Planting Empowerment

Conserving tropical forest while creating investment opportunities in sustainable forestry
2009 SEED Award Winner Biodiversity Panama

Planting Empowerment has worked with rainforest communities since 2007 to create investment opportunities in sustainable forestry. The business model leverages financial markets, for both small-scale and large institutional investors, to reforest degraded land and promote the conservation of primary forest. Through leasing land and profit sharing, Planting Empowerment provides a reliable source of income to local communities. Timber securities have historically outperformed broad market returns, and the investment products are expected to generate a return on investment between 7.3% and 9.3%. 

Eco-Inclusive Impacts

Planting Empowerment increases tropical forest conservation and promotes sustainable local governance of natural resources while contributing to climate change mitigation. 
  • Contributing to the local income generation by leasing land from local partners and engaging in profit sharing.
  • Providing scholarships for a small number of local school children.
  • Exploring opportunities for development projects with the local communities.
  • Leveraging financial markets to reforest degraded land and to promote the conservation of primary forest. The 20 hectares of already planted mixed species trees have sequestered 180 tons of CO2 to date.


  • Providing a reliable source of income for local communities.
  • Outperforming the historic broad market returns with timber securities, and the investment products are expected to generate a return on investment between 7.3% and 9.3%.


This enterprise is supported through its partnerships with various stakeholders, ranging from national and international organisations, investors, research institutes, suppliers, governmental bodies, NGOs, other social and environmental enterprises and more.

Planting Empowerment, a Panama-based business, uses financial markets to make the investment work for conservation and community development.

ASOADICO, a community-based organisation, promotes agroforestry and fosters sustainable community development in Arimaé through forest conservation.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF), an international organisation, has supported the project from the inception and emulates lessons learned throughout the region.

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Andrew Parrucci

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