What does deforestation mean for our nature?

What does deforestation mean for our nature?

What is deforestation anyway? This term is used to describe the process by which trees give way to agriculture and livestock. Deforestation takes place in large numbers every day, especially in the Amazon rainforest. Not a pretty thing! The consequences? Cutting down trees not only means loss of our beautiful nature and biodiversity. It has an effect on the ambient temperature: it rises. This increase is caused by burning trees and because oxygen (O2) gives way to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Trees store a lot of CO2 and this is released during deforestation. The numbers? Don’t be alarmed: around 13 million hectares of forest disappear on Earth every year, according to the FAO. To make it a little more tangible: this equals 18,207,280 football fields. Approximately 34 soccer fields per second!

Peering into the distance over our vast rainforest, this is hard to comprehend. As if the ground is literally being pulled out from under you. Yet ten years ago we were confronted with the truth. The Costa Rican Rainforest had to make way little by little for agriculture. The beastly rainforest was quietly abandoned until we managed to turn the rudder. The water turned blue again. The 3,000th tree was planted. The 300th bird was recently spotted again. And we’ve only just begun this counter-discourse! In order to understand how to stop deforestation, it is important to understand its cause.
Why does deforestation take place in such huge numbers?

Why does deforestation take place in such huge numbers?

It may sound a bit flat, but what drives people to drive this paradise into the ground? If you ask the local people, it is mainly a question of money. The world population is growing and with it the demand for food. Food simply brings in more money than rainforest. Money that is earned illegally. Deforestation is not easily tolerated by the government. In Costa Rica they are trying to do everything they can to preserve more rainforest. It is difficult to control and too often there are large-scale forest fires. Awareness is growing, also among food producers. More and more people are choosing the sustainable route. However, there is still a lot of room for improvement, especially in larger commercial companies.

There is hope behind the treetops. The end of the rainforest in Costa Rica is nowhere in sight. On the contrary! With a strong team of locals, volunteers and students, the NGO Adopt Rainforest is literally bringing life back. By increasing our rainforest area daily with the purchase of square meters and bringing it under the forest law of Costa Rica, the rainforest remains protected. Find out how Adopt Rainforest is combating deforestation in the tropical rainforest.

The mantled howler monkey

The mantle howler monkey is one of the largest monkeys in Central America, with males reaching a height of nearly a meter and a weight of up to 10 kg. It is one of 15 species of howler monkeys. Unfortunately, some of those species are endangered, mainly because of habitat loss and capture, for instance […]

Strawberry poison dart frog

By Zoƫ Schreurs

In Costa Rica, you can’t ignore them: the Oophaga pumilio. Pumilio means dwarf, and although they are barely 3 cm tall, it is hard to miss the poisonous strawberry frogs. In English, they are called Strawberry Poison Dart frogs because indigenous peoples used to use their poison to makepoison darts. They are also affectionately called the “blue jeans frog,” because they often look like red frogs in jeans. Although they are by no means all the same colors. There are some that are completely red or blue, rather yellow, green or orange, or with black stripes or dots. In total, there are some 15 to 30 color variations.

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Leaf-cutter Ants

Anyone who has traveled through the Americas knows them anyway, a stream of ants all carrying leaves with them. It looks like a mini highway that can go on for 30 meters. We’re talking about leaf-cutter ants of course. For tourists a source of amazement, for local farmers and vegetable gardeners a real plague that […]

CO2 storage in trees – how does it work?

CO2 storage trees – How does it work?

We all know how important trees and plants are for producing oxygen and absorbing CO2. Especially lately there has been a lot of news about the climate crisis, global warming, sea level rise, CO2 offsetting and the importance of preserving trees, plants and forests. In this blog you can read some background information on how trees store our CO2 emissions.

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Bird Watching in Costa Rica

Costa Rica, a country of which almost half is rainforest, is a true birding paradise. More than 900 species of birds can be found here. One of the most beautiful and special birds that has its habitat in Costa Rica, however, is the Resplendent Quetzal. A good reason to go bird watching in Costa Rica!

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The biggest rainforests of the world

The world’s largest rainforests

It’s World Rainforest Day today (June 22)! A day to put our world’s rainforests in the spotlight because it’s mega important to protect them. Do you know which are the largest rainforests in the world? In this blog we will show them to you. We start at spot 10. (more…)

Adopt Rainforest deploys park rangers to protect rainforest

In recent years, the reserve of the Adopt Rainforest Foundation has been easy for project manager Maarten to oversee. Two or three times a week he and the students make his rounds through the project area for the biodiversity research. For this research they visit several plots of the area, giving them a good insight into what is happening. Should any illegal logging occur, it is immediately noticed. The same goes for illegal hunting. In addition to the local presence, camera traps are hung at various places in the reserve. These are checked weekly. Should hunters or poachers walk through our reserve, this is quickly noticed.

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