From pasture to tropical rainforest


Our reforestation purpose:

  • Expansion of current reserve
  • Create a buffer for existing rainforest
  • Restore ecological connection zone to Barbilla National Park
  • Generate local employment, income and awareness
  • Increase biodiversity
  • Capturing CO2
  • Preventing erosion
  • Securing drinking water
Support by adopting a piece of rainforest

Why reforest?

Adopt Rainforest’s mission is to protect 2,000 hectares of rainforest. This 2000-hectare area serves as an important buffer to the nearby Barbilla National Park and the Cab├ęcar Indigenous Reserve. It is important that the reserve consist 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.

When we expand the reserve, it is important that the new parcel is adjacent to the existing reserve. The foundation always prefers to select a new parcel to be purchased that already consists of rainforest. However, Adopt Rainforest cannot escape the fact that from time to time it must also purchase a plot where part of the plot has been deforested in the past. So it may be that there is a strip of grassland between the current reserve and a new piece of rainforest to be purchased. To ensure that the reserve still remains a continuous forest, the foundation is planting 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.


Method of reforestation

To get the original rainforest back on the deforested area, you need a forest climate. This is because the trees that grow in the rainforest are often shade species. These do not grow on an open meadow in bright sunshine. To create this forest climate, 14 native tree species that occur naturally in Costa Rica were selected. Fast-growing tree species were chosen that preferably bear fruit.

This not only creates a forest climate and shade as quickly as possible, but also attracts animals from the existing rainforest to these planted fruit-bearing trees. These animals are the key to success. If they feel comfortable moving freely in the reforested area again, they will ensure that the sought-after tree seeds from the rainforest will reenter the new plot. The planted trees provide an ideal climate and enough shade for these seeds to germinate. Allowing them to grow into “valuable” trees that eventually provide a full rainforest.

Learn more about our method to reforest

Local people

More than 30,000 trees have now been planted and we have already restored more than 30 acres of deforested land. This would never have been accomplished without the help of nine local forces from the adjacent Indian reservation. They are the ones who are out in the field every day planting trees. They also make sure that the planted saplings are well cared for and grow into mature trees. They are people who have a lot of experience working in the field and are extremely happy with this paid job because there is little work to be found in the region.

In doing so, Adopt Rainforest not only provides nature restoration but also offers nine families employment and income.


Buffon’s Macaw

One of the planted tree species is the Almond tree (Dipteryx Oleifera). 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 Buffon’s Macaw (also called Great Green Macaw). A beautiful large green Macaw whose population is under pressure with less than 1,000 left in the wild. The Buffon’s 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. We were able to already plant 4000 Almond trees.

More about the Buffon's Macaw

Watch the video below for a short impression of the reforestation project: