and protecting more than 30 other tree species
- Biodiversity hotspot - home to 15 endangered and vulnerable animal species, including brown-throated sloths and enteaters
- >25% of project area is under special protection as conservations area
- Creating ecological corridors between different project locations
In addition, the forest management received FSC certification (Forest Stewardship Council) and the cocoa production is UTZ certified.
Water is becoming scarce in the Panama Canal
Water is becoming scarce in the Panama Canal. According to the canal administration, this is due to climate change, which is drying up the freshwater reserves of the Central American isthmus that are necessary to feed the canal. The canal operator therefore wants to charge an additional fee for each canal passage from mid-February in order to finance measures for a sustainable security of the water supply of this connection between the Atlantic and the Pacific, which is especially important for maritime traffic between the United States, China and Japan.
The canal administration reports that last year was one of the least rainy years in the canal's catchment area. The rains remained around 20 percent below the long-term average. According to the canal administration, the temperature of Gatun Lake, which is the main tributary of the Panama Canal, is also rising. In the past decade, the temperature has risen by 1.5 degrees Celsius. This has led to considerable water losses through evaporation. "Climate change has been sufficiently proven in the Panama Canal," said Ricaurte Vásquez, head of the canal administration.
Due to the height differences, the ships have to go through three lock systems each time they pass through. Fresh water must be supplied with every lock. Of the 5.25 billion cubic meters of fresh water that the canal needs for sustainable operation, only around three billion are still available. It is therefore looking into ways to develop other water sources in the catchment area, such as underground springs, the construction of sewage treatment plants and reservoirs or systems for desalination of seawater. (Source: faz)