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!
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!
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.
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