Canopy Tower Family Invests in Planting Empowerment

Canopy Tower Family Invests in Planting Empowerment

Planting Empowerment, a socially responsible forestry company working in Panama, announced today that the Canopy Tower Family, a renowned group of eco-lodges, has invested in Planting Empowerment.

Washington, DC (PRWEB) September 27, 2012
Canopy Tower Family, a Panama-based ecotourism company, announced today that they have made a significant investment in Planting Empowerment, a socially responsible forestry company.  The investment will enable Planting Empowerment to expand its operations in Panama’s Darien province, where it has been growing tropical hardwoods for the past six years.

“We invested in Planting Empowerment because we support their mission of profitable, socially-responsible forestry”, said Raul Arias de Para, Canopy Tower Family’s founder.  “They fit our own business well because we both have an interest in managing natural resources more sustainably and conserving virgin forests.  They’re reforesting native tree species in some of the most environmentally sensitive areas in Panama, but also keeping the land in the hands of the local indigenous communities and small farmers.  It’s more sustainable in the long run.”

Damion Croston, Operations Director for Planting Empowerment, commented “We lease those plots of land from local communities and reforest with mixed tropical hardwoods and crops.  Planting Empowerment’s model provides income, replenishes the soil, grows food, and cultivates high value tropical timber.”

As elsewhere in Latin America, Panama’s natural resources are under constant pressure from logging and subsistence agriculture, which rural farmers depend on to feed their families.  Cattle ranching also accelerates deforestation, leading to loss of biodiversity, soil erosion and spread of non-native grasses.  Unsustainable management of natural resources threatens biodiversity in Panama, and the long term growth prospects for local communities.  Farmers either have to commit more resources to getting the same amount of production from their land, or they move on to a new plot of rainforest.

With the Canopy Tower Family investment, Planting Empowerment will expand its operations and profile in Panama as a forestry company with a strong socially-responsible component.  “They’re not the largest forestry company in Panama by far” noted Raul Arias de Para, “but they have been growing steadily over the past six years, and I think they’ll continue to grow as more investors recognize that their profit and sustainability goals go hand-in-hand.”

About Planting Empowerment

Founded in 2006, Planting Empowerment is a private, Washington, DC-based company with forestry operations in Panama. Planting Empowerment works in partnership with rural communities in Panama to grow tropical hardwoods and promote sustainable land use.  As the first forestry company in Panama to work through a land lease model, Planting Empowerment has 60 acres of trees under management on land owned by local farmers and communities. The Canopy Family is proud to add Planting Empowerment to its list of environmental initiatives.

In line with our commitment to conservation forestry practices and environmental initiatives, please see this related article highlighting the Top 100 Forestry Resources in 2012. For those interested in a career in forestry, click here.

Issues of Potable Water in the San Blas Islands

Canopy Tower Family is sponsoring an environmental campaign collaborating with Duly Lee in a small prototype structure project (dubbed the “Kuna-Pod”).  It is aimed at integrating collection and filtration of rain in a single-harvesting-home to provide potable water for the indigenous community of Cartí in Kuna Yala. This biophilic prototype aims at re-thinking the relationship between the local resources and its people by bringing awareness that green architectural design solutions can contribute to wholesome well being of the community at large.Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson, PhD, coined the term biophilia arguing that human beings have an innate and evolutionarily based affinity for nature.  He defined the term as “the connections that human beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life.”

With these notions in mind, our goal is to create a “Living Building” that address the issue of environment and ecology that we find at risk today. It’s part of our growing list of environmental initiatives.

Living Building Agenda

  • Harvest all its own water and energy needs on site.
  • Be adapted specifically to site, climate and built primarily with local materials.
  • Operate pollution free and generate no waste that aren’t useful for some other process in the building or immediate environment.
  • Promote the health and well being of all inhabitants – consistent with being an ecosystem.
  • Be comprised of integrated systems that maximize efficacy and comfort.

To learn more, contact us today!