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.
Nov 8, 2011

Project Hometree, a Great Project

The furrows at planting Sept. 2010
The furrows at planting Sept. 2010

This past month Omar, Miguel and Kyra Hagl cleaned and replaced trees here at La Reserva for Project Hometree. Above you can see the furrows the planting crew cut in the deep African grasses to prepare the 8 hectares for planting last year. This is a labor-intensive project, preparing the land and now the maintenance. Miguel and Omar worked at cleaning and replanting for three weeks. Kyra Hagl arrived the last week and was a grand help planting replacements while the guys concentrated on the cleaning.

You can still see the furrows above but the trees are now taller than the grasses. We have one more year of maintenance on Project Hometree, this is a very successful project. In the majority of the planted areas the trees are growing at an amazing rate. There are lenses in the soil in all of our project areas where the trees just don’t grow well or not at all. Even the pasture grasses don’t do well. These lenses are usually a very fine-grained, red clay. 

The trees one year later in the furrows
The trees one year later in the furrows
Miguel, me, Omar and Kyra Hagl w/beers
Miguel, me, Omar and Kyra Hagl w/beers

Links:

Oct 17, 2011

El Farallon, Good News and More Good News

8 has. being preserved over next 5 years, in red
8 has. being preserved over next 5 years, in red

Thanks to your generosity the “Preserving El Farallon Natl. Monument” forest preservation project was funded this past August. Many employees from Eli Lilly donated during the last month, really amazing.

Last week, after we received the final disbursement from GlobalGiving for this project we called the Lopez family to let them know it was time to come sign the contract and receive their check for payments for environmental services (PES) to preserve the 48 hectares of forest for the next year. They said that there was a problem with the 40 hectare piece but that they would explain when they came to La Reserva. Sounded quite ominous.

They explained that since we wrote up the project in June 2010 and the time it was funded by you in August 2011, the national forestry program, FONAFIFO agreed to pay them PES’s over the next 5 years for water incrementation on the 40 hectare forest. That left the 8 hectare regenerated piece to preserve. The funds were very much over and above what was needed to pay them for that.

A light bulb went off in my head!! After calculating I realized we had enough funding to pay the Lopez’s PES’s on the 8 hectare regenerated forest for the next 5 years. They agreed, happily, signed the contract and received their first annual payment of $522.00.

The project turned out a little different than we thought but the 40 hectares are being preserved over the next 5 years and through our support so are the other 8. This eight hectares of forest will absorb and store approximately 600 metric tonnes of CO2 during that time.

More good news, the Lopez’s want to do a forest restoration project with LRFF on their property. From the public road their personal road passes through all of the farm and this is how we arrive at their beautiful, typical home. They are planning to build a new house up at the public road and want to plant native forest on both sides of the old road through the farm, more than 1 kilometer. I explained how the project works with the Maleku people, the landowners create the nurseries, let the trees develop for 4 – 6 months and at planting time LRFF buys them for .50/tree. Gisella’s father loves to grow trees she explained and would love the opportunity to create and care for the nursery. This is the PES we pay the landowner on these projects and it is equal to paying $100/ha/year but they receive it up front all at once. The other beautiful benefit is the great appreciation the nursery gives the community of seeing the forest return.

Thank you again for your great generosity. Watch for the Lopez’s reforestation project on GlobalGiving soon.

The Lopez
The Lopez's typical Costa Rican house
Petroglyphs at El Farallon National Monument
Petroglyphs at El Farallon National Monument
The river and bluff of these famous petroglyphs
The river and bluff of these famous petroglyphs

Links:

Oct 10, 2011

It's a Win/Win Situation

Maleku at Cano Negro in the olden days (no date)
Maleku at Cano Negro in the olden days (no date)

It takes four workers only eight days to construct a $2000 town hall of natural, traditional supplies in the Maleku Reserve. Simple!

Unless you happen to live in a rainforest.

The Maleku tribe, who inhabit 600 hectares of that rainforest, are struggling to recuperate their ancestral territory--just under 3000 hectares--depleted by cattle raising, returned to them by the Costa Rican government in 1976, although now, 35 years later, that land still has not been returned. In order for the reclamation project to function, the tribal council needs a reliable venue, called a rancho, for meeting, planning, and conducting ceremonies. The current rancho is in dire condition--roofed with plastic sheeting and falling apart around them. Constructing and subsequently maintaining a new one would employ several local men.

Sufficient funding would supply nails, lumber, and vines for construction; transportation of materials; and labor costs. A cheap and simple matter, really.

But in a rainforest, nothing comes cheaply or simply--a daily, commonplace fact for the Maleku. Gifts totalling just a little over $1,300 (we now have over $500 in donations for this project) would yield a wonderful transaction: four dedicated men + eight productive days = one traditional and essential rancho = 3000 hectares of recuperated territory of which 2000 will be restored to native rainforest.

A simple investment yielding remarkable dividends.

Change in forest cover 1961-1992, Maleku Reserve
Change in forest cover 1961-1992, Maleku Reserve
Assembly, the Maleku Tribal Council is born
Assembly, the Maleku Tribal Council is born
Bienvenido Cruz Castro, President of the MTC
Bienvenido Cruz Castro, President of the MTC
Map Maleku Reserve. They reside in the blue area.
Map Maleku Reserve. They reside in the blue area.
Angel Silva Silva, Treasurer of the MTC
Angel Silva Silva, Treasurer of the MTC

Links:

 
   

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