REGUA is delighted to announce that two parcels of land, amounting to 52 hectares were secured this week to add to the reserve. The area is known as Lagoinha and lays east of REGUA between the reserve and the Paraiso reserve “aka” the Primatology reserve.
This valley of almost 700 hectares has been occupied by families for close to a century, cultivating bananas and cassava. Many sharecroppers have lived here but the soil is now impoverished and the profit and productivity have slowly dwindled prompting the families to leave. The children inheriting these parcels of land often prefer to sell and divide the proceeds rather than retain the land.
Often developers come in to buy these parcels of land with an eye on building houses and profits. Sensing this as a potential danger to the integrity of the forested land, REGUA has been working on land ownership, mapping and fundraising to acquire these parcels in as they come onto the market, hopefully avoiding the developers interest.
REGUA has already purchased seven parcels of land of varying sizes and these latest acquisitions were important to strengthen the protection in this area.
In first the case local landowner, Jorge, had owned a parcel of land for over 50 years. Growing bananas for most of this time, the land had become exhausted and he agreed to sell his parcel of 34 hectares after almost six months negotiation. As he and his wife Solange have no dependents they intend to buy a small house in the city. The second parcel of land was owned by Mauricio who sold his homestead (including his house) comprising 14 hectares; an area he has owned for 10 years. He will be moving to a farm which he owns in a less rural area.
REGUA intends to allow the forest to return naturally one Jorge’s land and use the house, which can be doubled up for research or tourism. Slowly REGUA continues to consolidate this crucial area, guaranteeing a forested corridor for nature. With more land to purchase, every donation is vital to help secure this area for the future.