News & Updates
Renewing Costa Rica's Rainforests: Growing and Planting Native Species
By Ricardo Luján
Hola mis amigos! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Ricardo Lujan. Since 1996 I have had the honour of being the Chief Forester for BARCA, Brinkman’s Central American division. I live in the sunny and rainy South of Costa Rica (Perez Zeledón) and travel routinely between Costa Rica and Panama overseeing quality and silvicultural best practices throughout our suite of diverse projects.
One special project that BARCA is carrying out in Costa Rica towards the restoration and protection of Costa Rican Forests, is an alliance with the Fundacion Osa Conservacion (Osa Conservation). Our model is a three-part collaboration or “triangulation” model, in which the land owners provide the land (Osa Conservation); social and environmentally conscious investors raise the funds (EPR); and forestry companies with on-the-ground skills and experience, such as BARCA, are responsible for the project’s establishment and management.
The main objective of this initiative is to help link forest patches between two high value forests in one of the most biodiverse areas in the world: Corcovado National Park and Peñas Blancas National Park, both located in the south Pacific of Costa Rica. During the past two years, BARCA has administered this new project with the power line company Empresa Propietaria de la Red (EPR), for the planting and maintenance of 100,000 native species trees in properties of Fundacion Osa Conservacion, and 25,000 trees on other private lands.
BARCA has provided most of the trees from its own nursery, itself a product of 20 years of specialized forestry and many years of genetic improvement work in Costa Rica. We have planted 54 different species many of them rare to endemic of the region in the past two years. Evelyn Ramírez, the Nursery Supervisor, has been fundamental in producing these species, some of which I could say with confidence have never before been reproduced in a nursery.
For the planting of 100,000 native trees, three farms in strategic locations were selected at sites that provide habitat connectivity between the Corcovado and the Piedras Blancas National Parks. The farms are located in Cerro de Osa, Puerto Escondido and La Cecilia.
BARCA’s involvement in this project showcases our commitment and our capacity to contribute to restoring and managing Costa Rican forests to the highest standards. Our group is ready to collaborate under the Pacifico Initiative envisioned for Costa Rica.