Bird on a Vine

Conservation of natural ecosystems and forest remnants

Ongoing Programs

To achieve our mission of rainforest conservation, the Cambugán Foundation is pursuing several projects:

Conservation of natural ecosystems and forest remnants

Land-title establishment and land buying to protect and ensure ecosystem conservation.

In 2000, the Cambugán Foundation purchased its first piece of land with funding from some members of the Foundation.

During 2005 and 2006, another piece of land was purchased with the contribution of friends of Cambugán, a small group of people interested in Cambugán Watershed protection.

In 2007 and 2008, a third process of buying land began.  During this period we were able to buy three more pieces of land.

In the very near future, we will work with rural communities and farmers who are tackling the challenges of forests conservation. Our collaborative proposals will be based on the possibility of purchasing land on which we can develop a research and education center.  This is where the local community members will be involved in long-term research and educational programs.  The aim of the programs is that current and future generations will learn to work together toward sustainable development and social justice.

Support the establishment and work of Management Committees formed with the aim to coordinate the actions of land protection and sustainable development of ecosystems in risk.

Land Titles

After several years of work, the Foundation was able to identify the landowners within the Cambugán Watershed and collaborated with them to develop a legal description of each piece of land.

We then worked with the local landowners and INDA (the governmental agricultural development authority) to map the Cambugán Watershed and to confirm ownership/possession of specific parcels of land.  We are now in the last stages of obtaining land titles from the Environmental Ministry for the final number of the landowners/possessors who are collaborating with us in efforts to preserve their land from being deforested.   Much of the time this is a legal formality and the last step before a landowner can legally sell their land to us.

We stopped land invasions

There are no borders around the watershed and the land is a fertile valley of resources, and so cattle ranchers and others who want to take advantage of the land will at times simply begin using the land illegally.  But because of our knowledge of the land and our relationships with many families around the area, the Cambugán Foundation was able to successfully stop several land invasions and resolve land disputes inside and around the Cambugán Watershed.  Another major accomplishment was the official designation of “Cambugán Protected Forest”.  This designation was approved by the Environmental Ministry in July 2001 and extended the protected forest by approximately 4093 hectares. This means that no landowner has the right to cut more than 40% of the forest on their land.  However, our goal is to preserve 100% of the land.

Forming of the Management Committee

In 2010, local landowners petitioned to develop a general assembly with the participation of San José de Minas Parish authorities.  A Cambugán Watershed Management Committee was created during the first meetings of this assembly. The main goal of the Committee is to promote local rainforest conservation and to develop sustainable farming alternatives for landowners.  Cambugán Foundation is a part of this committee and we are dedicated to working alongside local farmers in protecting the rainforest.  One commitment we’ve made to the Committee is to bring in experts on various environmental topics who can assist the local farmers find viable possibilities to improve landowners’ socio-economic situations while addressing rainforest conservation.

Creating a Community meeting place

In December 2008, the Cambugán Foundation bought a piece of property on which sits an old wooden house.  Cambugán Foundation members and the first organization volunteer, Pietro Di Paoli, refurbished the 40-year old building in February/March of 2009. The land surrounding the home had been made barren through cattle grazing and we are working on reforesting the grassland areas with endemics plants.  On this land, strategic planting of trees can begin in order to protect bare slopes from landslides.  The house will serve as a central place for the Foundation to work on many future projects such as forest conservation, community cooperation, research, reforestation initiatives, etc.

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