This farmer is saving the jungle by growing food in it

farmer potato

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Joe Myers, Writer, Formative Content


“My dream is to create a sustainable farm, this is my work.”

Alexander Retana is a farmer with a different kind of farm. His – where he grows around 22 different crops from bananas to cacao – is right among the trees of the Costa Rican rainforest.

It’s a big change from just a few years ago, when the area was just open rice fields. Initially, Retana grew trees for shade from the heat of the sun. But things soon expanded as he planted more trees, until he’d built a whole new ecosystem above his head.

The approach, known as agroforestry, brings together traditional agriculture and the cultivation of trees – allowing crops and forest to grow alongside each other.

The canopy of trees doesn’t just provide shade for the farmer, though. “The trees help other plants to survive better in the farm,” he explains. Restoring the jungle increases precipitation and helps retain more moisture in the soil, while wildlife help control pests.

Join the Voice for the Planet movement

Voice for the Planet is a global online action campaign calling for action on climate change.

Launched by the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community at Davos in 2019 and in partnership with the Netflix and World Wildlife Fund “Our Planet” series, it encourages people to make commitments to change the way they eat, embrace renewable energy, restore nature in their communities, change what they buy and ask their government leaders to act.

Add your voice here.

“We need to have crops and trees living together in the ecosystem,” Retana believes. “Agroforestry can exist everywhere in the tropical ecosystem around the world. This is one of the solutions to save the forest.”

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Somalia advancing towards ‘inclusive and peaceful future’ for women, deputy UN chief

Confronting antimicrobial resistance of animal origin

This is how we can feed the planet while saving the ocean

Huawei answers allegations about its selling prices

What makes America the world’s most competitive economy?

Myanmar: Conflict resolution at ‘total standstill’, military commanders must answer for crimes against humanity

To beat hunger and combat climate change, world must ‘scale-up’ soil health – UN

New UN-Syrian Action Plan signals an ‘important day’ for child protection, says UN envoy

How the tech world could make nonprofits a more powerful force

This is the world’s greenest football club – and you’ve probably never even heard of it

Draghi: ECB to flood Eurozone and the world with more zero cost money; risk of drowning in cash

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

We need a reskilling revolution. Here’s how to make it happen

European Agenda on Migration: Still fragile situation gives no cause for complacency

It’s not enough to respond to crises. We need to take action before they happen

A third of world’s out-of-school youth live in conflict, disaster-affected countries: UNICEF report

MWC 2016 Live: Industrial world prepares to reap digital benefits

State aid: Commission invites comments on simplified rules for State aid combined with EU support

Why the ECB suddenly decided to flood banks with money?

Commission launches debate on a gradual transition to more efficient and democratic decision-making in EU tax policy

Samsung’s profits fall as cheaper smartphones gain market share

Chart of the day: This is why we need to protect nature’s pollinators

Children are still dying in Yemen war, despite partial ceasefire, says UNICEF chief

Fresh airstrikes kill dozens in conflict-ravaged Syria

Tsipras bewildered with Berlin’s humiliating demands; ECB expects political sign to refinance the Greek banks

The latest emoji are more inclusive – but who approves them?

International co-operation vital to improve integration of refugees

On International Youth Day the European Youth Forum calls for true youth participation

Brexit talks started with a London handicap and Brussels’ sternness

Migrants: ‘A powerful driver’ of economic growth, ‘dynamism and understanding’

Western Sahara: a ‘peaceful solution’ to conflict is possible, says UN envoy

Remarks by President Juncker at the joint press conference with President Tusk ahead of the G20 Summit

From glass ceiling to glass cliff: women are not a leadership quick-fix

EU mobilises further €15.2 million humanitarian support for food safety, epidemics preparedness and support to people in conflict areas in Latin America and Caribbean

EU Commission: The banks are not obliged to finance the real economy

The world’s coastal cities are going under. Here’s how some are fighting back

100 years on, UN labour agency mission focussed on growing inequality, says Director-General

The first new university in the UK for 40 years is taking a very different approach to education

Mass-graves found of at least 535 killed during ‘organized and planned’ inter-communal attacks in western DR Congo

Facebook has built an AI-based tool that fixes the social network when it crashes

Sustainable development funding is broken. Here’s how to fix it

Guterres underscores UN role in achieving a free, secure Internet

World Bank President steps down, Chief Executive assumes temporary role

An Eastern Wind

Rohingya emergency one year on: UN says thousands of lives saved, but challenges remain

Somalis ‘will not be deterred’ by Friday’s terror attacks – UN chief

LGBT community in Chechnya faces ‘new wave of persecution’: UN human rights experts

Cybersecurity should be a source of hope, not fear. Here are 5 reasons why

How voice technology will change your life

Vienna has the world’s best quality of living

EU Justice Scoreboard 2018: justice systems’ key role in upholding the rule of law and EU values

What do toilets have to do with climate change?

Mental health and suicide prevention: why focus on primary care

Syria: ‘Violence, displacement’ and cold kill 11 infants ‘in the past two days’

Main results of Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) – 18-19/10/2018

If on a summer’s night: is UK businesses’ “new deal” the only key to the “best of all worlds”?

Will CETA be implemented after eight long years or it will be vetoed by the EU citizen?

Europe and UN form bulwark against ‘might makes right’ worldview, EU foreign affairs chief tells Security Council

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: The health of capitalism won’t be the only worry for those who head for Davos

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s