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Icone AP EN OK Icone Filieres EN

Ceibal and los Rosales 

Breadnut tree

1,577 Envol Vert
Icone Soutenu EN
Maisons du Monde


The zone where the project is found is made up of two dry tropical forest reserves: an ecosystem with a very high level of endemism, of which only 2% of the original area remains today.

In these reserves, we find approximately 250 cotton-top Tamarins (Titi monkey), an endemic primate species of the Columbia’s coast, dwelling solely on trees. Considering that there are only 2,000 adult specimens in the wild, these two reserves are crucially important for the survival of the species. 

They are separated by 1000 meters of non-forested area preventing their connectivity and are surrounded by vast stretches of land on which extensive livestock farming takes place.


Major issues


Livestock owners continue to cut down secondary forests around the reserves and villagers living on the outskirts of these protected areas put pressure on natural resources through wood gathering, charcoal making and poaching.

There is a great temptation to draw on the resources found on the reserves to supplement low incomes.

In addition, numerous projects have threatened this area in the past: mining operations, construction of an airport or a pipeline. 



The project and the prospects for change


The project aims to develop agroforestry, allowing farmers without land to develop new sources of income. Agroforestry contributes to reducing the use of chemical fertilizers, increasing crop yields, and decreasing erosion by allowing the return of dry forest that is particularly threatened. 

The project also seeks to protect the last remaining populations of cotton-top Tamarin – one of the most threatened primates in the world, by promoting reforestation. For this reason, the project highlights a tree: the Breadnut or the Maya nut tree (Brosimum alicastrum), a native species known for its timber quality, the presence and sustainable exploitation of which benefit biodiversity. The Maya nut tree also enables to improve food safety and helps generate new incomes for populations through the use of its seeds. 

Therefore, the project objectives are as follow : 

  • Manage 75 hectares of agricultural land using agroforestry by planting the breadnut tree in association with food crops; 
  • Increase food safety within the community through training in seed cooking and by increasing crop yields. 
  • Create new economic alternatives for the community by promoting local value chains based on the breadnut tree seed and by developing seedlings sale from tree nurseries. 
  • Participate to the creation of an ecological corridor between the two reserves to reinforce the link between the two main tamarin populations that key to its survival.


Committed partners


For the past 3 years, the association Envol Vert has been working in sustainable reforestation using in particularly an extraordinary tree, the Breadnut, which is sufficiently robust to restore these difficult zones. Its nuts can serve as food to both animals and humans, and its leaves can be used as cattle feed. For this innovative project, Envol Vert is working in collaboration with the foundation « Proyecto Titi » that develops research programs on the cotton-top Tamarin, as well as on education and on community development of this area. They also partner with Asoartesanas (a local association that makes artisanal ecological recycled plastic bags). 

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To learn more about this project and its 2017 key achievements, please click on this link.

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