Save San Luis Forest, Save This Family

 
$1,145
$0
Raised
Remaining
Mariano receiving his annual PES check
Mariano receiving his annual PES check

Thanks to YOU this project has been funded once more and almost exactly one year since it was posted on GlobalGiving in August 2013. This is a record, most definitely and we can’t begin to express our gratitude for supporting this pristine and beloved local forest, one of the last left standing.

Mariano was thrilled to receive his Payment for Environment Services check and plans to make improvements to his farm and purchase school clothing and supplies for his children.

Before we gave Mariano his check, however, we went for a walk in the forest to make sure everything is untouched. We call it an inspection but that doesn’t sound very fun. Check out the photos of YOUR forest…it’s removing over 200 metric tons of GHG emissions out of our atmosphere annually and storing it. As long as the forest stays so does the carbon (except the natural decomposition processes in the forest ecosystem).

You are well on your way to being carbon neutral and we will do this every year for Mariano and YOU. Please watch for this project again, I’m re-upping it for the 2014 – 2015 PES’s. We are raising the yearly stipend on all PES’s that are being paid to $100/hectare/year, as well.

San Luis forest trail
San Luis forest trail
Tarzan swing = natural fun
Tarzan swing = natural fun
Lake Arenal shore line, water level down this year
Lake Arenal shore line, water level down this year
Big Fig in the San Luis forest
Big Fig in the San Luis forest

Links:

Dena Sanftleben, planting trees for Earth Day
Dena Sanftleben, planting trees for Earth Day

We’ve been really busy here at La Reserva in Costa Rica with lots of visitors since our last project update.

Two of the LRFF/United States board members have come to our headquarters and one future member in the past two months. Dena Sanftleben, U.S. board member and Gretchen Engbring, LRFF/US’s most recent addition to the board, have been enjoying the land of Pura Vida this past month.

Gretchen is staying with us for three months, in fact she’s already written a project report on Global Giving, “Continuing Care for Our Community and Forests” about one of the important aspects of LRFF’s work in caring for and monitoring our projects years after they’ve been planted. She has come to learn, in depth, what we are doing “on the ground’ with communities and planting and how she can help us get projects like “Save San Luis Forest, Save This Family” certified on the carbon market.

This has become one of our biggest hurtles because of the HUGE upfront costs to have a third party verifier come and certify that the trees we have planted and that we are conserving are actually there. Folks, the world is changing and in the not so distant future carbon taxes will have to be imposed internationally. Already the E.U. has the cap and trade and California has passed a cap and trade law called the California Climate Exchange.

This means that everyone, businesses, corporations, governments and private citizens will have to purchase certified carbon offsets to compensate for the annual tons of GHG emissions they are responsible for. The key word here is certified…LRFF has been planting and conserving forests since before many of the carbon tax laws went into affect around the world yet since we haven’t been able to afford the upfront cost of verification our projects are not certified and consequently we are not able to sell “official” carbon offsets. We worry that folks who’d rather plant trees with LRFF will be prevented from so because they need the certified offsets.

Gretchen is a shining hope for me, my heroine in this story of La Reserva Forest Foundation. It is imperative that our projects receive certification and that’s what she aims to find out, if it’s possible, do our projects measure up, can we find the funding to implement the verification….there are so many scammers in the new forest carbon market (selling forest carbon offsets where there is no forest, cutting down forest to plant new, etc.) they make it difficult for an organization like LRFF because we are a minority, restoring and preserving only native forests and for all the right reasons. We are doing it for ALL life on this Earth because it’s our responsibility. So come on everybody….

LET’S GET PLANTING!

Gretchen Engbring, planting for Ryan Stallard
Gretchen Engbring, planting for Ryan Stallard
The Sign in honor of Ryan
The Sign in honor of Ryan
Nursery for our next planting in June @ Upala
Nursery for our next planting in June @ Upala

Links:

Planting Goddesses, yours truly and my sisters
Planting Goddesses, yours truly and my sisters

Thanks to you and others like you this project is almost funded again. Just since our last progress report almost $500 were donated to the project. Only $600 left and we will be ahead of the game. We will be able to pay Mariano and his little family the payments for environmental services they are earning by preserving that precious forest on the shore of Lake Arenal.

Every other year we’ve had to pay Mariano for his conservation services after the fact. It just goes to show how the worldview and priorities are changing since we founded LRFF over nine years ago.

A founding principle of our organization is positive action and thought. Action for me is the key word. Lots of other organizations do a lot of talking and even protesting…are environmental activists but their actions are based on negativity, resistance to what is.

You will only find us participating in positive action, that means if someone is cutting a tree down anywhere in the world we are planting trees in another place to more than make up for the negativity.

Check out the photos of our most recent positive action, the planting of over 500 trees on January 31st with an all girl/woman crew. We called it the “goddess” planting. The link is a video of my friend Nicida demonstrating how to plant a tree the Maleku way. LRFF has implemented various projects with the Maleku Tribe in northern Costa Rica in the past three years.

Thank you all for your continued support and generosity.

Let’s Act Positive and Get Planting!

The goddesses hard at work planting, princess too
The goddesses hard at work planting, princess too
Look at those new trees just planted. She
Look at those new trees just planted. She's happy
Plant a tree for a loved one at www.lrff.org
Plant a tree for a loved one at www.lrff.org

Links:

A rare Flor de Un Dia
A rare Flor de Un Dia

Because of you this same forest in San Luis was funded for the second year and we were able to pay Mariano. I’ve known Mariano and his late wife Alba for over 30 years. January will be the first anniversary of Alba’s death, an end to her struggle with cancer. It’s been such an honor, because of your generosity, to be able to pay Mario the payments for environmental services that he so needs and deserves. That 14 hectares (35 acres) is absorbing and storing over 280 metric tonnes of CO2 emitted from human activity yearly not to mention the oxygen it's producing. 

I was able to pay Mariano this last month for almost another full year. We’re also due to perform an inspection there but everything is looking good, even the Capuchin monkeys are returning.

Mariano asked me to express a special thank you to all of you who donated to the forest. It won’t be long and it will be funded again and we can wait for another year. Mariano has been able to fix his house, put his children through school and pay for the special help he needs for the house work and children’s care.

This forest is one of the only ones on the shores of Lake Arenal. All of the other shore areas are either owned by the electric company or developed for tourism and luxury housing. So come on everybody let’s keep this place safe and thank you again for helping Mariano and all the life inhabiting that pristine forest. 

The strange buttercup grandpa orchid
The strange buttercup grandpa orchid
Flor de Un Dia, blooms November to April
Flor de Un Dia, blooms November to April
Each tree supports myriad life upon it. Look!
Each tree supports myriad life upon it. Look!

Links:

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

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Funded

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

Still want to help?
Support another project run by La Reserva Forest Foundation that needs your help, such as:

Organization

La Reserva Forest Foundation

Tilaran, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
http://www.lrff.org

Project Leader

Roberta Ward Smiley

Project Leader
Tilaran, Guanacaste Costa Rica

Where is this project located?

Map of Save San Luis Forest, Save This Family