The eco-village known as Las Gaviotas is a research center located in eastern Colombia, South America. It is the only project in the world with a twenty-three year track record of the sustainable regeneration of tropical rain forest. As of this year, las Gaviotas will have successfully reforested 8,000 hectares (20,000 acres) of fully canopied, poly-culture rain forest.
The results of this success are many. They include:
• Pure drinking water.
• 10% increase in annual rainfall.
• Dramatically decreased surface soil temperatures.
• Net cooling effect.
• Sustainable living wage economy for indigenous population.
• Development and use of alternative sources of energy.
• Proliferation of plant species, 253 at last count and rising.
• Sustainable sources of lumber, resin, cashew and bio-fuels.
• Sensible and sustainable management of natural resources.
• A model for sustainable third world rural development.
As a result of this success, Las Gaviotas has 144,000 tons of carbon offsets to offer on an annual basis. This tonnage of annual carbon sequestration is calculated using formulas developed in response to the Kyoto Treaty on Global Warming known as the Kyoto Protocol. The 8,000 hectares of existing maturing tropical rain forest is the source for this annual tonnage of carbon offsets.
90% of all donations received by the Marion Institute in support of this initiative will pass through directly to ZERI Eje Cafetero in Colombia to fund the planting regimen and related research at Las Gaviotas. 10% of the funds will remain with the Marion Institute to cover the costs of administering the program and to fund the ZERI Learning Initiative. The ZERI learning Initiative is devoted to the training of teachers in how to teach systems thinking and sustainability to K-12 age school children throughout the US.