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Buying forest to save trees

Blossom in the forest

Our purpose is to help the threatened environment. Apart from our efforts to secure primeval forest by means of our association, we are also willing to assist in private purchase of forest, as long as conservation and protection of these zones come to the fore. We can make tangible offers for land, grown over with forest, in various areas in alternating conditions. As a non - profit organization we do not aspire any material advantages. We mediate to assist, so these lands go to persons, who are committing themselves to care for nature.

As an example of different possibilities we have at hand, we refer here of a viewing of such an offer near Buena Vista, an attractive and well-kept small township about 120 km north of Santa Cruz de la Sierra at the limits of the national park Amboró, which is accessible only at the edges, because of its steep, jungle-covered mountains. Also based on increasing activity in the area of tourism, Buena Vista in past years has developed without having lost its original character.

We wanted to tour a piece of land offered to us there, with old trees still in existence. On the entire stretch of way we drove through agriculturally used countryside on the surface of which not even one large jungle tree had remained standing. There were just a few trees planted in some settlements to render shadow. The remainder consisted of mere shrubs or secondary growth. Only overviewing the untamed Rio Piraí while crossing a bridge, some still untouched gallery forest could be detected.

Buena Vista itself not long ago lay in the middle of hills covered with opulent tropical forest. Since it rains more there than further south, for example coffee and cocoa is growing well. Today however the land is used usually for livestock farming and is degraded accordingly although the cultivation of coffee and cocoa is much more ecological friendly.

A few of the local families of long standing have so far desisted from turning their old trees into money, but quite frequently want to sell their land.

Old treeOn the journey to the survey, we noticed that all along the track no more primeval forest remained.  But the statement about this particular plot proved to be true. It was about a piece of land with some beautiful old trees. After the trip of Santa Cruz, passing through a landscape and chaotic looking towns, to submerse into the quiet of this forest leaves one with a deep, but at the same time ambiguous impression, imagining the degree of how threatened it is. The warm, but comfortable microclimate under the high shady trees, the swinging flight of blue Morphus- and other butterflies between the brownish silvery trunks, the calls of single forest birds and the atmosphere loaded with perceptible energy, produced almost instantly a solemn elevated feeling that differs totally from what one feels in the surrounding area. For immediately afterwards, on the neighbouring plot of land, we saw the stumps of not long ago cut down big trees. It became quite obvious how by taking out even a single huge tree, an entire ecosystem collapses, how a whole area is destroyed. The sun burns into such a glade mercilessly on the ground. Only dry shrubs were able to hold out. All other jungle plants had disappeared and also no more butterflies were to be seen. Everything having emerged around and on this tree in many years and had lived, no longer existed.

Being back again where the still preserved trees were, I felt as if they were putting the entire responsibility for their survival into our hands. This feeling was hard to endure and simultaneously was weighing heavily on the spirit for being so obvious that such a project was far exceeding our possibilities and if anything should be achieved, we would be depend on considerable support of like-minded people.

Since this was written, many hectares of forest in South America have been cleared or burned.  There is no more time to deliberate. On such occasions we must decide, whether we can enable the living on of a piece of nature or must accept its annihilation.

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