Rosewood reforestation launched in the Ampiyacu

Rosewood seedlings at nursery at Jenaro Herrera. Photo by Italo Melendez/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Rosewood seedlings at nursery at Jenaro Herrera. Photo by Italo Melendez/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

The Center for Amazon Community Ecology and its ally NGO Camino Verde have carried out the first phase of a reforestation and essential oil production project in the Ampiyacu region. In early February, we had 900 young rosewood trees (Aniba roseaodora) ready to deliver to their new home down river.

Carrying rosewood seedlings from Brillo Nuevo to family field.  Photo by Italo Melendez/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Carrying rosewood seedlings from Brillo Nuevo to family field. Photo by Italo Melendez/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

CACE’s field assistant Italo Melendez accompanied the seedlings on their journey from the government nursery in Jenaro Herrera by truck to the port where they were transferred to a ferry boat to go down the Ucayali River to Iquitos and then completed their journey by speed boat to Brillo Nuevo.

Robin van Loon from Camino Verde, Yully Rojas from CACE and Bora family who planted rosewood seedlings in their forest field. Photo by Italo Melendez/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Robin van Loon from Camino Verde, Yully Rojas from CACE and Bora family who planted rosewood seedlings in their forest field. Photo by Italo Melendez/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

The young rosewoods were divvied up by the five families who had won a chance in a village lottery to plant one of the first batches of these aromatic trees. Each family then brought its crates of seedlings to a patch of secondary forest to plant with guidance from Camino Verde’s director Robin van Loon.

Bora boy tending rosewood seedling. Photo by Yully Rojas Reategui/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Bora boy tending rosewood seedling. Photo by Yully Rojas Reategui/Center for Amazon Community Ecology

Ampiyacu project manager Yully Rojas reported that most of the seedlings were growing well in early April although a few had been chewed by hungry grasshoppers and others had been lifted by jealous neighbors. We are now exploring larger distillation units to extract oil from a modest harvest of leaves in several years. See more photos of the Rosewood seedling journey and reforestation in Brillo Nuevo.

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