The fact that Mama Earth as a foundation has obtained the right to trade with wood is based on our system which is significantly different compared to classical wood investment.
By conventional forms of investment, investments are made in teak- or mahogany plantations with a desire to achieve a return of investment. Wood, especially hardwood, is a desired materialon the global market and a relatively safe investment. Furthermore, every tree is an added value for the environment. However, the entry-level prices must be low in order to generate reasonable rates of return.
The problem of traditional investment is that neither the wood of the trees nor the money from the trees stays in the country of production. The plantations provide some jobs but the entire profits are diverted. Illegal deforestation cannot be stopped if the wood does not stay in the country.
Precisely illegal logging is a huge problem, since the enormous demand of emerging economies for construction material promotes this destruction.
Mama Earth solves the problem of the outflow of all the profits and the wood from the country of production and minimizes thus the overexploitation. We achieve this by close cooperation with the farmers, which receive 50% of the wood. This means an enormous change for the farmers and the community, starting from increased purchasing power to the taxation of the wood sold. The overall return on investment arises from the fact that we have cheap entry prices for our seedlings which are cultivated in our own tree nurseries.
Since we grant the farmers the lion’s share for improving their standards of livingwe are, as a foundation, allowed to trade with these wood investments. What is more, under the terms of our contract we are obliged to plant a new tree for every tree harvested. This is then 100% owned by the farmers who thereby obtain the chance to a sustainable management of their farms.
The brutal lootings of rain forests are a rather bad example of how dependence is exploited.
The people sell their trees for ridiculously low prices; not for fun but out of necessity. The class system keeps the carousel in motion: a few earn a lot, and many a little bit. If the people remain poor, time and again some people let themselves be recruited to illegally fell trees.
However, wood pirates can no longer sell their products or it is more difficult because inspections are intensified and have become easier through surveillance technology. In the center of Monkayo, i.e. where most of our mahogany trees grow, stands a confiscated lorry as memorial. It demonstrates that illegal logging not only leads to confiscation of the timber, but also the lorry. The employees, driver and owner were imprisoned.
If the illegal market collapses because the risks are too high, timber prices increase. Forests and lawful timber producers benefit from this; in our system mostly the farmers since they receive 50 percent of the timber yields without own investments.