Yucatán Reforestation

Since we planted our first tree on March 8, 2015, Our restoration team of now 124 people has planted over 6.3 million trees (as of Jan 2021) on the Yucatán Peninsula. Our goal: 100 million trees by 2030. Thanks to the incredibly dedicated and efficient work of our team, we are able to plant one tree for every euro donated.
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Yucatán Reforestation

Since we planted our first tree on March 8, 2015, Our restoration team of now 124 people has planted over 6.3 million trees (as of Jan 2021) on the Yucatán Peninsula. Our goal: 100 million trees by 2030. Thanks to the incredibly dedicated and efficient work of our team, we are able to plant one tree for every euro donated.
Donate Trees

Replanting Pastures and Restoring Forests

We are working to restore the forest landscapes in and around the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. Our work takes place on 20,000 hectares, an area larger than Liechtenstein.

Our sites have suffered different levels of degradation: Some areas are recently abandoned cattle pastures with only a few scattered trees left (like parts of Las Americas 1 & 5).

Other areas were never fully deforested, but most economically valuable trees have been logged (like Las Americas 2 & 6), leaving behind relatively species-poor vegetation. By planting between the remaining vegetation in these areas we are adding back the commonly lost species. In other areas the forest is still full of many species and we are either conserving it or letting it grow back on its own (like Las Americas 3 & 4).

22,500 Hectares on Yucatán and hundreds of small farmers in Mexico

Planting ~20 Native Species

In the past, we mainly planted 8 native species. This year, we will plant at least 20 species to get closer to restoring the original level of tree biodiversity that existed in these forests. Many of the species we are adding back have very dense wood. Such species tend to grow slower but capture a lot of carbon.
  • Ramón (Brosimum alicastrum)
  • Chakaj (Bursera simaruba)
  • Chacté Viga (Caesalpinia mollis)
  • Ceiba (Ceiba pentandra)
  • Luuch/Jicara (Crescentia cujete)
  • Pich/Guanacaste (Enterolobium cyclocarpum)
  • Madre de cacao (Gliricidia sepium)
  • Pixoy (Guazuma ulmifolia)
  • Palo de tinte (Haematoxylum campechianum)
  • Guayacan amarillo (Handroanthus chrysanthus)
  • Waxim (Leucaena leucocephala)
  • Tzalam (Lysiloma latisiliquum)
  • Jabín (Piscidia piscipula)
  • Passak (Simarouba glauca)
  • Caoba (Swietenia macrophylla)
  • Maculis (Tabebuia rosea)
  • Cedro (Cedrela odorata)
And up to 10 more species from our seed collection program.

Planting ~20 Native Species

In the past, we mainly planted 8 native species. This year, we will plant at least 20 species to get closer to restoring the original level of tree biodiversity that existed in these forests. Many of the species we are adding back have very dense wood. Such species tend to grow slower but capture a lot of carbon.
  • Ramón (Brosimum alicastrum)
  • Chakaj (Bursera simaruba)
  • Chacté Viga (Caesalpinia mollis)
  • Ceiba (Ceiba pentandra)
  • Luuch/Jicara (Crescentia cujete)
  • Pich/Guanacaste (Enterolobium cyclocarpum)
  • Madre de cacao (Gliricidia sepium)
  • Pixoy (Guazuma ulmifolia)
  • Palo de tinte (Haematoxylum campechianum)
  • Guayacan amarillo (Handroanthus chrysanthus)
  • Waxim (Leucaena leucocephala)
  • Tzalam (Lysiloma latisiliquum)
  • Jabín (Piscidia piscipula)
  • Passak (Simarouba glauca)
  • Caoba (Swietenia macrophylla)
  • Maculis (Tabebuia rosea)
  • Cedro (Cedrela odorata)
And up to 10 more species from our seed collection program.

Semi-evergreen Tropical Forest

We aim to restore a seasonal semi-evergreen tropical forest. Unlike the wetter forests we imagine when we think of the tropics, these forests have 4–6 month long dry seasons where only little rain falls. Where we work, 25–50% of the trees drop their leaves during that time because they are water stressed.

In the state of Campeche, where our work takes place, 8.1% of the original forest has been lost since 2002. Restoring this ecosystem is not just important for plants, but also the animals. In Campeche, jaguars and tapirs are in danger of extinction because of deforestation, habitat fragmentation and incidental deaths by human encounters.

In our sites, we often wake up to the sound of howler monkeys near the camp and see box turtles while planting. So far, only Nicolas, Juan and Jose have seen Jaguars.

Ecological & diverse forestation

Our 124 Team Members

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85 Reforesters

Plant trees in the wet season and help trees grow by cleaning fast-growing grasses with machetes in the dry season (about 1/3 work seasonally)

4 Field Crew Leaders

Manage teams of 20 reforesters in the field.
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13 Nursery technicians

Collect seeds, grow seedlings, and prepare them for planting (not directly employed by Plant-for-the-Planet).

6 Ecologists and forest engineers

Select reforestation sites, plan outplanting, maintenance and organise experiments.
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4 Data collectors

Measure trees, look for signs of disease and collect leaf, root and soil samples

6 Cooks

Work in our two kitchens and provide three meals a day to all team members
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4 Construction workers

Build and maintain team housing

2 Mechanics

Maintains our seedling-trucks, buses, tractors and backhoes
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Our 124 Team Members

Image

85 Reforesters

Plant trees in the wet season and help trees grow by cleaning fast-growing grasses with machetes in the fry season (about 1/3 work seasonally)
Image

4 Field Crew Leaders

Manage teams of 20 reforesters in the field.
Image

13 Nursery technicians

Collect seeds, grow seedlings, and prepare them for planting (not directly employed by Plant-for-the-Planet).
Image

6 Ecologists and forest engineers

Select reforestation sites, plan outplanting, maintenance and organise experiments.
Image

4 Data collectors

Measure trees, look for signs of disease and collect leaf, root and soil samples
Image

6 Cooks

Work in our two kitchens and provide three meals a day to all team members
Image

4 Construction workers

Build and maintain team housing
Image

2 Mechanics

Maintains our seedling-trucks, buses, tractors and backhoes
Continuous Research for Climate Justice

Restoration Ecology Research

Since January 2020, we have been operating a 91 hectare research site. Here, scientists from ETH Zürich and Imperial College London conduct large-scale field trials for reforestation with the support of our team. Restoration outcomes are incredibly complicated and variable. Testing theories at this scale allows us to test hypotheses that will help to improve the design and implementation of forest landscape restoration projects. We hope the research will allow us – and other practitioners – to get better at restoring tropical forests.

In an experiment with 16000 trees, we try to understand what percentage of all trees planted should be nitrogen-fixing species to optimise overall survival and growth rates. Nitrogen-fixing tree species can help to fertilize the soil and help nearby tree species, without the ability to fix nitrogen, to grow.

We are also testing a hypothesis that a simple addition of forest-soil to a tree’s planting hole can increase survival rates.

We expect to be introducing symbiotic microbes through the soil addition and thus the soil microorganism diversity in degraded soil towards communities that ‘help’ the trees grow.

In addition to our work on the Yucatán Peninsula, we also work with partners to restore forest in central Mexico. Depending on where they are needed most, tree-donations to Plant-for-the-Planet are allocated to one of these two projects.

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FAQs

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Volcano Valley Reforestation near Toluca

The forests in Mexico, the most populous state in the country, are under increasing threat due to the destruction of large areas of forest through deforestation, forest fires and overgrazing. Poor management of natural resources is worsening the situation. Often the soil quality has already deteriorated to such an extent that natural regeneration of the forests is no longer realistic. Sustainable reforestation is the last option here to prevent further erosion by renewing protective vegetation and increasing soil fertility. As a result, the remaining forests and their resources can be saved for the future. With this goal in mind, Plant-for-the-Planet Mexico A.C. and PROBOSQUE, an organization assigned to the Mexican Ministry of the Environment, agreed to cooperate in the state of México (capital Toluca) in September 2019. The first 2.8 million trees were planted in the same year. The particular feature of this project is that the reforestation covers a total of 197 sub-areas of varying sizes, all of which are managed in small, mostly rural structures. Of these, 92 are jointly managed ejidos (a total of 1,913,775 trees), the remaining areas are divided between small farmers (619,925 trees) and cooperatives (290,300 trees). Within the framework of the planting cooperation with Plant-for-the-Planet, they not only receive support for the reforestation itself but are also advised on how to care for their forests and save them for the future in terms of sustainable forest management, as well as protecting them as an ecosystem on the whole. All restored areas have been declared protected areas. When selecting the newly planted trees, care was taken to ensure that a mixture of indigenous tree species suitable for this part of the country was selected. These include various species of pine, agaves, a mimosa species and the Mexican cypress. They integrate optimally into the still existing forests and by this contribute to the preservation of the local biodiversity of secondary plants and animals. By the end of 2020, we will have planted another 1,500,000 million trees together with the small farmers organized in cooperatives, thus spreading the responsibility of tree care over many shoulders.
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Other Planting Projects

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