The training of agronomists, forest engineers, community leaders, and farmers in the methodology of analog forestry is of major importance to farming communities around the world for obvious reasons. Since 2007, as one of the three training centres accredited by IAFN on three continents, the Centro de Capacitación Bosques Análogos (CCBA), a non-profit organization in Costa Rica, has been involved in training these organisations, technicians, and farmers’ groups.

Year after year we have trained hundreds in the intricate yet simple-to-understand concepts of analog forestry. Who trains these willing souls? The answer has been addressed by IAFN with its network of trainers, who have been accredited to train farmers’ groups and technicians. Trainers have now been accredited in Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica.

Over the past year, CCBA has been involved in four analog forestry workshops with groups such as Red Permanezca, the permaculture network of Costa Rica, and UNAFOR, an agroforestry group. We also held a training of trainers for accreditation purposes with experts from Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica. In addition, we have facilitated other workshops, such as a training on beekeeping and its relationship with analog forestry.

Not only do we provide the tools to facilitate the restoration of biodiversity and the improvement of economic benefits, we can demonstrate them by showing what a mature AF farm looks like and how many diverse products can come out of these designs.

Our designs of different parcels, all connected within the same ecosystem, all provide living proof of how a diversity of crops mixed with keystone native species and exotic species are analogous to our original primary rainforest.

Primary forests, whether tropical or temperate, are living organisms of beauty, spirituality, ecological functions, and diversity. If we consider that trees make up only 1 to 2% of the totality of this biodiversity, yet up to 70% of the total biomass of a forest, we can understand our designs utilize all the components of a forest to create an anthropogenic forest, not only trees.

Equally important, the photosynthetic biomass of the analog forestry system is of value for the mitigation of climate change. The final objective of a farmer, namely the marketing of products, must also be taken into account. Visitors to CCBA can see our commitment to added value in analog forestry in our family business, La Botanica, where we sell essential oils and spices from our forest farm.

In 2015, CCBA plans to offer a wide array of subjects in future workshops such as biodynamic farming, nutrition, and basic organic techniques, all of which relate to our core work of analog forestry.

It is my hope that our workshops will advance analog forestry and a host of related concepts in the coming year. I look forward to collaborating with IAFN and the network of newly accredited trainers in order to offer trainings that inspire people to restore our planet’s life support systems.

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