The 2014 planting season is now coming to a close – and what a season it has been! This year has been a great learning experience for Taking Root. Seasonal climate challenges were more significant in the Limay region than usual, emphasizing the critical importance of both the work we do and the additional income the program generates for participating communities. As we continue to adapt to changing seasonal patterns, ensuring the long-term survival of our new forests, we are very thankful to our many partners and supporters for their ongoing commitment!
With this new planting season, we’ve officially passed a million trees planted! At least 50 new smallholders joined the program in 2014 to plant more than 300,000 new trees, bringing us to well over a million trees planted since 2010. What a great landmark this is.
Over the past few months, the Americas have been severely hit by one of the worst droughts in recent history. This has devastated agricultural crops for farmers from California to Brazil. This has also posed a challenge for our reforestation program.
A delayed and irregular rainy season in northern Nicaragua postponed planting and posed a big challenge for new seedlings. Severe drought in May and June led to the loss of 10% of the early seedlings planted. However, thanks to the incredible dedication and hard work of our team, the vast majority of trees are now in the ground. As usual, all mortality is being replanted, ensuring that we reach 100% of the planted area.
Agricultural crops are very vulnerable to unexpected drought and floods, and this year’s unusually late and unpredictable rainy season were very devastating for farmers in Limay. Fortunately, our reforestation program ensures an alternate source of income for smallholders that is countercyclical to agricultural season, helping to minimize the financial impact of crop loss.
Once tree plantations are established, such as those planted in previous years, the trees quickly become very resilient to irregular weather patterns. Under the care of the farmers, they will continue to thrive, ensuring a stable income for smallholders for an entire decade in the form of ecosystem service payments. Once the different tree species reach maturity, smallholders can selectively harvest them at any time of year, providing employment and income when it is needed most.
Despite the many challenges faced this year, we are very thankful for yet another great planting season, full of learning opportunities. Thanks to your ongoing support, the program continues to empower communities to face the changing climate, one tree at a time!
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