Analog forestry as an alternative tool for rural development and environmental conservation: the case of Finca Buenaventura, Pacayitas, Turrialba, Costa Rica.

Authors: Roberto Vindas Hernández and Kristopher Ebanks Marroquín

Location: Buenaventura farm, Pacayitas, Turrialba, Costa Rica

Buenaventura farm was for more than 25 years dominated by the cultivation of sugar cane, with devastating consequences to the environment and the economy. The purpose of the project Finca Buenaventura was to restore soil quality and vegetation (including analog species) via an analog forestry approach, with a further vision of offering marketable products and creating a community tourism site that could serve as an environmental education center.

  • The authors present the biophysical description of the Buenaventura farm and a detailed dendrological guide of more than 90 forest species. They created a geographic information system that allows visualization of the location of each forest species within all three stages of the reforestation process.
  • Since 2008, Buenaventura serves as an analog forest demonstration site that brings several positive benefits:
    – Conservation and protection of the environment (species conservation, air purification, temperature regulation, carbon fixation, increased oxygen supply, etc.)
    – Landscape beautification
    – Organizational strengthening at the family and community level
    – Enhanced economic potential
    – Environmental education (the farm is constantly visited by groups of university students, officials from public institutions, academics, and scientists.)
  • Analog forestry represents a viable alternative to promote development strategies in the rural environment. Although it requires dedication, significant economic investment, and several years to reach a positive outcome, the first positive effects will provide a good future for its owners, for the community, and for the environment.