Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Saving the Rain Forest . . . with Toys?

My friend, Craig Doescher, is pursuing his MBA degree at MIT’s Sloan School of Business. A few weeks ago, Craig visited Honduras to work on a project that means a lot to him - encouraging the responsible and sustainable harvesting of wood from the Honduran rain forest. Here are some excerpts from a recent article by David Chandler that ran on the MIT Website:

“Villagers in tiny communities including Guayabo, Sawacito and Mahor, in the rainforest of northeastern Honduras, used to take part in the rampant illegal trade in mahogany, but recently they have formed a cooperative and learned to harvest the prized wood in sustainable ways. Now, they mostly use trees that have fallen naturally or harvest them in a sustainable way from around the fringes of the nearby Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve, and remove planks from the forest, first on their backs, then on muleback to avoid the disruption caused by heavy machinery. . .

. . . [Craig]Doescher, who is entering the Tegu Toyworks project in MIT's 100K Business Plan Competition, visited Honduras . . . thanks to a small grant from the Legatum Center to help lay the groundwork for the project. He hopes that over time the company can ‘migrate as much of the value added as possible to Honduras. If we can ultimately transition the marketing and design to Honduras, that would be a home run for us.’”


It is exciting to see some of our best and brightest minds turning their energies, training and innovative ideas towards solving challenging global problems.


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