RAFA restores forest connectivity in the Biological Subcorridor Paso del Jaguar with 7,965 trees!

Working with the Barbilla-Destierro Biological Subcorridor Paso del Jaguar, the Rivers and Forests Alliance (RAFA) has planted 7,965 trees since October 2021 to restore forest connectivity and wildlife habitats in the Pacuare River Basin.

The Pacuare River Basin is part of the Barbilla-Destierro Biological Subcorridor Paso del Jaguar, a habitat for jaguars, wild peccaries, three species of monkeys, endangered Great Green Macaws, and numerous other species of wildlife. RAFA has been working closely with the Biological Subcorridor Committee and SINAC officials (Costa Rican National System of Conservation Areas) at the Barbilla National Park to reforest gaps in the biological corridor. One of the primary native species of forest trees that RAFA plants are Mountain Almond trees, which are vital for Great Green Macaws for nesting and food.

In May 2023, RAFA launched its flagship program, Guardians of the Pacuare, to unite stakeholders from the tourism industry, conservation organizations, and local communities and authorities to preserve the Pacuare River, forest, and wildlife. Among the 15 founding member organizations are the Barbilla-Destierro Biological Subcorridor Paso del Jaguar Committee and the Barbilla National Park.

Since 2021, RAFA has organized seven reforestation events:

  • 972 trees were planted in Bajos del Tigre in October 2021 in a memorial forest for Rafael “Rafa” Gallo.
  • 1,018 trees were planted in San Martin de Tres Equis in February 2022 to offset the carbon emissions of a private company.
  • 1,500 trees were planted in Bajos del Tigre in April 2022 as part of the United for the Pacuare Festival RAFA, which joined private tourism companies with conservation organizations and local government officials to partner in protecting the Pacuare River Basin.
  • 1,000 trees were planted in Bajos del Tigre in November 2022 in collaboration with U.S. educational organization Verto Education, CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center), and Costa Rican electrical company ICE.
  • 360 trees were planted in San Martin de Tres Equis in May 2023 to commemorate the launch of the Guardians of the Pacuare program.
  • 1,615 trees were planted in San Martin de Tres Equis in October 2023 in collaboration with the Macaw Recovery Network, Guardians of the Pacuare, and the OCA Rio Pacuare Turrialba-Siquirres
  • 1,500 trees were planted in San Martin de Tres Equis in December 2023 in collaboration with U.S. educational organization Verto Education and ICE.

We are grateful to all of our tree-planting volunteers from the Biological Subcorridor Paso del Jaguar, JACANA youth organization, Guardians of the Pacuare members, SINAC, ICE, and troops with the Costa Rica Association of Guides & Scouts and Explorers of Costa Rica.

We look forward to advancing even more projects in 2024 for protecting wildlife, reforesting, and restoring habitats.

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