EARTH – CRUSA alliance: Local solutions to advance global sustainability for rural areas

Filed Under: EARTH News
Date: May 28th, 2021

The relationship between the CRUSA Foundation and EARTH began in 1998, grounded in a shared vision, values and strategy that make us natural allies. In 2017, our partnership was strengthened thanks to CRUSA’s financial support to EARTH Futures, the EARTH’s center for global solutions that partners with academic institutions, rural communities and other allies around the world to transform rural areas for the better.

Photo by Ivannia Alvarado

The driving force of both institutions is to promote sustainable development through innovative ideas and solutions, both in Costa Rica and globally. Thanks to this important alliance and CRUSA’s investment, EARTH Futures undertook projects including the formalization of the Parismina River Biological Corridor, a geographical area that ensures connectivity between two important conservation areas in the Province of Limón; the Potrero Caimital Biological Corridor, a territory between the Potrero, Caimital and Quirimán rivers in Guanacaste province; and training and technical support for communities within both biological corridors.

Through the Climate Change Training Program for Small Farmers in Limón and Guanacaste, a series of workshops and field days have been developed to provide practical tools for farmers to prepare to meet the challenges of changing weather patterns on their farms and communities. Additionally, EARTH Futures has provided technical and market access support to 40 indigenous corn farmers in Guanacaste, allowing farmers to improve their farm management through the use of precision agriculture tools and techniques, as well as promoting the revival of the indigenous “Pujagua” corn (purple corn), declared of cultural interest in Costa Rica.

Photo by Ivannia Alvarado

This alliance also promoted the creation of the Caribbean Cocoa Platform, promoted by EARTH Futures in 2017 to organize and unite different cocoa industry actors in Limón, including Costa Rica’s Ministry of Agriculture (MAG), Rural Development Institute (INDER), National Learning Institute (INA), Foreign Trade Promotion Board (PROCOMER), and the vital participation of farmers in the area. The platform has become an innovative associative model that aligns efforts to strengthen producers, accelerate the transition towards a green economy, promote sustainability throughout the cacao supply chain and drive efficiency in crop production.

Today, we thank CRUSA for being an invaluable partner to EARTH and EARTH Futures. Thanks to CRUSA’s financial and non-financial investment and the support of our community partners, EARTH Futures grown and strengthened its operations, developed multiple sustainable models for rural areas, and directly and indirectly impacted the lives of tens of thousands of people in the country’s rural communities. Building on these efforts, we are now driving opportunities to scale these solutions and to innovation from Costa Rica with rural communities facing similar challenges in other regions of the world.