Sociedad Koyam Limitada (Koyam) is a for-profit joint venture between Lonko Kilanpang
, a local nongovernmental organization representing indigenous Mapuche people, and Timberline Gestion de Recursos Naturales, the Chilean subsidiary of Timberline Forest Inventory Consultants
Created in 2004, Koyam provides technical assistance to local Mapuche indigenous communities and implements reforestation projects with native and exotic tree species in the Araucanía region of Chile.
In September 2006, Verde Ventures provided Koyam with a rotating line of credit of $150,000 to finance the reforestation of degraded lands in the central region of Chile using native trees.
Located in the central region of Chile, this investment in Koyam will improve corridor restoration efforts in Mapuche indigenous degraded lands and will contribute to the restoration of the Araucaria tree ( Araucaria araucana), listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List, within the Chilean Winter Rainfall-Valdivian Forests biodiversity hotspot.
The Araucaria tree species used in Koyam’s reforestation efforts is prohibited from international trade, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES); it is of significant cultural importance for the indigenous Mapuche and is also the national tree of Chile.
With Verde Ventures’ investment, Koyam will provide the landowners with seedlings, fertilizer, fencing materials, training in site preparation and planting techniques, the loan of tools, and wages for workers. In the first year, Koyam will provide technical assistance to 250 local Pehuenche community members (a subgroup of Mapuche indigenous people) and implement a reforestation project in 150 hectares of threatened land.
This project will benefit the livelihoods of the community landowners by providing an alternative income-generating activity and ensuring the survival of the Araucaria for future generations.