We have a variety of partners inside Denmark, but we also operate in the tropical areas of the world. We are working on projects of sustanible forestry – in a very unusual way. Instead of harvesting the timber, we concentrate on harvesting the small plants and trees that are so abundant in the undergrowth – this will not damage the forest, when done correctly, but the income from the plants will give the owners a good alternative to cut down their priceless forests. Of course this will not save the endangered tropical forest all over the world – but a small step to show that there are ways to make profit from the forest without cutting it down. This is very essential in modern conservation, that we create a sustainable future – not only in favor of plants and animals but also for the people who live inside these vulnerable areas.
The region we are situated in is poor - but large international hotel chains are trying to enter the beautiful unspoiled nature in the region. In 2007 small turism activities have started with Canopy, horseback riding and river tours. These activities are in a distance of 5 km. from Aguas Zarcas, and only a few people from the village benefit with work on the site. Unfortunately wee still see locals selling out the timber from the tress on their lots - simply to survive and make a living in this area with a great unemploymentrate.
We have often thought "if just more people from ex. Scandinavia would buy a piece of rainforest - we could help preventing the logging in the virgin forest" ...but now we dont think this might be a good solution, as it does'nt eliminate the fact that poverty among the locals only gives them money from logging or elegal hunting. No we believe that if people just could invest in the region by creating more jobs we could build up a good development.
In our nusery in Aguas Zarcas only locals are working. Tropical Zoo Plants has a goal to give more local families a steady job working with the plants and taking care of the nursery. We provide the education for them instead of importing skilled workers from outside.
We dont support big hotelchains, when we stay in Costa Rica. In a future project local workers are going to build a house, where our customers can come and stay while ordering their plants for their exhibts. We eat our food at the local families and support them in any possible way.
In our rainforest in Aguas Zarcas the biodiversity is very high! It is our goal to add more land to our forest by bying more. This way we will protect an even larger area, where plants and animals are saved. We also work with the idea of making a field station for Zoos in Aguas Zarcas - read more about this here Conservation and Education.
We are collaborating with the Municipality of Limon in a recycling project in Aguas Zarcas. We also collaborate with the local primary school. In February 2007 the first volunteer school teacher from Denmark worked at the school for 6 weeks.