Rebuilding Biodiversity with Forest Friends
In an era where environmental consciousness is at the forefront of global concerns, the launch of Green Initiative’s Forest Friends, an inclusive certification label for the planting of trees, marks a significant step toward the effective restoration of ecosystems in recognized biodiversity hotspots.
Addressing Global Challenges
Green Initiative has a comprehensive approach to ecosystem restoration, reforesting with a diverse range of flora species native to the regions; Tambopata National Reserve and Peninsula de Osa, both of which are classified as Biodiversity Hotspots by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF). Hotspots must contain at least 1,500 species of endemic vascular plants and have lost at least 70% of its primary native vegetation, effectively making these regions prime real estate for the conservation of biodiversity.
Collaboration for Ecosystem Restoration
Our ecosystem restoration practices are implemented and reinforced by our local partners. We work together with Saimiri Foundation in Peninsula de Osa, a rainforest ecosystem in Costa Rica harboring 2.5% of the world terrestrial biodiversity, to identify priority areas for the reestablishment of forest connectivity and help support the foundation’s efforts to protect non-human primates from anthropogenic environmental threats. On the other hand, in Tambopata National Reserve in the Peruvian rainforest, we are partnered with ITA Inkaterra to foster the development of scientific research and conservation activities through biodiversity monitoring and the identification of key species, the promotion of agroforestry, organic farming, and sustainable harvesting practices. We are also working to expand the reach of our ecosystem restoration efforts. For example, our most recent partnership with the Chaparri Ecological Reserve in Lambayeque, Peru, will help restore dry carob forests in the region that are particularly vulnerable to urbanization intrusions.
In addition, in these biodiversity hotspots, ecotourism represents a large proportion of the economic benefits for the local inhabitants. The reforestation of the region and the involvement of local communities in the plantation, monitoring, and evaluation processes contributes to the economy of the region and fosters the dissemination of knowledge about the local ecosystems.
The Vision Behind Forest Friends
Forest Friends is not just a certification; it’s a commitment to restoring our planet’s natural balance. Therefore, It goes beyond simply planting trees and seeks to accelerate the investment into nature positive impacts and support the objectives of our local restoration partners while simultaneously encouraging long-term commitments to the plantation of trees. Furthermore, Green Initiative’s reforestation practices adhere to high standards of transparency and accountability while engaging in a continual process to improve the evaluation of the degree and extent of biological restoration.
Joining the Movement
Companies, NGOs, and governmental bodies looking to make a positive impact on the environment now have the opportunity to be a part of the Forest Friends movement. By achieving this certification, they are making a public commitment to responsible tree planting that goes beyond token gestures.
The Forest Friends certification can be achieved at any of the three levels mentioned below:
Organizations dedicated to contributing to ecosystem and wildlife restoration for nature’s positive impact through tree planting initiatives.
Organizations deeply committed to long-term ecosystem and wildlife restoration that are actively engaged in nature-positive impact projects.
Organizations dedicated to accelerating ecosystem and wildlife restoration for nature positive impact projects promoting and supporting the involvement of more organizations, fostering a collective effort.
The Time for Action Is Now
The launch of “Forest Friends” sends a clear message: the time for half-hearted environmental efforts is over. By setting a higher standard for tree planting initiatives, we have a chance to redefine our relationship with the environment and secure a healthier planet for generations to come.
To learn more about Forest Friends and how to become certified, visit www.greeninitiative.eco/forest-friends and be a part of the movement.