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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Reforestation?

Reforestation Compared to Tree Farming
Reforestation means literally re-creating a natural forest. The concept is by no means the same as tree farming, which typically consists of a mono-culture, like Teak, planted in rows. The differences between the two are important, and worth noting.

As any environmentalist can tell you, true reforestation is preferable to mono-cultural tree farming from an ecological perspective. The former can actually bring back the flora and fauna of the rain forest, especially if started adjacent to pre-existing intact jungle. On the other hand, a field containing all the same species of tree will never evolve to approximate natural jungle, for obvious reasons.

But does that make tree farming wrong? We emphatically don't think so. While it may not be as ecologically "correct" as reforestation, a plantation of hardwood trees reduces the pressure to log primary rain forest when its "crop" begins to be harvested. Its root systems also helps stem soil erosion, and its shade cover can bring water back to dried out summer streams.

Moreover, when it is planted on previously deforested land which has become burned-out cow pasture of little or no value to nature or humanity, a tree farm is clearly a better alternative than leaving the land to the weeds.

For ease of reference, we use the term "Reforestation" to include tree farming.

What is the Philosophy of United Nature?
Wherever appropriate, it is the policy of United Nature to present clients with a viable choice between true reforestation and the much more common approach of tree farming. If both options are feasible, we believe that reforestation should be seriously considered. The main reason is our conviction that pioneering the long view on behalf of the environment will, inevitably, yield positive results for owner and environment alike.

What are the Reforestation Incentives Established by the Panamanian Government?
Law 24 of November 23rd, 1992, created incentives for reforestation activities in The Republic of Panama. Furthermore through the Executive Decree No.89 of June 8th , 1993, reforestation projects in Panama are not subject to any income tax on any profits from the wood produced.

Where are the Project Located?

The location of the project is Canglon Abajo, County of Yaviza, District of Pinogana, Province of Darien, Panama. On the West it borders the Pan American Highway, on the East is borders the Chucunaque River.

What are the Requirements of Teak?

Good growth and high quality is associated with deep, flat and well-drained alluvial soils rich in calcium; a mean annual temperature of 22­27ēC; and annual precipitation of 1,500­2,500 millimeters, with a marked dry season of three to five months and a maximum of 50 millimeters of rain. Dry site conditions are usually associated with stunted growth. Very moist conditions may lead to faster growth but also to a thick sap wood and poor overall quality, including lower average density, less attractive color, poor texture and loss of strength. Therefore, we do not recommend establishing Teak plantations on the Caribbean side of Panama where there is no marked dry season. Where our project is located, there is a marked dry season of 3 months and annual precipitation of 2,000 millimeters.

What Maintenance is Necessary for a Teak Plantation?

Maintenance of the plantation includes elimination of any potential fire hazards; Pruning; thinning; fertilization as required for optimum growth; and patrolling the plantation to minimize loss due to theft.

What is Thinning?

The thinning out phase consists of selecting the best trees, leaving them standing, and harvesting the slow growing and lesser quality ones. The timely thinning out phases are necessary to expedite growth by diminishing competition among trees for light and nutrients. This way, with the first and following thinning out phases, there will be an advance income prior to the final timber harvest.

Why not Cattle Ranching?

Cattle ranching was the cause of 72 percent of Brazil's deforestation up to 1980, and later on the major cause of forest clearance in Costa Rica and many Amazon countries.

One of the most ludicrous aspects of this trade is that some 67 square feet (6.25 sq m) of forest are sacrificed for each standard quarter-pound hamburger. That area of forest would contain roughly 800,000 pounds (9362,900 kg) of plant and animal material - much of it comprising species as yet unknown to science.

Cattle production is the least productive use of the land and the worst environmental alternative in the wet tropics. Stocking rates are surprisingly low at only one animal per hectare. Fertility, and thus profit, often wears out after only three to five years. (Cattle ranching in tropical forest regions yields a meagre $47 ha/yr.)

What are People Saying About Teak?

"Teak is perhaps nature's greatest contribution to the world, embodying everything good in wood. The combined force of shortage of Teak and the steep cost of this species is forcing people to resort to substitutes. Wood will continue to reign supreme when compared to its substitutes because of its salient features."

If there is one material which does not wither with age but looks richer, it is Teak - the King of Timber. "Among timbers, Teak holds a place which diamond maintains among precious stones and gold among metals".

Dr. Dietrich Brandis, the first Inspector General of Forests, India.

Will Teak Have a Market?

World demographic data projects a booming population of humans, while the supply of natural tropical hardwoods CONTINUES to shrink. We predict that the future value of good hardwoods is bound to skyrocket, especially those which have been harvested at "ecological" projects.

What are the Qualities of Teak?

The inherent qualities of Teak have made it a prized hardwood for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. Richly textured, aromatic and durable, Teak resists insects, rot and fire, making it a natural first choice for many specialized applications.

What are the Advantages of Being a Teak Plantation Owner?

Teak continues to appreciate steadily as "capital in the ground," immune to the volatility in other investments and represents a tangible satisfying investment whose ecological impact can make any owner proud. After harvested, Teak regenerates up to 4 times providing continued growth for long term profits.

Looking for the Perfect Place and Means to Retire?

United Nature's investment opportunity offers you both!! For an investment of US$ 82,000 or more you can apply for Resident Investor Status for yourself and your family, courtesy of the Panamanian Government. (Law 24 of November 23rd, 1992).


 






The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious... the source of all true art and science.

ALBERT EINSTEIN



What is a Tropical Rain Forest?
The land is one great, wild, untidy, luxuriant hothouse, made by Nature for herself.... How great would be the desire in every admirer of Nature to behold, if such were possible, the scenery of another planet!... Yet to every person ... it may truly be said,... that the glories of another world are opened to him.

CHARLES DARWIN
From The Voyage of the Beagle, when first he experienced the tropical rain forest a century and a half ago.