THE NATURAL BALANCE PROJECT
Colombia, South America
The Natural Balance:Is directed by Carlos Delgado Morales, a farmer who has dedicated his life to building and repairing the sustainable local eco-system in him native home village of Bonafont, Caldas, Colombia. Bonafont is a village which belongs to the municipality of Riosucio in the western department of Caldas. It is situated right in the coffee and sugar cane growing axis of Colombia producing one of Colombia’s biggest exports. As such it is an area naturally filled with lush green mountains which have over time been turned into coffee and sugar cane farms, most often with use of harsh chemicals and clearing of forest, thus diminishing greatly the natural balance of the eco-system in the area. With the time Carlos has become recognised thanks to his amazing work through sustainable farming practices.
Some of his highlights has been the presentation on natural seeds vs. GMO seeds at the University of Caldas at the first Forum for the Environment, as well as sharing of his reforestation efforts at the Forum for the Environment 2015 at the Polytechnic Institute of Medellin. He is a member of Minister of Environment Civil Society Environmental Protection since 2010.
Main programs of focus are:
REFORESTATION: In order for the natural balance of an eco-system to exist the local region must be forested by sustainable and self-renewable plants which are native to the region. For up to 20 years, Carlos Delgado has been reforesting a region of 2 hectares. Through this land he has been able to re-introduce plants, brushes and different type of trees native to the region which have allowed for the land to naturally maintain it’s fertilization and growth. Besides the return and increase in local fauna such as birds, animals, insects etc. Carlos has also been able to see a wonderful rebirthing of the forest and its natural trees, flowers, fruits, seeds, bushes, grasses and more.
SUSTAINABLE AND ORGANIC AGRICULTURE: Part of the mountain use to have a cultivation of about 200 rubber trees also known as Rubberwood. Rubber trees are native trees to South America which traditionally have been the main source of income for indigenous communities due to the production of latex. Natural rubber, unlike synthetic rubber does not contain harsh chemicals which can be released in use and destruction of the rubber. Through 100% natural seeding and farming methods Carlos has turned the 200 weak rubber trees into 350 self-sustaining trees. Through the cultivation of the rubber trees he has been able to work his land in a non-invasive manner. These trees are now fully self-sustainable and fully integrated within the 2 hectares of the reforested mountains providing the necessary cover in the canopy and fertile soil.
ADVOCACY: Along the physical work of reforesting the mountain, the sustainable farming and income generation, Carlos has spent countless hours advocating for use of natural and organic farming methods which rely on local biodiversity, like the natural rubber tree as an alternative to expensive chemical commercial farming currently used as common practice. He has talked to diverse groups of farmers and environmental organizations on the importance on using locally based natural seeds instead of genetically modified seeds and crops and the importance of maintaining parts of land in agriculture for natural reforestation thus increasing and supporting natural self-sustaining agriculture.