IICA and CATIE promote urban reforestation in Costa Rica
San Jose, 22 November 2021 (IICA/CATIE) – Dozens of mahogany, kapok, golden trumpet, lignum vitae, rosewood and oak trees, among others, were planted in the Forest of the Americas, located at the Headquarters of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) in Costa Rica’s capital city.
For the most part, the trees that were planted are the national trees of the countries of the Americas and are of great cultural value to the people of the region.
The forest is a joint project of IICA and the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) that was established in the two Costa Rican communities where the institutions are situated: the cantons of Vásquez de Coronado and Turrialba.
IICA Director General, Manuel Otero, pointed out that, “The Forest of the Americas is an initiative to rehabilitate ecosystems and the natural habitat, enabling us to access more biodiverse and ecologically functional forested areas and increasing our knowledge about the emblematic trees of the Americas”.
“Humans depends on ecosystem services for our survival and therefore, we must prioritize actions that contribute to restoring them, which will allow us to protect the biodiversity and health of the planet”, remarked Muhammid Ibrahim, Director General of CATIE.
CATIE’s Forest Seedbank provided support and leadership in developing and implementing the project, in order to ensure the viability of the forest and to select tree species that would be able to flourish under the environmental conditions of both cantons.
As part of IICA’s open door policy and its efforts to demonstrate the value of environmental conservation to the younger generations, the Forest of the Americas will provide a space for Costa Rican students and other visitors to the Institute to learn, first hand, about the importance and magnitude of the “green infrastructure”.
Green areas in cities help to improve quality of life; preserve biodiversity and water resources; and purify the air. The selected tree species will also bolster wildlife recovery, particularly of animals, providing a source of food and refuge for pollinators and migratory birds.
The tree planting ceremony was done on the occasion of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was held this month in Scotland.
During the activity, IICA’s Blue Flag Ecological Group gifted the participants 100 small pink poui trees that were donated by the CATIE Forest Seed Bank, to enable them to be contribute to the reforestation efforts and the beautification of urban spaces.
Institutional Communication Division, IICA
Strategic Communication Coordinator
Information and Communication Technology, CATIE