Monday
Feb072011

Flight of Bird

Flight of Bird
1x 1hr Doc
Knowledge Network

Directed and Edited by Martin de Valk

In 1940 Costa Rica boasted over three million hectares of natural forest. By 1983, less than a third remained - most if it lost to extensive cattle grazing after the World Bank injected big money into the country's beef industry.

Among the many people who have worked to reduce this trend is Canadian Dirk Brinkman who, in 1995, brought his team of silviculture experts to the clearcuts of Costa Rica.

Using investment from friends and family, they purchased a small tract of deforested tropical land to begin a reforestation experiment with teak and mixed native species. With that, the BIRD project - Brinkman International Reforestation Development - took off. It's goals: to create an entreprenurial driven, self-sustaining enterprise that drew on Canada's expertise in reforestation and created employment for locals.

Ten years later, Martin de Valk's fascinating documentary tracks the resounding success of BIRD. Forestry and resource management experts from the Technological Institute of Costa Rica and Earth University share their excitement over the ecological benefits of this unique project. With several initiatives underway, the BIRD team has reforested over 500 hectares, provided silviculture training and employment to the local people, established an elementary school for employees' children, and developed native tree species into a potentially viable and sustainable commercial product.