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    Plant Trees

    Planting Trees and Restoring Lives in Panama

    by Gabrielle Clawson December 14, 2023 3 min read

    Planting Trees and Restoring Lives in Panama
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    Restoring Lands and Touching Lives

    In southern Panama, cherished as the country’s cultural heart and soul, the Azuera Peninsula is home to picturesque beaches that meet rainforests teeming with endemic species. The peninsula is ensconced by large bodies of water, namely the Pacific Ocean in the south and the Gulf of Panama in the east. 

    Known to be a hub for beautiful wildlife, the Azuero Peninsula is unfortunately becoming one of the most deforested parts of Panama, which has a profound impact on the ecosystems and communities there. Our planting partner, Earthshot Labs, has been working on the ground to help restore areas that have been deforested, establishing conservation corridors and helping impact the lives of surrounding communities. 

    By planting 800,000 trees in the Azuero Ecological Corridor, this project has restored land and made homes for countless wildlife while also empowering community members to get involved and make an impact. 

    Impacting Ecosystems

    Because of the rising issue of deforestation in Panama, this project focused on land restoration, primarily of land that has been converted for cattle ranching. The trees planted were a mix of native species to help create the biggest impact on the surrounding ecosystems. By reforesting these lands, the hope is to promote the continued protection of forests through conservation efforts and sustainable use of resources That way, these newly planted trees can be preserved for generations. 

    With 800,000 trees planted in this project, numerous buffer zones were created to shield protected areas. These trees also helped establish conservation corridors between forest patches. Part of the planting area surrounds the Cerro Hoya National Park. 

    Cerro Hoya National Park is a tropical forest that spans over 32,000 hectares near the southern tip of the Azuero peninsula. The area is one of the last remaining intact forests in this part of Panama that supports a rich assemblage of unique and rare species, including jaguars, spider and howler monkeys, the endangered Green Macaw, and other endemic species. The trees planted throughout this project help enhance the biodiversity of this region, promoting conservation and protecting wildlife that need it the most. 

    Restoring Lives, One Tree at a Time

    This project emphasized preserving the rich natural capital of the land and reducing the negative effects of climate change by linking natural resource management to economic development.

    As temperatures continue to rise, trees are a great solution to helping mitigate the effects of climate change. By restoring the land, this project also helped to clean the air and water. Our partner also engaged many of the local community members throughout this project. 

    Local, micro nurseries were run by women’s groups and retired individuals. Not only did this allow for people to make an impact in their homes, but it also provided an income and opportunity to find a group of like-minded individuals that were just as dedicated to helping the planet. When people come together with hope for a better tomorrow, action meets impact in a truly beautiful way. 

    Our partner also works closely with Panama prison services. During the planting season, groups of 10-15 prisoners helped plant saplings. Prisoners in Panama have the option to do community service in the last year of their sentence. This reduces their sentence by four months and allows them to start to integrate with the world outside their prisons.

    With many planting projects, impacting communities is at the heart of it. This project is no different. All people around the world deserve to breathe clean air and drink clean water. All people deserve to connect with nature in a profound way. All people deserve the opportunity to make an impact if they so choose. With the help of our partner, we are proud of the impact this project has made, restoring land but also restoring lives.

    There are so many different ways that trees can make a difference around the world. You can help by donating to plant trees where needed most! Let’s make an impact together!

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    Gabrielle Clawson
    Gabrielle Clawson

    Gabrielle helps with fundraising and marketing, working with peer-to-peer fundraising as well as business fundraising. With experience in both women's rights and climate change organizations, she has a strong passion for non-profits and is excited to make an impact in the world through environmental change!