Ian Scanlan just returned from a planning trip to the Rainforest Eco Lodge (honestly, they have a sign on the road with that name), visiting with local smallholders and planning for the pilot project nursery this Spring. He took some stunning photographs, that I just got my hands on – so will see how to make a gallery for all to enjoy soon.
Here’s what he has to say –
Our objective is to establish a rainforest nursery near Rio de Janeiro in order to create a supply of seedlings for the region, where apparently none exists.
We are also planning a reforestation pilot project of our own, with a focus on planting degraded land according to best design practices for engineered multi-strata tropical forest systems. The goal is not only to reforest the land, but also to provide economically viable alternatives for subsistence farmers.
We have confirmed a site for this already, near a large WWF reserve.
Target land is in a neighboring community where a Reserve has been established but needs to be planted. The owner is on board as a local partner and has already planted about 200,000 trees on his land (3-7 years ago). He has tremendous influence in the community and wants to work with us to secure additional land from local smallholders to plant (in addition to his remaining land).
There are significant barriers to entry for smallholders as well as large landowners like our local partner. One is high labour costs for planting and maintenance. Very innovative solutions have been successfully tested to address some of these barriers. We are planning to also implement micro-credit schemes to support business development for local women.
Please feel free to leave comments with suggestions for sponsorship of this pilot project. I’d better get busy offering shawls to our member/donors…