The University of Georgia Costa Rica 2014-2015 Sustainability Report UGA Costa Rica 2014 - 2015 Sustainability Report - Page 23

GOAL: Grow the carbon offset program to reach a total of 60,000 trees planted in the Pájaro Campana Biological Corridor by 2015. The reforestation program at UGA Costa Rica has two primary objectives: offsetting carbon emissions, and creating a contiguous mosaic of forest patches and corridors from the cloud forest to the mangroves. This forest network is critical both to support the migration of species vital to the health of the Mesoamerican region and to protect the regions’ water sources. As part of this program, each student enrolled in a UGACR study abroad program contributes to the carbon offset reforestation program. Tourists and other student groups have the same option. Activities include transplanting seedlings, nursery maintenance, monitoring reforestation sites, and planting trees. Trees are planted throughout upper elevation zones of the 664 km2 Pájaro Campana Biological Corridor, which houses the UGACR campus, as well as a diverse range of tropical species, including 500 species of orchids, 83 species of mammals, and 900 species of birds, 29 of which are endemic to the region. More details on the carbon offset reforestation program can be found on the UGACR website. UGACR set a goal of planting 60,000 trees throughout the corridor by 2015. As of December 2014, 34,054 trees have been planted as a result of this program, representing 56.76 percent of the established goal. Tree planting in the last two years has tapered off since nearly all of the area surrounding San Luis that landowners are willing to convert to forest has already been planted. UGA Costa Rica plans to address this situation by expanding the reforestation project. Creating additional nurseries at middle and lower elevations within the corridor is being considered, which would allow UGACR and its partners to raise and plant tree species native to these areas. Such an expansion would allow students and researchers more opportunities for research on topics such as species migration patterns and spatial analysis using GIS techniques, and would further engage land owners throughout the region to re-establish forested areas. 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 0 Au g. 08 Ja n. 0 Ju 9 n. 0 No 9 v. 09 Ap r. 10 Se p. 10 Fe b. 11 Ju l. 1 1 M ay 12 Oc t. 12 M ar .1 3 Au g. 13 Ja n. 14 No v. 14 Ap r. 15 Number of Trees Planted Number of Trees Planted through UGACR’s Reforestation Program by Location UGACR Guacimal Monteverde San Luis INVU Santa Elena Tree planting in the last two years has tapered off since nearly all of the area surrounding San Luis that landowners are willing to convert to forest has already been planted. 2014 – 2015 Sustainability Report 23