Retorno de Bosque / Return to Forest
1,003 acres (406 hectares)
Nicaragua -- Rivas
Rainforest Alliance Evaluation:
Validated conformance with Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standards 1st Ed., Gold Level, April 11, 2008 - April 10 2013 (RA-VAL-CCB-009157).
In this project, communities and landowners (mostly cattle ranchers) plant trees—nearly 70 different native tree species—on former forestland that was previously cleared for ranching, one of the most common but increasingly unsustainable and unprofitable land uses in the region. Through replanting, the project will regenerate dry and most tropical forests and increase forest connectivity, enabling the restoration of biological corridors through the Rivas Isthmus of southwestern Nicaragua (a thin strip between Lake Nicaragua and the Pacific Ocean). The reconnecting of remnant forest patches is vital to the survival of local spider and howler monkey populations and other fauna.
Developed by a small grassroots nonprofit with close ties to the community, the project also focuses on the needs of local people. Local groups were actively involved in the planning process, particularly in the planning and management of the nurseries used for tree planting. This project was the first in Nicaragua to be validated to the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards and has generated interest far beyond its initial boundaries. It is hoped that more local ranchers and landowners will participate as they witness the project’s continued success.