An extraordinary new step for foundation Adopt rainforest

An extraordinary new step for foundation Adopt rainforest

From 25 hectares of grassland to a thriving rainforest

This month chairman Martin and founder Matthijs were at Trees for All’s headquarters to ratify a new cooperation for reforestation of 25 hectares of grassland. One of the largest projects in Costa Rica for the Adopt Rainforest Foundation to date. A total of more than 27,500 trees will be planted.

Local population

The foundation is not doing this alone. Thanks to the support of Trees for All, a team of seven locals from the neighboring Indian reservation will be able to take on the challenge of planting these 27,500 trees. In doing so, Adopt Rainforest not only provides nature restoration but also offers seven families employment and income for at least a year.

The mission

Adopt Rainforest’s mission is to protect 2,000 acres of rainforest. This 2,000-hectare area serves as an important buffer to the nearby Barbilla National Park and the Cabécar Indigenous Reserve. Pressure on the rainforest is well felt in this region. From the inhabited world, deforestation is shifting increasingly toward the National Park and the Indigenous Reserve. Adopt Rainforest aims to ensure that both the National Park and the Indigenous Reserve remain untouched. So that animals, such as the Jaguar for example, can continue to exist here carefree. The reserve is located in a part of the country that is very important as a corridor (connection) for many animals between North and South America. In this regard, it is important that the reserve consists of a continuous stretch of forest so that animals can move freely throughout the forest area. Many animals avoid open areas and meadows when moving. This is because of the risks involved in moving through unsheltered areas. The animals in the rainforest and therefore in our reserve also have an important role in natural forest formation. Almost all seed dispersal in the rainforest is done by animals.

Why reforest?

In order to expand the reserve, it is of course important that the new plot is adjacent to the existing reserve. The foundation always prefers to select a new plot to be purchased that already consists of rainforest. However, Adopt Rainforest cannot escape the fact that occasionally it must also purchase a plot where part of the plot has been deforested in the past. In the region where the foundation protects rainforest, forest plots are fragmented by small-scale agriculture and cattle ranching. Thus, there may be a strip of grassland between the current reserve and a new piece of rainforest to be purchased. To ensure that the reserve remains a continuous forest, the foundation plants a mix of tree species there. This will create a young forest within a period of 5 to 10 years where animals dare to cross again.

The project of 27,500 trees

Last year, the foundation was able to expand the protected reserve in Costa Rica with an area of 65 hectares. Forty acres of this is a piece of beautiful rainforest that connects directly to the existing reserve. The 25 acres where there is no rainforest yet is currently pasture land, but is an important connection to the Barbilla National Park. We will now reforest these 25 hectares of pasture land. A total of 27,500 trees will be planted. The tree species have been selected based on their specific growth characteristics. It is important that we create a forest climate again as soon as possible with the trees we plant. This forest climate is a precondition for the growth of the ultimate target species (original tree and plant species from the rainforest). These only grow in a shady environment with the right humidity. The seeds of these target species, such as forest giants, are mainly dispersed from the adjacent rainforest by animals. It is therefore important that these animals (such as; monkeys, birds, rodents) return to the area because the planting of different trees has made it more attractive to them.

Suitable tree species.

In our previous reforestation project of 4 acres of pasture, 14 tree species were eligible. These 14 tree species are indigenous to the region and thus are all native to this area. Because this reforestation project was an experiment to see which tree species would be most suitable for reforestation, we planted all 14 native tree species. For the past three years we have been monitoring these trees with the help of several forestry students. All trees were numbered and measured every 6 months. In this way we gained a good understanding of which trees are doing well in the region, and which trees are not doing as well or are not suitable at all. In the end, we chose to use a mix of the six most successful trees from our reforestation experiment for the reforestation of these 25 acres of pasture that will now be converted.

Great Green Macaw

In addition to the six selected tree species, nearly 4,000 Almendro trees will also be planted. This is a species of tree that is slowly disappearing in Costa Rica due to deforestation. This tree is hugely important for the critically endangered Great Green Macaw, abeautiful large green Macaw whose population is under pressure with only 1,000 left in the wild. The Great Green Macaw depends on this particular species of tree to build its nest in. As a foundation, we hope to contribute to the population growth of this beautiful animal.

Cooperation with University EARTH

All saplings are purchased through the nearby Costa Rican Universidad EARTH. A forestry university that owns a tree nursery. We experienced a pleasant cooperation in the previous reforestation project, so we are happy to support EARTH again with the purchase of the saplings.

In short

Objective

  • To plant trees on grasslands deforested decades ago, in order to restore the ecological land bridge (connecting zone) to Barbilla National Park;
  • Generate local employment, income and awareness;
  • Increase protection of rainforest and stop illegal hunting through physical presence of local workers.

Results

  • 25 Hectares of land re-vegetated with a diversity of trees, plants and flowers;
  • Increased habitats for all animals and microorganisms present that are essential for biodiversity conservation, migration and expansion
  • Providing seven families with employment and income for guaranteed one year, and 2 households will benefit for at least 3 years.
  • Capturing CO2. (Planting trees is one of the most efficient methods)

Joining forces in Punta de Lanza

Together with Barbilla National Park and the Bajo Chirripó Indigenous Reserve, the Work with Nature reserve forms a “three-country point”. This place is known as Punta de Lanza or Lanspunt. The community consists partly of the indigenous population of Costa Rica and partly of “white people” (modern ticos). Recently, an association has been founded to achieve more together.

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