Forestry Company Mininco
01. MUSIC, A BRIDGE BETWEEN THE COMMUNITY AND ITS CULTURE
The music program, which provides a bridge between the community and its culture, forms part of the work undertaken by CMPC to strengthen the education and culture of the communities in the areas where the company has a presence. It does this using the expertise of local actors and by establishing alliances. The program aims to develop social skills and appropriate learning environments for students and teachers from rural schools, through music and elements of local, regional and national culture. Through this program, all students are able to experience music personally, either by playing an instrument or through song. The program is neither selective nor exclusive. Over the eight years it has been functioning, the program has benefitted more than 12,000 students.
02. TRAINING COURSES FOR LOCAL RESIDENTS
These training courses are designed to increase or develop technical knowledge, thereby allowing local residents to improve their job options or to start up a business. Course contents are directly related to the needs of the community, with whom the company holds periodic dialogues and enquiry sessions. This program has been operating for 15 years and during this time 38,000 people have been trained in more than 80 different skills. All the courses have SENCE (Chilean National Training Service) approval, which means that accredited certification is given.
03. PRODUCTION INCENTIVE SCHEMES
One of the most important elements of CMPC Forestal’s work with local residents has been the fostering of productive and economic improvements for local Mapuche families with small-scale farm holdings, through the development of vegetable and fruit cultivation. Families from the Bio Bio and La Araucanía regions have been encouraged to set up small strawberry, raspberry and blueberry plantations. An important aspect of this program has been the collaboration agreements signed with the REWE Cooperative in the Chol Chol district and with the Seven United Communities of Huapitrío Committee in the Collipulli district.
Forestal Mininco’s support includes technical assistance, the provision of materials and the implementation of automatic watering systems. The program has been running for three years and has benefited more than 100 families.
04. GATHERING OF NON-WOOD FOREST PRODUCTS (NWFP)
Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFP) are forest products including wild mushrooms and aromatic and medicinal herbs such as the rosehip and maqui (Chilean wineberry). Through its NWFP Program, Forestal Mininco participates in the NWFP Roundtable for the Bio Bio region. This has been running for ten years and has encouraged gatherers to work together in associations and promoted the establishment of related public policies.
In addition, during 2015 the program helped to create the Good Practices Protocol to protect and promote NWFP gathering activities in forestry areas. This document was published though the National Forestry Dialogue Initiative, of which Forestal Mininco is a part.
05. WATER PROJECTS
Forestal Mininco has implemented a program of water projects for local residents, supporting the nearby communities which have water supply problems. The program includes technical assistance for designing and managing projects to be presented to public tender processes offering financing for water improvement, as well as distribution and access projects for domestic and productive use. For this purpose, alliances are formed between communities and local government which result in shorter timeframes for approvals from central government.
This project has been running for three years and has benefitted nearly 5,000 people with projects for both drinking water and irrigation systems for rural family farms. Additionally, there were 309 drinking water catchment areas on Forestal Mininco land in 2015 which received special treatment for protection and management as High Value Conservation Areas. This is because these water catchment areas benefit more than 100,000 people living in the Del Maule, Bio Bio and La Araucanía regions.
06. RESPECT FOR AND PROMOTION OF THE MAPUCHE CULTURE
Mapuche Medicine Centre, Nueva Imperial Hospital
As users of natural medicines that are also Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFP), workers at the Centre need to gather a large number and volume of NWFP species. Every week, around 20 health care providers see an average of 100 patients per day.
Medicinal Plants Vegetable Gardens
Greenhouses have been built to protect and recover plant species that are present on Forestal Mininco land. Many of the plants hold conservation status, and these gardens help provide a large enough quantity of the species for study and use throughout all seasons of the year.
Mapuche Sites of Interest
Forestal Mininco has identified, together with the community, those places with a special meaning for the indigenous people living within the confines of its property. Once identified, these places are protected, with participation from the communities involved. By the end of 2015, a total of 38 places of interest for the Mapuche culture had been identified.
The ñocha is a plant that grows naturally in the native forests of the Nahuelbuta mountain range, where poor access makes it very difficult to find and collect. For this reason, Forestal Mininco has implemented, together with a group of artisans from the Cañete district, a program focused on the cultivation of this fibrous plant in their gardens. Today, the group known as Ñocha Malen produces artisanal products from this plant using an ancestral technique. They have been able to sell these products successfully.