Osa Conservation celebrates “Día del Árbol,” or Day of the Tree

Blog by: María José Mata-Quirós, Restoration & Rewilding & Data Management Coordinator

For 105 years on June 15, Costa Rica has celebrated “Día del Árbol,” or Day of the Tree. Former President Alfredo Gonzales Flores established this celebration to raise national awareness about the importance of trees.

More than a Celebration 

Trees are one of the main sources of energy and matter in terrestrial ecosystems; They support a great diversity of animals, plants, fungi and algae. They are one of the most important carbon storages and climate regulators. They protect water sources and provide humans with wood, fibers, medicine, and many other products. 

In summary, trees give us life. 

Despite how imperative forests are to our existence,, between 30,000 and 50,000 hectares a year have been deforested in Costa Rica during the last two decades, and almost half of the nation’s forest cover is on private land without any form of protection. Globally, forests increasingly become landscapes degraded by humans; about 49% of priority areas for the conservation of tree diversity are not protected, so they are exposed to moderate and high human pressure.

Deforestation and  loss of tree diversity brings serious consequences that not only affect the trees themselves, but also the other species that depend on them — like us.

Moving Forward

Several international challenges and agreements are directed toward conserving and increasing the forest cover. In 2021 the Decade of Restoration declared by the United Nations will begin. In Costa Rica, the national Decarbonization Plan aims to increase Costa Rica’s forest cover to 60% by 2030 to consolidate biological corridors and increase the availability of green areas for recreation.

Día del Árbol

In our corner of the world, Osa Conservation works to restore and promote landscape connectivity in the Osa Peninsula and the Amistosa Biological Corridor. We collect seeds that become trees in our nursery, where we care for them until they are mature enough to be planted across the region .


One of the most inspiring parts of the celebration was the children who came to collect trees to plant in their houses. Here, Andrés got creative arranging the tree, known as Nene, to carry on his bike. Photo by Lucy Kleiner, Media and Communications, Osa Conservation

This year we celebrated the Day of the Tree and kicked off the planting season by donating over 700 native trees to local community members interested in increasing forest cover in their own backyards. 

We organized two tree fairs in the communities of Puerto Jimenez and La Palma on the Osa Peninsula, where people from the community were invited to  collect trees and plant them on their property. People of all ages collected about 500 trees, a lot of them rare or threatened species. 

Ruthmery Pillco Huarcaya, Osa Conservation’s Botanical Program Manager, safely greets community members and gives away trees outside the Osa Conservation office in Puerto Jimenez. Photo by Johan Ortiz, Field Technician, Osa Conservation .


In the Fila Tigre community, which borders La Amistad National Park, we planted 250 trees of 20 different species on a 5000 m2 farm owned by ADI Fila Tigre, marking the beginning of  the restoration of the spring water on which the land is located. This collaborative effort was made possible thanks to the seven  farmers in the area who are part of the UNDP Productive Landscapes program and a representative of the Department of Environment of the Municipality of Coto Brus.

The ADI Fila Tigre farm, where planting was carried out in conjunction with farmers in the community. In the background lies La Amistad International Park. Photo by Jonathan Navarro, Healthy Rivers Program Coordinator, Osa Conservation.

We thank everyone who celebrated with us, and who contribute to increasing the forest cover of the region. Special thanks to ASADA La Palma, ADI Fila Tigre, and OET Las Cruces Biological Station for their collaboration in the events.

Intern Osa Conservation
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