Research, Development, and Support for Environmentally Managed Permanent 
Forests Farms

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Current Situation

The project is located in Andresito, Misiones, Argentina. Deep in the rainforest jungle, in-between the regional parks Urugua-i and Forester, where thousands of acres have been deforested. About 40 years ago, the area was parks. However, people invaded the land, cut down almost all marketable timber without replanting, slashed and burned vast areas, and set up subsistence farming.

Politicians traded those park lands for votes and just redrew the smaller parks and permitted the people to stay on the land. The people are still very poor now and live in very substandard housing and difficult situations. Most have no potable water and their houses are uninsulated from the cold winter months where in can reach 0° C several days a year. Homes do not have electricity and some do not have running water or bathroom facilities. Not only are rainforests and animals disappearing, the soils themselves are becoming depleted.



Pictures by Aglae Elizabeth Parra      
In some areas, soils are quite shallow. Typically after an area is slashed and burned and roots removed, up to 10 cm (4 inches) can be lost after the first rains. Reaping monoculture crops again leaves the land bare and susceptible to erosion, and about 2-3 cm (1 inch) can be lost per year. After about 3-5 years (the process is faster on slopes), some lands can no longer grow crops because of the shallow soils, these areas are abandoned, and the destructive deforestation/soil depletion cycle repeats on other forested land.

The Permanent Rainforest Farm Reforestation Project offers plants and trees, and support and guidance that will enable our poor neighbors to make a much better living while helping re-grow and or leave intact the Native Forest Jungle. PLEASE HELP SAVE THE RAINFOREST!

Family Problems

There are about 60 families in the project area whose size ranges from 2-14 family members. Families have an average of 5 children and live in very small wooden houses. The pressures of poverty lead to a very high percentage of alcoholism and cases of wife mistreatment and child abuse are common. One of the only farm products that offers a reasonable income in a good year is tobacco. Due to climate change, the last several years were the driest years in six decades in Misiones, which resulted in some of the worst crops of tobacco ever and lower incomes to the local poor farmers. Tobacco is not native to this area and it is more vulnerable to be affected by the different seasons, animals, and insects.

Growing tobacco is very difficult and dangerous and the work is done by hand.  It is a labor-intensive job that requires the use of different types of fertilizers and dangerous pesticides which contain lead that is of extreme danger to the environment and to all members of the family especially children and the unborn.

Our Model Environmentally Managed Permanent Forest Farm project intends to demonstrate safe native alternatives to tobacco and other forest destructive crops. Our purpose is to “valorize the shade,” so that the native products organically produced under the canopy of rare trees have an annual value higher than cutting the trees.  Therefore, the trees will be re-grown and not cut to provide a safer and more sustainable income for the poor farmer who will reforest degraded lands, and restore rare animal and plant habitat without the use of dangerous pesticides. Would you like to HELP SAVE THE RAINFORESTS!  



Child Abuse
Because of the difficulty of growing tobacco by hand, it is commonplace for the children to assist in heavy farm labor activities which prevents their attendance in school. In addition, many children spray agrotoxins without appropriate protection. Child mortality is very high and many children from tobacco growing families are born with genetic defects directly traceable to these poisons used on the farms. Because of widespread use of these toxins, Misiones has 500 times the average birth defect rate (    ). The pressures of poverty leads to a very high percentage of alcoholism and wife and child abuse, and children are often malnourished and sick.

Our Permanent Rainforest Farm Reforestation Project offers more profitable native crops that do not need any dangerous substance to grow. The farm work is lighter and less time consuming. The Project would bring more consistent incomes to families and make it easier for children to go to school, be better provided for in the home, and lighten pressures for parents. Would you like to HELP SAVE THE RAINFORESTS! 


Endangered Species
Many animals including the endangered Jaguar and Harpy Eagle need large, linked forests areas (Green Corridors) to hunt and survive. Making room for farms, factories and cities, this habitat has already been severely fragmented that force animals to try and live like confine animals to samll pockets of isolated forest. It is an impossible task and these animals will die out unless more habitats are created for them to live in and breed, since this is a big problem not enogh animals in the small fragments to reproduce successfully. 
Rare trees also are native to this area, and even though there are some laws that prevent their cutting, at the same time no one will plant these trees unless they have marketable value. So most of these trees are cut down as people clear land for farms and those that remain become surrounded by farmland and routinely fall down soon afterwards. In addition, some of the seeds of these trees are very small and unable to survive on the ground outside of forests. . Without intervention, species of these rare giant trees will become extinct.

Our Objectives are to grow Green Corridors in the Parks in this critical area to support animal life, especially endangered species. We have on going programs that Plant rare trees, Nurseries that grow their seeds, and “Parent” tree identification and seed collection programs. How would you like to HELP SAVE THE RAINFORESTS!

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