Eco - Acres


The Eco-Acres concept was developed from 15 years of research and conservation activities by Integrated Conservation Research, Inc. in China, Malaysia, Peru, Costa Rica, Guyana, and Ghana. The concept also involves the ideas of Professor E.O. Wilson presented in his widely acclaimed book, "Biophilia." ICR seeks practical and long term solutions to the problems of tropical rainforest conservation.

The Concept

For large scale application, the solutions need to be ecologically and economically sustainable. The design of the concept makes it equally attractive to conservationists, developers, and investors. The objectives are to conserve large tracts of original forest and to reforest adjoining deforested land. The economic engine for this is carefully planned real estate development. The buyers would be people who would want natural vegetation: flowers, fruit trees, etc., attracting abundant wildlife. as a "value-added" aspect of their property. Rental properties for part-time residence will also be included. Though in the tropics, the residential areas will be at some elevation where temperatures are not excessive. The real estate plan keeps the regenerating forest contiguous and the homes widely spaced, but within a "gated community."

Unique Features

To our knowledge, no other real estate development uses a high diversity of native plants for landscaping, with a goal of restoring the natural forest. In the initial phase, it is possible to include hundreds of species, planted in a sequence that simulates ecological succession. Because the areas selected are adjacent to a "core area" of original forest, birds and mammals attracted to the "matrix" forest in the developed areas will bring in seeds of additional species to increase the diversity. The initial planting will emphasize plants of economic value: fruits, nuts, horticultural, medicinal, etc.. This will produce an additional income source.

Specific Locality

One of ICR's clients owns 1500 acres of original tropical rainforest on " Rainmaker Mountain," near the Pacific Ocean in Costa Rica. ICR helped the owners to develop one of the most attractive nature tourism destinations in Costa Rica, including a river walk and the world's highest canopy walkway. ICR's plan is to purchase/lease small farms on the boundary of Rainmaker Mountain for reforestation and l- . r: . building sites. The planned homes will have a view of the Pacific Ocean, with 30 minutes access to beautiful beaches, surfing, fishing, world- class restaurants, and Manuel Antonio National Park. The residents will also have 15 minutes access to the visitors center and trails of the Rainmaker Conservation Project.

Manuel Antonio National Park is the most visited protected area in Costa Rica. Abundant wildlife can be readily observed, since the animals are not hunted and do not fear people. However, this Park is relatively small and isolated from larger tracts of original forests, such as are found on the Rainmaker property. The eventual goal of ICR's Eco-Acres development is to join Manuel Antonio with the large Fila Chouta "biological corridor."

Real estate development is gaining momentum in this area because of its natural beauty. ICR's immediate goal is to guide the development in a fashion that actually increases wildlife habitat in the area through forest replantation while the local people benefit from sustainable development. This would be the world's first demonstration that human development and nature can co-exist to mutual benefit.

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For further information regarding investments or donations, please contact Illar Muul at ICR, 301 371 8988