We believe that it’s up to us as private individuals and organizations to take action and make sure that, what is left of the original forest is not cut down and to restore the damage that has been done by replanting the original tree species. We, as humans, have broken it so we humans must fix it. We acquire land that has forest that is under threat and was partially cut down. We work with the local population to obtain seeds from the remaining forest and together we replant these trees. We then register the land under a legal protected title as a private nature reserve and we watch over it as it is nursed back to health. This way we create larger habitats for the animals that live in our forest and study their evolvement with wild life cameras and in cooperation with universities. We protect the existing watersheds and create jobs for the local population: the descendants of those who had to cut down the forest in order to plant food and survive, now benefit from the same land but in a new and positive way. Our goal is to interconnect as much isolated remaining forest so as to create large enough habitats for even the most timid animals to come back.
WHAT MAKES US
We have a conservative outlook; we do not believe it’s sufficient to simply give money to local farmers for them to plant trees and then hope for the best. More forest worldwide is cut then replanted so the only way to reverse this trend is to do both: replant and actively protect. We believe that forest under threat must be replanted and then converted into an official nature reserve. By doing this we are creating and expanding the habitat for the forest animals. By studying and documenting their return we create an incentive for people to participate. We are not working for traditional economic incentives but we believe that investing in the protection and regeneration of forest pays of real “dividends”: we are investing in the future of our children and their quality of life. We are working closely with educational and research institutions because we want to obtain, and share, more knowledge about how best to regenerate the original forest and find new ways for the local population to actually benefit more from forest than from clear cut land. Ultimately, we believe that original forest should become much more valuable (in the broadest sense) to those who were, in the past and sometimes even today, cutting down the forest for economic necessity or gain.
TOGETHER WITH YOU
WE GIVE THE GIFT OF A TREE
& THEREFOR FIGHT
& PROTECT & CREATE
OUR WILDLIFE'S HABITAT
DO THEIR PART
SMALL OR BIG
According to the Arbor Day Foundation , in one year a mature tree will absorb more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen in exchange.
TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
HELP US SPREAD THE WORD!
We, as participants actually involved on-site in the project, are very fortunate in that we can take individual action by planting the trees ourselves. Not everyone is able to do so of course! Someone who lives in a city or is simply not physically able, for example, simply does not have that option. But we can do it for you! No matter where you live you can participate and make an impact.
You can participate by having us plant trees for you or by adopting a small area of forest and as such help ensure that this parcel is NEVER cut again. Another way to take action is to support us on a monthly basis: this money will be used for the maintenance of the wildlife cameras, vigilance against poachers and help fund studies. Anyone can offset the negative impact we all make on the environment by simply living our daily lives; by driving our car, by heating our home, and we can make that impact in a creative fashion. As an example: one can protect an amount of square meterage of forest that is equal to one’s house, or one’s store or company. Our participants receive a certificate that states the number of trees planted or the square meters of area protected. This certificate is a nice gift that creates awareness for our cause and is backed by real action. Taken by you!
It is important for us to protect and expand the habitat of the wildlife of the forest; not only is the forest under threat; so are the animals and fauna! In order to achieve a meaningful impact in that regard, we must try and interconnect the small “islands” of existing forest in our area. Our mission is not simply rescuing the land of this project, it goes much further than that. We want to have an impact on a much larger scale. By supporting us we will be able to ever expand and to create a “Green Snowball Effect” that will in turn have an impact on climate change and global warming.
AND EARN YOUR
The certificate is a good way for you to show that you are part of the solution. It also creates awareness of the problem, by showing the certificate you will make others consider taking action as well.
Here you can clearly see the difference in the sections where the original forest still exists and is being protected by us and the section that is being reforested by us and then incorporated into the forest.
This 100 hectare farm is located in the hills above the small town of Rio Claro and has only basic dirt roads leading to the area and to the property. The immediate surrounding area in the hills is partly deforested land that is now in use as cow pasture, but there is still a fairly large percentage of original rainforest in existence. But this rainforest is under threat. The Zona Sur and our area in particular has not benefitted from Costa Rica’s tourism boom. Income, education and standard of life is still very much below that of most other parts of the country. The Llano Bonito farm consists of 65 hectares of rainforest and about 35 hectares that were clear-cut by local farmers in the past (for lack of alternative means of income). In 1995 the 35 hectares was planted out with a monoculture of an exotic tree species (Gmelina); the trees were to be eventually cut and the lumber used for the pallet industry.
In 2017 and 2018 the lumber was clear cut and what remained was a terrible waste land that so shocked the original owner that he decided this should never ever happen again.
He asked us for our help and we decided to turn the land into a private nature reserve and an exemplary project with a real positive impact on the area, the animals and create awareness by the local population about climate change and the need for the protection of natural resources.
In 2019 we made a project plan for reforesting the cleared land with indigenous trees. By March of 2020 we had set up our green houses and we had contracted a (100% local) work force. We sent our people out to find seeds of the indigenous trees present in the area. We then cultivated roughly 20,000 seedlings in our green houses. Between April and June 2020 we prepared the land for planting and made the farm accessible for our workers. Between July and December 2020 our 100% local workforce had planted over 18,000 trees on approximately 20 hectares. In December of 2020 we hired our local Ranger. In December 2020 we filed the necessary maps and documentation with MINAE (the ministry in charge of natural resources) and applied for the status of Nature Reserve (Reserva Forestal). In 2021 we obtained the official Reserva Forestal status and became an official Nature Reserve. We kept planting more trees and we did the necessary maintenance on the planted trees. In order for those trees to survive they must be protected from being overgrown during the first 4 years after planting. This ensures that we have the maximum coverage of 1100 trees per hectare and in this way the original tree species will return as fast as possible, much faster as if when we would abandon them: in that case they would need to compete with other weeds and trees and only few would survive. Our method requires much more labor but it ensures success, in four years’ time we can see that the original forest has come back.