Community Reforestation

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    At the beginning of each year, project participants and other community members come together to build nurseries from seeds gathered from native trees throughout the area.

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    Loading the card with seedlings: Each rainy season, entire villages come together to plant hundreds of thousands of trees.

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    Women and men from the community are paid to help plant on each producer’s land.

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    Biomass calculations: By measuring and weighing trees of different species, specific biomass and growth equations can be developed so as to gather precise information on carbon sequestration rates.

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    Annual monitoring: Each year the plantations are monitored to gather information on growth, density, species composition and mortality.

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    Edith Javier Rodriguez Benavidez, since 2011 participating local farmer has planted 420 trees so far

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    The programm connects economical benefits for the participants with concrete enrivonmental protection.

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    Communitree contains 3 types of plantations: Mixed species plantations (multi-purposed tree plantations composed of fast growing firewood species and longer-lived hardwood species), boundary planting (living fences) and silvopastoral planting (tree planting on areas use for cattle-breeding)

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    Small seedlings sprouting in a farmers’ nursery.

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    Reforested lots of land from the air.

In this community-based reforestation initiative in the Platanares watershed in the municipality of San Juan de Limay, Nicaragua, smallholder farming families collaborate to reforest underutilised portions of their land. Thanks to better land-use management and more sustainable use of forest resources the forest cover of the nearby watershed will be increased and the quality of life of Limay residents will be improved.

860,000 USD community payments made to date
USD community payments made to date
2,645 jobs
2 mio trees being planted
2 mio
trees being planted

These aims will be achieved through the establishment of multiple small-scale native species forest plantations on smallholder land. Participants entering the project own underutilised land and must demonstrate that participating will not conflict with their subsistence activities, notably cattle ranching and agriculture. The project area covers 86 square kilometres and will support rural communities desperately in need of support and incentives to take control of their resources. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with a GDP per capita income of $1,079 per year.

409 smallholder families have reforested an area of 1,500 ha, this equals 2,100 soccer fields.

Land use planning around watersheds is a key supporting activity; the project area includes one of the most critical watersheds in the municipality of San Juan de Limay, which suffers from seasonal water shortages and flooding. Increased forest cover will retain water through the dry season and minimise flooding in the rainy season. The project will also distribute fuel-efficient fireplaces equipped with chimneys that reduce smoke in the household, generating health benefits, particularly for women.

We hope to create solidarity among communities, provide opportunities for families to earn extra income, act as a role model for others and build environmental awareness among subsistence farmers.
Elsa Gonzales, Head Community Technician and Office manager Taking Roots Nicaragua

The project addresses the causes of deforestation, ensures direct, ongoing community involvement and technical training, and provides financial benefits for participants throughout the project. This occurs through payments for ecosystem services (PES) and income from timber and sustainable forest products. As a result, this multi-faceted approach will reduce forest degradation by easing pressure on surrounding natural forest while at the same time sequester quantifiable volumes of CO2 from the atmosphere and improve the environmental and socio-economic conditions of families located in the community of San Juan de Limay.


  • 409 smallholder families have reforested an area of 1,500 ha, this equals 2,100 soccer fields
  • These families planted 2 million trees. 
  • 2,645 jobs (662 women, 422 landless farmers): 28 permanent positions, 1,100 nursery staff, 1,515 planting staff hired
  • USD 860,000 community payments made to date, this equals 650 local annual salaries  
  • An additional USD 730,000 will be dispersed to the same farmers for taking care of the trees in the next few years.
  • 68 participating communities
  • 346,000 t CO2 issued, this equals the annual emissions of over 90,000 cars. 
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