Reforestation Initiative

Reforest

The Yalijux – Cacquipec – Xucaneb cloud forest corridor has experienced an unprecedented amount of illegal deforestation over the past thirty years. On the whole, these deforestations happen not because people are harvesting valuable trees, but simply because the demand for agricultural land continues to rise. This dynamic converts primary cloud forest into steep, rocky cornfields and cattle pastures with very little agricultural value. If trends continue over the next thirty years, the cloud forests of this mountain chain will be gone. Dedicated to saving these forests, CCFC is currently and actively reforesting, restoring, and protecting these ecologically sensitive areas.

Deforestation and slash and burn agriculture contribute to global climate change, releasing thousands of tons of carbon into the atmosphere. Planting trees and restoring forests can mitigate the negative effects of deforestation. Restoration of cloud forests can also increase water absorption, replenish dried springs, decrease the risks of flooding and landslides, create and enhance habitat, and prevent soil erosion.*1

This area was primary forest in February of 2011. The area was illegally slashed, burned and planted in corn. © 2011 Rob Cahill, San Vicente I, Carcha', Alta Verapaz
This area was primary forest in February of 2011. The area was illegally slashed, burned and planted in corn. © 2011 Rob Cahill, San Vicente I, Carcha’, Alta Verapaz

CCFC has identified over 1,000 acres of Priority Reforestation Areas (PRAs), all of which are within one of two Important Bird Areas (IBAs). Our Reforestation Initiative has pinpointed these areas, acre by acre. CCFC is entering into reforestation agreements with plantation owners and cloud forest villages that will protect and restore these forests. Because the Yalijux – Cacquipec – Xucaneb corridor is so densely populated, CCFC’s reforestation projects involve the whole community. We create project “buy in” among village families through education, field trips and job opportunities. These partnerships allow CCFC not only to reforest PRAs, but also to secure long-term conservation easements on lands vulnerable to agricultural encroachment.

CCFC plants a wide variety of native trees including endangered tree species such as Pinus chiapensis.
Pinus chiapensis is an example of a species of tree being lost with the loss of forests in northern Central America. Pinus chiapensis is a tree component of the cloud forest. By including chiapensis in the mix of forest restoration CCFC is helping protect an endangered species of tree.

This map represents loss of primary cloud forest since 1986 (area represented in red). © 2013 Map compiled by Ian Pope, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University
This map represents loss of primary cloud forest since 1986 (area represented in red). © 2013 Map compiled by Ian Pope, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University

Donate now! Your donation of $750 (US) sponsors the reforestation of one acre of illegally deforested land in the Sierra Xucaneb.

“Humanity is cutting down its forests, apparently oblivious to the fact that we may not be able to live without them.”

-Isaac Asimov

“Do not cut down the tree that gives you shade.”

-Arabian proverb

Planting trees captures the imagination of children. © 2009 Rob Cahill, Semesche', Carcha', Alta Verapaz
Planting trees captures the imagination of children. © 2009 Rob Cahill, Semesche’, Carcha’, Alta Verapaz

How does it work?
For every sponsored acre, CCFC will reforest, restore and protect one acre of illegally destroyed cloud forest.

Investment in each acre includes:

  • establishing 153 large trees species (native cloud forest species);
  • planting 65 woody plants and establishing orchids;
  • securing easements for long term protection of area;
  • teaching owners and / or neighboring villages about the value of the cloud forest
  • six years of reforestation maintenance to allow seedlings to establish themselves.

reforesation_xucaneb_6

Reforestation man from Sesalche

Maria Cac Cac plants native cloud forest trees along deforested areas. © 2011 Rob Cahill, Xucaneb, Coban, Alta Verapaz
Maria Cac Cac plants native cloud forest trees along deforested areas. © 2011 Rob Cahill, Xucaneb, Coban, Alta Verapaz

This project is funded an acre at a time by thoughtful and caring individuals like you. You can make it happen. Sponsor an acre of restoration and conservation and help us bring back the cloud forest.

CCFC is proud to show visitors these reforestations. Guests are also more than welcome to help CCFC plant native cloud forest trees.

“Tropical forests provide a cooling effect through the long-term removal of carbon from the atmosphere and by increasing sky albedo via cloud generation.”

“Forests have a cooling effect on our climate because they store vast amounts of carbon in tree trunks, branches, leaves and soil. They keep this carbon out of the atmosphere for as long as they remain healthy, intact forests. If they are cleared or degraded, there is a net flow of carbon to the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.”
Daniel Nepstad, Senior Scientist, Earth Innovation Institute and Lead Author, IPCC AR, from the New York Times

“They absorb carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide and give out oxygen. What could be more desirable? And they look good in the bargain. Stop chopping down the rain forests and plant more saplings, and we’re on our way.”

-Isaac Asimov, 1988

School based reforestation builds local buy in. © 2010 Rob Cahill, Sierra Chilaxha', Rubel Chaim farm, Coban, AV
School based reforestation builds local buy in. © 2010 Rob Cahill, Sierra Chilaxha’, Rubel Chaim farm, Coban, AV

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is now.

-Anonymous

The Chicagoland Bird Conservation Network (BCN) in cooporation with Community Cloud Forest Conservation

Rosa from Sequila', Carcha' at CCFC's tree nursery.
Rosa from Sequila’, Carcha’ at CCFC’s tree nursery.
Volunteer reforest an illegally deforested hillside.
Volunteers reforest an illegally deforested hillside.

*1 (foot note: C Harvey, 2013. “Climate Smart Landscapes: Opportunities and Challenges for Integrating Adaptation and Mitigation in Tropical Agriculture”)