Costa Rica and the Crystal Waters project:

When hundreds of tribes and thousands of supporters gathered in Standing Rock, in the American Midwest, to protest a pipeline that threatened the water supply of local tribes, a simple mantra became their beacon and main message, ” Water is life “.

Started in early 2020 on Crystal clear waters The project, founded by ASANA, Perez Zeledon’s local conservation organization, aimed to gain a better understanding of two main river basins on Costa Rica’s mid-Pacific coast, the Rio Baru, Nauyauca Falls, and Rio Higuerón.

In 2020, to protect the health of the sources of the Rio Baru in the Valle Diamante in Perez Zeledon, the group invested in expensive water analysis equipment and, with the help of volunteers, began to take samples. across the watershed to establish a basic picture of the health of the watershed. .

Fast forward to the end of 2021 and the project faces a lack of funding and its future appears to be in question. Calls and emails to key ASANA representatives who worked on the project were not returned. The Community Carbon Trees of Costa Rica community, led by Jennifer Smith, a seasoned reforestation expert and passionate environmentalist based in Platanillo de Baru, is bridging the gap.

Smith takes a big picture. As she emphasizes on the CTC website, “The growth of tropical humid biodiverse forests balances global weather cycles” and she is leading by example in helping people plant trees, one at a time, and carry them up. to mature and become part of a rainforest.

The group recently posted a YouTube video documenting the first step in transforming cow pastures into rainforest. Smith introduces the Tico family who are paid to replant their own pastures with rainforest tree species in the first set of 1000 trees to be planted in their small slice of the Baru River watershed.

Amy Shrift, an organic grower from La Florida, is a staunch supporter. She has just launched a personal campaign to help find 100 donors of $ 100 each to raise $ 10,000. She calls it “Paper for Water”.

Such a fund would allow other Tico families to benefit from this initiative and transform additional hectares of cattle pastures into rainforest and thus follow on from the original Crystal Waters project. Amy hopes that the equipment purchased by ASANA will be available to test the water in the Baru watershed once the reforestation process is completed and thus help demonstrate the positive impact of such reforestation efforts.

During the last decades of the 20th century, Costa Rica’s economy grew by cutting down rainforest to make way for cattle and the commercial beef market. Now in the 21st, slowly but steadily, along the Pacific coast, the economics of reforestation and the value of ecotourism are being demonstrated with a variety of large-scale projects.

It is a long term investment of time, work and money, but understanding that “Water is life”, the math is simple and the cause is just right.

If you would like to sponsor other tree plantations, you can contact Jennifer Smith at CCT or follow this link to make a contribution: https://www.communitycarbontrees.org/plant-a-tree

For more information on ASANA: http://www.asanacr.org/

About Matthew Berkey

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