La Reserva Forest Foundation

La Reserva Forest Foundation is a Costa Rican non-profit, tax exempt foundation working to restore and preserve native tropical forests, dedicated to creating "tree bridges" linking isolated forest islands using volunteers and the local school communities, and fighting global warming through various carbon neutral projects.
Oct 28, 2013

Challenges As Opportunities

This is what they have...or had
This is what they have...or had

The previous progress report was written by my partner, Neabei Toah in Liberia, who helped me develop this worthy project. I asked him to write this one since he’s there but he is unable, because he is there! Let me explain…

These past two months have been terribly challenging for Neabei and his family. They are hungry most of the time and must live in the crowded city of Monrovia.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberia) During the most critical times Neabei and I have been in constant communication via Facebook messaging when he has a signal. At one point his fiancée was very ill with severe stomach and intestinal pains. They have no money to get help from a doctor and finally Neabei realized is was happening because she wouldn’t eat enough, was going long periods with no food. One of the saddest things is that Neabei and his father have a small farm in Tappita where they used to have a piggery and crops but the house and other structures were destroyed during the 14 years of civil war there and this forced them to migrate to the city.

Being on this side of the “pond”, in Costa Rica, I silently brainstormed how I could get help for Neabei and sent out a letter to a few people that were acquainted with him or had contacts in Afrika. A friend, another CEO of a non-profit in the UK, responded that she had  recently met a man from the Sustainability Institute in Liberia at a conference and gave me his contact info. I asked if he or someone could visit Neabei and his family, assess his situation and inform me so I'd know how to proceed.

Neabei received a call from the functionary saying he’d be over in 4 days for a visit but that was over two weeks ago, Neabei is still waiting.

There hasn’t been much word from Neabei the past week. I asked him to write the report over a week ago and he responded that he would try but didn’t know with the challenges he’s facing. Today he wrote saying it would be impossible and he has no camera. 

Did you know that 85% of the population in Liberia lives below the International Poverty Level due to the past civil wars? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberia 

A camera is part of th peroject budget, so that Neabei will be able to keep us up to date with the progress of the “trees planting” at the University of Liberia. This project reaches much farther than the two hectares we plan to reforest because a large part includes national promotion and education, a green rebuilding of this war torn, defeated country with a proud and courageous people.

This is the opportunity so…LET’S GET PLANTING!

This is what they can have if we Get Planting!
This is what they can have if we Get Planting!

Links:

Oct 28, 2013

Consider This

Planting day, 12/2011 at Viento Fresco, Guatuso
Planting day, 12/2011 at Viento Fresco, Guatuso

We have been interested in submitting an application to the Whitley Award Foundation in the UK for a couple of years now but never got around to it. This year, in fact just four days ago, we submitted our application for the 2014 Whitley Award.

The award honors a person, that would be me, but is actually a grant for a project and the funding must be used within one year from receiving the prize. The prize is £35,000 or about $57,000 (USD).  Matt Lee, President of LRFF/US, and I worked for a couple of months on the application and in the beginning we only wanted to apply to fund the feasibility study on the forest carbon project we’ve had developed for 5 years now. But that’s only $15,000…we had to figure out some other projects to fund and voila we thought of “Reforesting Guatuso”.

The funding would be disbursed next May or June but after the finalists are announced later this year each makes a trip to the UK. If LRFF does receive notification of the prize we can get the landowners started with their nurseries at the beginning of 2014 so that planting can begin as soon as the funding is received in May or June. 

Since you are a part of this project, you’ve contributed generously and helped make it happen, I want you to consider putting this award and potential implementation of “Reforesting Guatuso” in the back of your mind, send us positive vibrations. Why, my friend, Cagan Sekercioglu has won the Whitley Award twice, in 2008 and this year he was the Gold Award winner. Number one alumnus of the award and he does the same sort of work as LRFF is doing, connecting forested areas working with local landowners for the benefit of birds, wildlife, plants and climate change mitigation.

Hey, I already feel the vibes comin’ this way.

LET’S GET PLANTING!

Quarterly inspection, 10/2013. What progress!
Quarterly inspection, 10/2013. What progress!

Links:

Oct 24, 2013

Before and After Inspiration

Planting, December 2011, see house roof left
Planting, December 2011, see house roof left

Two weeks ago it was time for the quarterly inspection of the Rio Sol Biological Corridor project. You guys remember because you helped us plant 35,000+ trees in a continuous corridor along the Sol River in partnership with different Maleku Tribe landowners. I went on October 3rd and got the most pleasant surprise. I described how I felt to my friend yesterday after he saw the before and after photos posted here. He remarked how awesome it was that I'm able to witness the change up close and personal and I told him that it was so awesome I could scream but people wouldn't understand. He answered that he would. :) 

And hey, blessed people, I do scream from the hillside up there where it's only the birds, me and Jimmy looking down on this majestic natural ecosystem WE, you, me and everyone who supports LRFF, are responsible for creating.

We planted 14,000+ trees and over 110 species here from nurseries created and tended by 14 different Maleku families in the village of Tonjibe. It's full of birds and evidence everywhere of wildlife living there, in less than two years

Be sure to watch the short video of this quarterly inspection at this link, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDLg6b9JZ8Q

Thank you, because of you we KEEP PLANTING! LOOK AT THE RESULTS!

Same spot, see the top of house roof? TREES, TREES
Same spot, see the top of house roof? TREES, TREES
Guayacon tree at Marvin
Guayacon tree at Marvin's, one of my favorites

Links:

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