One of our main objectives is to protect and recover the Tropical Dry Forest in the North of Colombia.
Since the beginning of our work we are directing our efforts in restoring deforested land and degraded habitat, reconnecting previously fragmented forest patches within the Reserve using two techniques: Planting native and vulnerable tree species and applying assisted natural regeneration, which consists of removing threats to allow the forest to regenerate naturally.
To guarantee the survival of the planted and protected trees, they are cared for during the period in which they are most vulnerable, the first two years of their life.
As of 2015, with the support of a crowdfunding campaign which sponsored more than 1,000 trees within the Reserve. As a result, the forest is returning and with it, the native wildlife.
- Endangered species like the Tananeos tree (Peltogyne Purpurea) are recovering.
- Over 200 species of birds have been documented within the Reserve.
- The new forest has stabilized the soil, protecting the watershed from erosion.
- Our forest sequesters more carbon than the previous pastures.
- Soils are improving in structure and nutrients.
- Tree planting is a key part of our education program.
Benefits of our reforestation program
- The reforested lands become conservation areas of the Reserve, with which there is a guarantee that the planted trees remain protected during their life.
- The reforested areas will also benefit from assisted natural regeneration, leading to a higher amount of trees per hectare and a greater impact on the recovery of the degraded areas.
- By reforesting with native species, this project contributes to the regeneration of the Tropical Dry Forest in our region.
- The Reserve is a wild refuge for many endangered species of fauna. By reforesting we contribute to increasing the surface of their habitat.
- The Reserve offers plenty of opportunities for research of regional ecosystems.
- Socio-economic benefits for local communities. The conservation of the tropical dry forest can create sustainable livelihoods for local communities through eco-tourism, especially bird tourism.
- Private companies which support projects in a natural reserve benefit by improving their image of social responsibility in relation to nature and society.
The trees, with their processes of growth, reproduction, and decomposition contribute towards ensuring biodiversity in the following ways:
- Trees promote the return of endangered species.
- Trees are our best mechanism for absorbing CO2.
- Trees, through photosynthesis, are primarily responsible for providing part of the oxygen we breathe and remove carbon dioxide, which causes global warming leading to the dreaded greenhouse effect.
- Each tree absorbs about 25 kg of carbon emissions each year.
- A tree absorbs around 1,000 kg of carbon dioxide over a period 40 years and can live more than 100 years.
- A fact proven by NASA shows that trees in tropical climates usually absorb three times more CO2.
- Trees protect the soil from erosion.
- Their branches and leaves stop the direct impact of water droplets. The water descends slower through the trunk or falls from the branches or leaves, so it gets more chance to infiltrate the soil. This ensures that a greater proportion of water is retained in the subsurface reserves and less water runs over the surface, reducing their erosive effect.
- The roots of the trees also form a network that holds the soil and helps protect it.
- In the woods, or in areas with vegetation, surface minerals are drawn to a much lesser extent than in bare lands. In areas with few trees, few shrubs or grass, little quantities of water can form large grooves on the earth and impoverish the land – turning it sterile. The current large deserts were great forests in the past. Trees also act as a shield against the wind, another important erosive factor.
- The trees stop the wind and keep it from dragging the materials to another place and push them hard against the very ground which favours its disintegration. The importance of wind on the landscape can be clearly seen in places bare of vegetation such as deserts, where the sand entrainment by wind changes the dunes constantly. In many cities next to deserts, trees are planted to prevent the advance of the desert.
- Forests also act positively against temperature changes, another soil destructive factor.
- The differences of heat and cold between day and night produce its disintegration and help accelerate the erosion process. The sun shines directly on the bare earth and increases the evaporation of water, drying the ground. In forest areas soil moisture is plentiful.
- Forests have also been seen to act as environmental moderators – maintaining an internal temperature that is less extreme than the outside of the forest. Forests provide more freshness in summer and are warmer in winter. The temperature differences between the inside of a forest and adjacent field areas can be 1-3 ° C.
- Trees have provided medicines for centuries, in particular against malaria, acidity, measles, lung diseases, rheumatism, influenza, and leprosy, among others.
Thanks to the contribution of USAID, managed by Patrimonio Natural within its Conservation Landscapes programme, a temporary greenhouse was built where more than 3,000 seedlings of native trees have been propagated. These seedlings have been planted within the Reserve and donated to the community.
Adopt a Tree
If you want to help to preserve the environment, if you want to leave your legacy on earth, if you want to celebrate your birthday or just give away a tree … Adopt a tree and support us!
Friends of our Reserve decide to plant trees to celebrate a birth, a birthday, in memory of a loved one or because they feel a commitment to future generations. We thank each and every one of them for supporting us in our goal to preserve, restore and increase the vegetation of our Reserve, an example of tropical dry forest and habitat for many species in critical danger of extinction.