Brazil's Atlantic Forest has suffered from severe degradation for years, and the timber industry has been a major culprit. One innovative timber company, Initiative 20x20 technical partner Symbiosis Investimentos, however, is restoring this fragile ecosystem while meeting rising global timber demand.

In the northeast of the Dominican Republic, the Ambrosia farm is graced by fertile soils and natural springs that a nearby protected rainforest provides. This 30-year-old coconut farm, now run by Initiative 20x20 financial partner 12Tree, covers more than 2,000 hectares. 12Tree's aim is to rehabilitate the coconut palm plantation to boost productivity while intercropping 800 hectares of fine flavor, organic cocoa that the coconut trees shade.

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In verdant Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, Finca Chimelb is a lush 4,500-hectare farm. Over 250 hectares of cocoa cultivation are combined with specialty coffee, rubber, eucalyptus, and pine production to make a vibrant and economically healthy farm. What sets Chimelb apart from other farms is its dedication to conserving the surrounding natural forest: 2,300 hectares have been protected so far.

Largely unexplored, Colombia's Chiribiquete National Park is almost otherworldly. Its massive tepuys – table-top mountains that are estimated to be 2 billion years old – protrude from dense rainforest. The park is a haven for biodiversity, home to over 3,000 tropical plant and animal species, many of which are only found here. One of the highest rates of plant diversity in the northern Amazon can be found within the park’s lowland rainforest, while its tepuys contain plant species endemic to the savannas of the Guianas.

Colombia's tropical dry forest ecosystem once covered 9 million hectares. Today, only 8% remains, according to the Alexander Von Humboldt Institute. Thousands of people and several endemic species call this unique ecosystem home. The need to conserve and restore the tropical dry forest in Colombia is urgent. Tropical dry forests are important carbon sinks, regulate the climate, protect the soil, and store and release water.

Ejido Verde is a Mexican regenerative forestry company aiming to restore 12,000 hectares of degraded land with resin-producing pine tree plantations. Through 2019, Ejido Verde has helped indigenous Purhépecha communities in Michoacán State maintain 3,148 hectares of commercial agroforestry plantations on 482 individual family farms. 

In 2018, the Forestry and Climate Change Fund (FCCF), an Initiative 20x20 financial partner, started to invest the conservation of forest ecosystems in Guatemala's Petén region. The Northern third of Petén is home to the world-renowned Maya Biosphere Reserve, a biodiversity hotspot that has suffered significant deforestation over the past decades. Outside of the Reserve, most of the existing forests have already suffered severe degradation and today offer little value to their owners.

Pomeroon Trading is a sustainable coconut and spice company in the Caribbean that restores degraded land with sustainable coconut plantations. Since 2017, the company has restored around 400 hectares of degraded farmland on the northeastern coast of Guyana, a country historically known for high-quality agricultural products.

The babassu (Attalea speciosa) is a species of palm tree that thrives on the peripheries of the three major types of Brazilian forests: the Amazon, the Caatinga, and the Cerrado. Babaçuais, as these unique forests are known, cover about 20 million hectares of Brazilian territory, mainly in the states of Maranhão, Tocantins and Piaui. This hardy tree not only grows in dense closed forests, it also acts as a pioneer species that can help colonize degraded and deforested areas, helping other species take root.

In Brazil, demand for palm oil is growing. Rising import costs have spurred domestic production, generally using non-native African species. The result is that large tracts of forested land are being cleared for monoculture oil palm plantations. This expansion of this type of plantation negatively impacts the environment, causing land degradation and deforestation.

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