We strive to protect and promote biodiversity. We make commercially reasonable efforts so that our farms and facilities are not located in protected areas such as forest reserves, conservation or rainforest areas. We seek to minimize environmental impact by providing mitigating, where possible, measures to protect the ecosystem. The El Tigre Forest Reserve for Wildlife in Costa Rica is an example of our commitment to enhance and promote biodiversity. The El Tigre, a 275-hectare area declared by the Ministry of Environment of Costa Rica as a private reserve and maintained by us is home to many native plant and animal species and a venue where local school children can learn more about biodiversity. We also support the protection of forest reserves in Kenya, Brazil and the Philippines. We believe that the protection of these delicate areas is an important part of achieving environmental and economic sustainability. In addition, we conduct information campaigns to protect ecosystems not only for our employees but also for the communities where we operate.
El Tigre Forest Reserve
The El Tigre Forest Reserve for Wildlife is a 275-hectare area declared as a private refuge for wildlife by the Costa Rica Ministry of Environment (MINAE) and is sponsored and maintained by us. It is considered an ‘outdoor classroom’ with self-guided nature trails and ten learning stations. Each learning station has a sign discussing various environmental topics aimed to promote awareness of biodiversity, environmental protection and conservation.
Additional Forest Reserves in Costa Rica
With the acquisition of additional farms in Costa Rica, we have been able to consolidate an area of about 300 hectares adjacent to the confluence of three rivers: Rio Cacao, Rio Sonardor and Rio General. We have proposed to the Costa Rica Ministry of Environment (MINAE) that this area be declared as a private reserve for wildlife. The area, considered to be a rainforest, is home to a variety of insects, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds, as well as different species of native plants and trees.
In Brazil, we are involved in reforestation programs in areas which have been designated as conservation areas. Approximately 30 percent of our total production area in Brazil is maintained as conservation areas. Additionally, tree seedling nurseries have been established to sustain our reforestation program.
Tree Seedling Donations
A tree seedling nursery has been established in our Kenya operations which provide seedlings for tree planting activities. In addition, seedlings are donated to encourage the community to plant trees in their own villages.
Support of Various Environmental Programs
In the Philippines, we are involved in various environmental activities and provide support for the protection of the Talomo Lipadas Watershed, Mt. Kitanglad Natural Park and the Malagos Watershed, home to the Philippine Eagle.