The Nandamojo watershed encompasses 28,000 acres, from ridge to reef. The area is a diverse ecosystem of dry tropical forests, open plains, waterfalls, mangroves and beaches. Approximately 40% of the land is used for grazing and 25% for agricultural cultivation. Some of the larger towns in the watershed include 27 de Abril, Rio Seco, La Florida, Venado and Junquillal.
ROW is focused on gaining a better understanding this complex ecosystem, how to keep it healthy, and how to promote sustainable economic development for the benefit of local residents.
The organization’s watershed restoration initiatives are focused on
four key areas: reforesting strategic parts of the watershed; reducing
erosion of upland soils and beaches; restoring wildlife habitat
including riparian zones; and reestablishing a biological corridor
from ridge-to-reef. To guide our work, we use the Land Use and
Sustainable Development Plan, which was developed by Applied
Ecological Services in 2005, combined with data gathered through
previous studies and local knowledge. (Click here to see a map of the
Our restoration efforts currently include the following projects:
- Implementing an innovative agroforestry project which will use proven technology to recuperate damaged pastureland. (Click here to view a PDF with more information.) The project will also allow ROW to quantify and promote the benefits of combining livestock, agriculture, and forest belts in one system. The project will begin in June of 2012.
- Reforesting along streams, wetlands, drainage basins and river corridors to reduce soil erosion, increase rainwater absorption and extend protective bird and animal habitat. ROW is expanding implementation of “stream restoration” strategies in collaboration with landowners and communities in locations where watercourses are severely damaged by down-cutting and bank failure or where dwellings are threatened by seasonal flooding.
- Increasing roadside tree cover to increase shade for human travel and safe passage for birds, monkeys and other animals.
- Establishing living fences and ‘shelter belts’ in open pastures for windbreaks, wildlife habitat/corridors and dry season forage for ruminants.
- Communicating through local schools, communities, water boards, NGOs, businesses and concerned citizens to understand how they benefit from ecosystem health and how they can both participate in and advance strategies to achieve “ridge to reef” restoration.
- Coordinating with local, regional, national and international organizations to develop policies and best practices to protect and improve land and marine ecosystem services.
- Linking the plan regulador, a document which guides land use and management for the Nandamojo Watershed, to the regional plan regulador and national ecosystem services programs.
- Documenting and packaging Nandamojo Watershed restoration best practices, plans and policies to support missions of partner organizations.