Colombian Government Collaboration
The Colombian Carbon Trading Market had issues during 2019 that prevented trading. FFC identified the issues and made representations to the President that led to a number of issues being corrected.
Local Economic Development
Improved Pasture Project, Supplier Development, Diversification, Chicken and Egg Project, and Vegetable Project
FFC recognized the importance in stimulating and supporting local entrepreneurial efforts. We believe that our active involvement in these types of projects will stimulate the wider local economy over the long term.
Local Infrastructure Development
Road Networks, Loading Terminals, Schools, Communication, and Stimulating the Colombian Economy & Forestry Growth
The Vichada Region is significantly underdeveloped in terms of transport, telecommunications, electricity supply and bulk services. Historically, the area has been used for illicit drug smuggling and as such no formal infrastructure development existed.
STRIVING FOR EXCELLENCE
FFC currently complies with Forest Stewardship Counsel (FSC) sustainable forestry criteria. We intend to secure FSC certification prior to the first commercial harvest in 2021. In addition, where volumes will be sold into the bioenergy market, Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP) certification will be included.
FFC has engaged third party consultants who are assisting us to ensure that all the necessary licenses and permits are obtained with the objective of fulfilling the requirements of the IFC’s Performance Standards. For example, we are committed to full compliance with the IFC’s performance standard five, requiring compensation to all individuals displaced by its operations.
Ensuring that our land acquisitions are fully aligned with a shared value approach, FFC conducts a detailed analysis of the social, environmental, and legal aspects of every property. This includes using technology to assist us in identifying conservation areas and places that could be used for productive farm use. We search out land where we could add value, specifically degraded grasslands, and will not work in environmentally sensitive areas. When identifying potential land, FFC will only consider property that is properly titled. We acquire the rights directly from the owner and will not buy from intermediaries. This ensures that payment goes directly to the owner, that we have a full understanding of the reasons why the landowner is selling, and to ensure that no historical displacement previously took place.
Our forestry plantations provide economic opportunities in some of the most remote rural regions of Colombia. Our strategic intent is to demonstrate global leadership in forestry products by pioneering and developing sustainable plantation forestry in the Orinoquia Region of Colombia. To do this, we acknowledge the importance of continuous learning and have identified areas for improvement. Additionally, this report provides an overview on how we intend to improve our performance as well as the quality of information available to our stakeholders.
GROWING DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL MARKETS
Forest First Colombia has strategically placed its operations in close proximity to waterways to facilitate the transport of its wood products, as well as to provide easier access for the delivery of supplies and equipment. These river systems provide us the opportunity to transport efficiently and at very low costs compared to other locations.