Reforesting Bonaire not only for the parrots but also for our people and planet.
The main reforestation objective for Echo is forest restoration and creating awareness about the importance, degradation, and vulnerability of the dry forest on Bonaire. This is done by involving the local community in the creation and maintenance of these reforestation areas. Another way is by showing how both parrots and people can benefit from forest restoration through education and outreach.
Reforestation is one of the most important tools for forest restoration and furthermore aims at creating awareness about the importance, degradation and vulnerability of the dry forest on Bonaire. Forest restoration efforts by Echo are aimed at improving the biomass and biodiversity in order to rehabilitate the degraded vegetation. By excluding these exotic herbivores, our seedlings and planted trees will have a better chance, and it will be possible to see the natural regeneration potential of Bonaire’s dry forest. Reforestation can provide other positive ecosystem services: Erosion control by the increased root development, soil and litter build up, and carbon sequestration and eventually canopy recovery.
The scientific documentation and study of the vegetation within these reforestation exclosures by Echo can expand our knowledge about this important ecosystem. This support future research on conservation and plant biodiversity on Bonaire. Currently, we are monitoring the yearly growth and survival of our trees so that we can learn how to make reforestation even more successful.
Successes of reforestation:
- Experience and knowledge of how to grow 45 different native tree species
- The nursery was doubled in size in 2016 to allow for the growth of up to 10,000 trees.
- successfully partnered with four local community organizations who have agreed to look after 1350 young trees on Echo’s behalf until they are ready to be planted out.
- We have established over thirty-three hectares (81.5 acres) as “exclusion areas” that keep invasive donkeys, goats, and pigs out of protected land.
- 11 exclusion areas throughout Bonaire that are accessible to people to enjoy nature and learn about the wildlife
- We have planted over 15,000 native trees between 2015 and 2020
- We open our sales nursery in December 2017 next to our own selling point we have native plants for sale on the biggest garden stores on the island.
- In our discovery nursery kids from our club di Lora program learn to recognize the native trees and learn about there uses.
- Most years, we provide trees to STINAPA (Bonaire’s national park authority) to plant in Washington Slaagbai National Park and on the island of Klein Bonaire, to support reforestation of those areas.
For more information on the different species and adopting a tree to help the continuation and maintenance of reforestation visit: www.MyBonaireTree.org