Summary in English

The Climate Forest Project in León, Nicaragua

In a medium scale reforestation project, 96 Nicaraguan farmers planted approximately 500.000 trees on 500 hectares (5,0 km2, app.2 square miles) of marginal agricultural land through 2009 and 2010. Coaching and support for the management of the plantations was provided, as the trees need expert protection from drought and plagues. The farmers are being paid during the first 5 years of the project to cover the costs of land use and maintenance. This way, they receive income on the short term.  After 25 years, commercially viable hardwood can be harvested from the forest plantations. Sustainanable management of the plantations will subsequently provide the farmers with a steady income. The projection is that starting with 2013 farmers can generate revenue from their plantations by selling carbon dioxide certificates. By doing so, they will benefit from both profitable and sustainable long term forest management.



  • Combat environmental problems, such as erosion and erratic rainfall caused by the deforestation in León.
  • Bind and mitigate carbon dioxide CO2 by the development of 500 hectares (5.0 km2, app. 2 square miles)  of forest plantations to counter global warming (climate change).
  • Produce certified sustainable timber (Forest Stwardship Council, FSC, CarbonFix standard) and sustain economic regional development
  • Raise environmental awareness among citizens of Utrecht, The Netherlands and support the local policies for energy conservation and carbon dioxide mitigation. 


The local organisation Fundación Desarrollo Integral Asociado  (Foundation DIA) leads the project, supplies technical advice and organises the certification of the forest plantations.The municipality of Utrecht, The Netherlands has budgeted € 40.000 yearly support through 2015. The Dutch National Council for City Twinning Netherlands-Nicaragua (Landelijk Beraad Stedenbanden Nederland-Nicaragua) has pledged to double this sum, amounting to a annual total of € 80.000 for technical assistance to Fundación DIA and salary for the farmers. The Environmental Center Utrecht (Milieucentrum Utrecht) generates support in Utrecht for the climate forest in León in collaboration with the Workgroup Utrecht-León  and organises outreach in Utrecht on environmental issues and carbon dioxide emissions.



Planted tree species

  • Mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni, native species in Nicaragua)
  • Mexican cedar (Cedrela odorata, native species)
  • Laurel (Cordia alliodora, native species)
  • Pochote (Bombacopsis quinata, native species)
  • Teak (Tectona grandis, exotic species)

These species are shown here.


External links

Farmer's daughter Juanita next to a planted tree, León, Nicaragua, 2010