Reforestation

In an ecosystem as severely fragmented as coastal Ecuador, it is not enough to merely conserve the last remnants of standing forest. TMA conducts reforestation and agro-forestation projects in deforested lands surrounding the Jama-Coaque Reserve as means to: 1) reduce resource pressure on existing native forests; 2) expand the forest along its edges and bridge the gap between forest fragments; and 3) create a long-term and sustainable revenue stream for local landholders.

As much as 98% of native forest in coastal Ecuador has already been lost. What little forest remains is dispersed throughout the region in a mosaic pattern, characterized by a large number of relatively small fragments of forest (i.e., 2-10 km²), tenuously connected by riparian corridors or forested ridge lines. TMA’s work is aimed at strategically reforesting and agro-foresting cleared land, thus expanding forest habitat and creating key migratory channels for threatened wildlife while simultaneously creating jobs and sustainable revenue opportunities for local residents. TMA’s “Micro-Foresting” pilot program provides materials, technical assistance, and a start-up subsidy for small-scale agro-forestation projects by local farmers.

Learn more about TMA’s ecological restoration activities:

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The devastating effects of slash-and-burn agriculture on an adjacent hillside.
The devastating effects of slash-and-burn agriculture on an adjacent hillside.
The clearing of forest for cattle pasture is a constant threat to local animal species.
The clearing of forest for cattle pasture is a constant threat to local animal species.

Accomplishments

  • Planting and management of six experimental reforestation and agro-forestation plots since 2009.
  • Our experimental reforestation plots include 26 species of native canopy trees.
  • Our Agroforestry Demonstration Site includes 50 species of food-producing trees in less than 2.5 acres (1 ha.) of land.
  • In 2013 we planted 6,500 native hardwood trees on 17 acres (7 ha.) of degraded cattle pasture, known as Finca Madera.
  • In early 2014 we planted an additional 8,000 seedlings in the Finca Madera.

Goals

  • Planting 25,000 trees on 70 acres of previously-deforested land over the next four years.
  • Continuing to expand the diversity and productive efficiency of the Agroforestry Demonstration Site.