Protecting And Restoring The Most Endangered Rainforest On Earth
The Third Millennium Alliance has accepted the challenge of Protecting And Restoring The Most Endangered Rainforest On Earth. Ryan Lynch is the executive director of the Third Millennium Alliance (TMA). Ryan is joining on the podcast to discuss this challenge.
TMA began when conservationists Isabel, Jerry, and Bryan met in South America during the first years of the new millennium. They were three idealists in their late 20s facing the prospects of a biosphere headed toward collapse. Together they set out to directly engage the greatest challenge of our times: steering humanity onto a path of sustainability and ecological resilience.
In 2007, they founded TMA and took the first step toward creating what is now the Jama-Coaque Reserve (JCR). They raised $16,000 from friends and family, established a nonprofit organization, and purchased 100 acres of unprotected rainforest at the very peak of Ecuador’s coastal mountain range—in the heart of the Pacific Forest.
In the beginning, they camped in the forest, lived off of bananas and soggy bread, and slept in leaky tents while exploring the beauty and biodiversity of this special place. During the years that followed, they learned by doing. They practiced permaculture, experimented with reforestation, and built a collaborative relationship with their neighbors and people throughout the region. Meanwhile, TMA continued to grow as an organization. Hundreds of people from dozens of countries came to JCR to work in the rainforest and join the effort.
Fourteen years later, JCR protects 1,500 acres of rainforest. It is equipped with a scientific research center that attracts biologists from around the world. It also includes a regenerative agroforestry demonstration site that features the country’s largest repository of the most endangered heirloom cacao variety on earth.
TMA is now working on a Community Reforestation Program with the potential to reverse deforestation and steer the regional economy onto a more sustainable course. It’s a model that can be replicated in other endangered ecosystems throughout the world.
All of the above is in service of TMA’s ultimate goal: create a large-scale conservation corridor in northwest Manabí that connects the last surviving remnants of the Pacific Forest of Ecuador.
There is no greater challenge to humanity than protecting and restoring the most endangered rainforest on earth.
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