Opportunities for restoration: Working with communities of the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
Following a positive experience with the community of Rancho Quemado in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, the IAFN team delivered a second community-based training in the community of Hojancha, in Guanacaste province. Participants came from the hills around Hojancha and the Pacific coast of Nicoya to learn about reforestation using the analog forestry method.
The workshop was held in the Monte Alto Natural Reserve, an area of former farmland turned into a protected area in the early 1990s, a period during which the Nicoya Peninsula had been almost completely deforested, and communities throughout the region set to the task of bringing back their forested areas bit by bit – one of Costa Rica’s great success stories, the Nicoya Peninsula has regrown thousands of hectares of forest in the last two decades.
Nonetheless, much work remains to be done: in the hilly regions around Hojancha, many participants saw analog forestry as a productive way to reforest increasing parts of their own land, while participants from along the coast saw reforestation as one of the most important investments they could make to ensure their water supply, which is under ever increasing pressures.
IAFN is immensely grateful to the staff of the Monte Alto reserve and our partners at UNAFOR Chorotega for helping to organize the workshop.