Panama Forestry Project
The Embera indigenous peoples in Panama were originally from the Darien region. On relocating to small villages and towns they still practice their culture; however, they have been marginalised from participating in the economy. Tourism is one of the main enterprises to date. The Embera people land is forested by valued hardwood which is being
logged by a Chinese company and the people are paid very little for the logging. The Chinese company apparently had approval from the Panamanian Government to log the forest. The Inter-America Development Bank invited i2i to consult with the community to explore means of increasing their prosperity.
The community are poorly remunerated for the loss of their forest products and the IDB desire to see greater prosperity for the community.
The IDB approached i2i to support the outcomes of a Consultant’s report into the Embera communities concerns and objectives. I2i consult with the community drawing on indigenous professionals from Canada, Chile, Panama and Australia. It explores regional and national demand while expanding the business horizons of the community.
The IDB are awaiting the final Consultants Report, which they will send to i2i requesting a design for undertaking supply chain assessment and creatively consider business alternatives. One consideration being researched is for the community to take over the logging operations.