The project represents a unique triple-bottom-line opportunity for investors seeking a multi-dimensional project combining profitable plantation forestry, an important conservation component, and a sustainable boost to the local economy. The project comprises roughly 7,000 hectares of total area in an iconic area in the watershed of the Panama Canal, representing a critical buffer area. The production areas are divided among approx. 2,000 hectares of planted teak established over a 6 year period beginning in 1999; approx. 1,000 hectares suitable for high-value fine native timber species, such as mahogany and rosewood; and 4,000 hectares of natural forest protected area rich with biodiversity with interesting untapped potential for ecotourism. The project presents an opportunity to shift toward a multi-species approach, incorporating high-value native hardwoods with proven commercial potential. By generating a sustainable plantation supply of such species, the pressure on natural forests can be alleviated. The proximity to various research stations that have successfully planted such species on a commercial level as well as trial plots within the project itself provide a compelling proof of concept.
The project is principally situated on land designated as a long-term concession with the State of Panama. This provides uniquely inexpensive land rights over an unusually large land mass with nearby proximity to both Caribbean and Pacific ports. Field workers can be hired from local communities with which the Company maintains excellent relatoins. Qualified technical and administrative staff highly famliar with the project can be retained.
The owner is selling 100% of the share capital of the company holding the project land rights which include the concession and adjoining private lands housing the productive infrastructure. The Company possesses well-maintained internal roads, nursery facilities capable of producing 2 million seedlings per year using the best available genetics and clonal technology, and a guest house and worker lodging on privately owned parcels. Further capital costs would be required to re-establish the harvested teak areas plus incremental establishment of native species over the remainder of the production areas. Additional capital costs would be incurred in the registration of the Company’s carbon offsets.
Because the project's land rights are secured principally through a concession agreement with monthly rental payments, investors benefit from highly reduced capital costs. The main capital items comprise the biological asset (standing timber) and adjacent private lands. This arrangement permits native species, which normally have a lower financial yield than teak, to be more economically competitive with monoculture teak vis-a-vis projects that require upfront land purchases.