Community Carbon Trees Fights Global Warming in Costa Rica
Community Carbon Trees started as a private philanthropic enterprise among friends, and has grown to be a non-profit among local farmers and a global model.
The idea was fostered by Jennifer Leigh Smith who began her life on a sustainable farm in Louisiana. She grew up to become a lawyer, and spent 8 years working for environmental advocacy. After retiring from law, Leigh decided to pick up and move to Costa Rica for several reasons which mostly related to the countries track record as a proponent for ecology and protection of natural resources.
Community Carbon Trees was Smith’s brainchild, but it started among a small community of people. The nonprofit company was founded in 2010 as a community project between Smith and local farmers. Its main base of operations is the southern town of Plantanillo, and it has grown into a global model since its inception in 2010. Grow-Trees in India has used the model set by Community Carbon Trees as have other companies throughout the world.
If you care to donate to the nonprofit, you can do so via its website or Global Giving. Global Giving is an organization that finds funding for various philanthropic ventures worldwide. $25 will fund one tree for a twenty five year lifecycle. Carbon Trees then takes the trees that it grows, and plants them in degraded farmlands that help bolster a renewal of the land. The nonprofit also educates the local community on caring for the trees, and discusses the variety of endangered tree species that they are planting, what the best growing methods are and how to deal with certain tree diseases.
Community Carbon Trees now owns twelve farms which are managed by crew members, and each crew member plays a function in the grand scheme. Smith plants trees, management and educating the public while Luis Arias Alfaro, Alvaro Cerdas and Christian Menas provide safe transport, seed collection, germination, planting, soil preparation and nursery care among others. Juan Mendiola helps in reaching remote areas, and is a safety manager for the crew.
Community Carbon Trees has some eighty different species that it helps to promote the propagation. The United Nations Development Program has devoted nearly $20,000 to the nonprofit, and this (as well as individual donations) have helped the organization to plant over 20,000 trees.