Embracing the Responsibility for the Children’s Eternal Rainforest:
Reviving the Youth Initiative for Protecting Critical Biodiversity and Working for Peace
In December 2012, the Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest (FCER) appointed the Montessori Institute for the Science of Peace as the official coordinator of Montessori youth visits to the rainforest’s 54,000 acres. Adolescents from around the world will collaborate with international scientists as contributors to research, data, and funds for preservation, conservation, and expansion of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest (CER). Through this work, MISP will build on the legacy that began in 1987 when Swedish children started a worldwide effort to purchase and protect rainforest in the Monteverde region of Costa Rica. Since then, children and adults from 44 nations have joined the effort. By taking a comprehensive natural history and tropical science research approach to the rainforest, students will develop a clear academic foundation for their leadership in rainforest preservation.
Although the Monteverde Cloud Forest region is a global hub for scientists researching global warming, biology, and tropical ecology, there has never been continuous research conducted in the Children’s Eternal Rainforest. Mark Wainwright, President of the Monteverde Conservation League’s Board of Directors (MCL) stated, “we are certainly excited to pursue this opportunity with the Montessori community and agree that it has wonderful potential. The Montessori program could help us start to generate the kind of fundamental baseline data that we sorely need. These groups could be pioneers in generating essential baseline biological data for one of the richest forests in the world.” Students will explore topics of biodiversity and conservation, working side by side experts from around the world.
Monteverde Institutions and Staff Resources:
- Mark Wainright, President (Board of Trustees) of the Monteverde Conservation League, expert in mammals of Costa Rica
- Margaret Eisenberger, science/travel director of Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, expert in tropical ecology, Montessori educator
- Jeffrey Norris, Ph.D. president of Natural Solutions, expert in biology, ecology, evolution, and systematics
- Debbie Hamilton, executive director of the Monteverde Institute, expert researcher on the three-wattled bellbird
- Fran Lindau, academic director, expert in social justice and environmental sustainability at the Monteverde Institute
- Dr. Ernesto Ruiz, professor, expert in anthropology, public health, food security
- Dr. Alan Pounds, expert in tropical ecology, a founding researcher in climate change science
MISP has designed a comprehensive learning experience in Costa Rica integrating scientific work in the CER with the fundamental values of peace. Partnerships with the United Nations mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) and with United Nations Earth Charter staff allow students to connect with the UPEACE diverse student community of global leaders who range in age, interest, and background yet are united in their passion for addressing critical obstacles to peace and sustainability. Participants benefit from UPEACE’s world-class faculty that draws top professionals in their fields (sustainability, gender, economics, human rights, international law, peace and conflict studies, etc.).
Today, the 54,000 acre Children’s Eternal Rainforest (CER) is a testament to the change that can be accomplished by youth action. Drawing upon the collective power for sustainability and peace from the 22,000 Montessori schools worldwide, we have an opportunity to stem the tide of climate change and protect and conserve the precious biodiversity that still exists in the CER. There is a role for everyone to play in this dynamic conservation work. Whether traveling to Costa Rica to experience the incredible rainforest or performing research and fundraising in your home community for its protection, we invite all Montessori students to join the effort. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how you can protect the CER and be able to point to a map of Costa Rica and say, “Look what I saved.”