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Our Approach for Paradise Restoration
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Why bother?
Because without forests, we would lose extraordinary and essential functions for Life on Earth

Ecological Benefits of Forests

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Capture & Store CO2

While creating high-value goods such as wood (50% carbon), fruit or fungi and making clean air in the process 

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Create Water Cycles

Forests cause increased rainfall, with the water being cleaned and absorbed by plants and soil, as well as preventing runoffs

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Microclimate & Temperature Reduction

By up to 10°C compared to neighboring barren agricultural land on a micro-level and around 2.5°C on a regional level 

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Biodiversity & Habitat

Our forests are home to millions of species of animals, plants, fungi and microorganisms. Around 50% of all known species live in rainforests

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Soil Fertility

Biodiversity of plants, microbial communities and fungi in forests & agroforestry systems sustain physical & structural soil health and nutrient pools in the long term

Social Benefits of Forests

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Self-Sufficiency

Forests provide food, medicines & shelter for the people & communities living in and from the forest

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Preservation of Cultural Traditions

Many indigenous communities attribute significant spiritual and cultural value to the forests they inhabit for centuries

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Recreation & Beauty

Every year 8 billion people explore the worlds forests to recharge, connect with nature and enjoy its health benefits

Our Process

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Secure the Land

We buy or lease land that is already degraded or under threat of conversion into traditional agricultural cropland.

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Restore the (Food) Forest

Based on Mayan traditions & principles, where people live in synergy with nature, creating a productive ecosystem.

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Infrastructure & Terracing

We build traditional Mayan houses for the people restoring the land, as well as irrigation infrastructure & terraces.

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Document the Knowledge

We train multipliers, spreading the impulse to local communities across Mexico in collaboration with the government program "Sembrando Vida"

Our approach has been refined over and over by Dr. Bernd Neugebauer and his Mayan team during the last 30 years, while restoring Chan Ká Vergel (Mayan for "Little Village in Paradise), a 2,000 year old Mayan village and building a Food Forest around it.

With his family business being a German tree nursery, Bernd has been combining his knowledge about silviculture & forest management in Germany with the traditions of the pre-Columbian Mayans, who have been living in harmony in and with the forest for thousands of years. Now this approach, based on ancient wisdom, is often referred to as permaculture or cradle-to-cradle.

We firmly believe that forests can only be protected with local people living in and from them, seeing the forest as a valuable resource worthy of protection. Thus, we believe those people caring for the forests, should also be the main beneficiaries of the (forest) products of their work.

We were surprised ourselves to find that restoring a mature, diverse rainforest with 30m high trees can be achieved in only 20-30 years and requires an investment of merely 1€/m2.

How we Restore

Planting Trees is easy  -  Restoring Forests is not

Restore Soil Health

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Similar to building a house, a good foundation is the first element to build. For a forest to grow, our first step is to rebuild soil health by introducing functional, forest and soil-enhancing fungi and microorganisms.

Diversity & Subsistance

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Perennial organic crops such as aloe vera, papaya, orange, pineapple, banana provide self-sufficiency for the people living in the forest. For increased value creation the crops are processed, e.g. as juices or oils.

Animal Husbandry

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Pigs & fowl help with weeding and soil improvement, while also providing food for the people living in the forest.

Cover the Soil

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We plant annual organic crops such as ginger, curcuma or pumpkin to keep the soil moist and contribute to carbon storage in the soil.

Nature-inspired Design

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We intentionally plant trees & bushes that attract squirrels & birds, which bring other seeds to the forest, increasing biodiversity by natural design.

Medicinal Plants & Spices

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We grow medicinal plants and spices for people’s own use and to be sold at market value to generate income.

Introduce Canopy Trees

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To achieve a closed canopy after 7-10 years, we selectively plant quality wood species (e.g. mahogany, red cedar, ramón, ceiba), which can be harvested after 15-20 years, except for those that remain as a biodiversity reservoirs. 

Beekeeping

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Bees are essential for pollination (1 bee can pollinate 300,000 flowers per day) and also produce ecological rainforest honey.

Carbon Certification

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Certification & issuance of carbon credits generates funds that help us finance the restoration of more forests.

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