July 2020

Edgar Madrigal has been working for Cloudbridge for over five years. We are very grateful to him for his consistently friendly and agreeable demeanor in addition to his amazing work. Thank you, Edgar!

July has been a busy month here at Cloudbridge. Though we are still officially closed, and don´t have any researchers or volunteers at the moment, we have kept our camera trap program going and made some improvements around base, including a new social area (for once the researchers return!). We have also launched a crowdfunding campaign to help us through this difficult time, and perhaps most excitingly, some of our staff have participated in the climate reality leadership training led by Al Gore!!

Many of you may have heard of former US Vicepresident Al Gore´s Climate Reality Project. Our previous director Tom Gode and his partner (and Cloudbridge´s artist in residence) Linda Moskalyk have been climate reality leaders for a number of years now. This month they were both able to participate as mentors in the first-ever virtual Climate Reality Leadership Corps: Global Training 2020. Along with 10,000 other participants, the co-founder of Cloudbridge Nature Reserve, Jenny Giddy, and the reserve´s current director, Casey Ella McConnell were able to participate as trainees. It was a very rewarding experience!

Ian and Genevieve Giddy fell in love with the rainforest of the Talamanca mountains and decided to protect what they could, founding Cloudbridge Nature Reserve in 2002

On June 23rd, 1988, climate scientist James Hansen testified to the U.S. senate about the effects of greenhouse gas emissions: “the greenhouse effect has been detected and is changing our climate now.” 22 years later, these changes to our climate have become all too visible: Wildfires, “rain bombs“, heat waves and drought have caused tremendous upheaval and human suffering, in addition to an economic impact of over $120 billion US dollars in 2019 alone. But the problems are beyond economic: how could we put a price on the anxiety that young people around the world are experiencing, the cultural loss of island nations who have been forced to relocate, or the food insecurity experienced by already vulnerable populations whose crops are being ravaged by locusts?

In 2019, teenager Greta Thunberg made an impassioned speech to the World Economic Forum highlighting the urgency of the climate crisis.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that the world is capable of reacting decisively and drastically to a perceived crisis, but it remains to be seen if we will collectively respond in this way to the enormous threat posed by the climate crisis. This is part of why it was so heartening for us to participate in the Climate Reality Training and come in contact with so many people who also feel passionate about the subject. As Mr. Gore has stated, the economic and environmental advantages of renewable energy sources are on our side, and we must continue to have hope, and push for environmental justice, honor indigenous knowledge and work together to make our world a better place. I invite anybody who is interested, to sign up and join the next virtual Global Training which will take place in August.

Nutrient cycling, production of water and oxygen and microclimate regulation are some of the ecosystem services provided by a healthy cloudforest.

The climate crisis is not the only current threat to biodiversity: the pressure posed by human development on natural ecosystems around the world can have severe and direct consequences on our own health and well-being. The ecosystem services provided by healthy ecosystems are literally the basis of our own health and well-being, and by threatening the world´s biodiversity we are also threatening the survival of the human species.

This is why organizations such as Cloudbridge Nature Reserve are playing such an important role in assuring that future generations will be able to enjoy the same privileges that we have taken for granted. As with most businesses and organizations, Cloudbridge has suffered great financial losses due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is why we have set up a crowdfunding campaign, which we encourage you to share widely, and if possible, please make a donation (for Spanish, look here). We are very grateful to all who have already contributed, thank you for your support!

In addition to providing essential ecosystem services, the biodiverse cloudforest is a source of wonder and awe, contributing also to our emotional and mental health. Here, our scientific coordinator Clara Moreno enjoys a moment in the forest.
The Cloudforest is known for the wonderful mist which envelopes its visitors, allowing you the experience of literally being in the clouds!
Tree ferns are vascular plants which do not produce flowers or seeds, making them one of the most ancient plant forms. They reproduce via spores, which are located on the bottom of the leaves.
These white-faced capuchin monkeys are cuddling on a branch in the reserve. When you donate to Cloudbridge, you are helping to protect these and many other species of the cloudforest.

We are very pleased to be able to offer our sincere CONGRATULATIONS to Brittany Beagle & Marian Barz for their recent marriage.  Brittany and Marian are currently both working in the Netherlands for companies that do mapping and have recently purchased their first home.  They both did internships at Cloudbridge in 2016, which is where they met : )

Love is in the air…Congratulations to the newly-weds!

Suggested Viewing / Reading

  • We are very grateful to Amiram Roth and his family, who have generously put together this wonderful video about Cloudbridge Nature Reserve.
  • A recent study found great promise for mitigating climate change through an innovative, low-cost carbon-capture strategy.
  • We have barely mentioned the pandemic in this blog post, and now that we will, it´s positive news! Costa Rica´s Clodomiro Picado Institute has developed a serum to help Covid-19 patients, which testing in the US has confirmed to be effective.
  • We would like to give a shout-out to the excellent work being done by Jenny Smith and Community Carbon Trees for ethical reforestation here in our area.
  • And last but not least, this blog post from 2007 shows how our interns have been enjoying Cloudbridge for well over a decade! Thank you Ryan, for giving us permission to share.
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