Valdivia, Chile

The Magic of Unique Ecosystems and Forest Bathing: Restoring Chile’s Native Forests for Well-being

The city of Valdivia, in Chile, has a special significance for FTHub. The birthplace of the first Forest Bathing Guide training in the Americas, this place with its unique landscape is a pioneer in many ways in the entire region with its deep, valuable and humid greenery.

In an effort to preserve and restore Chile’s native forests, FTHub has joined forces to counteract the worrying loss of more than 200,000 hectares of these valuable ecosystems, forests fundamental to the regulation of the water cycle, carbon sequestration and the preservation of a unique fauna, which face significant challenges in a world affected by climate change.

Claudio Vasquez, initiator of the project, FTHub Forest Bathing Guide, Risk prevention and Environmental engineer and the first Forest Bathing Guide in the history of Chile, has opened the implementation of the practice throughout the country, for the welfare of the population but also to restore and enhance the unique ecosystems that holds the Chilean Patagonia.

Forest Therapy Hub has established a partnership in Chile with Bosques para Ti and receives technical advice from Coasefor Consulting for this project aimed at the recovery of valuable Chilean native forests. Their contribution has focused on the protected area Bosque Parque Urbano Valdivia (Urban Park Valdivia), where they have planted 200 specimens of Arrayanes (Luma apiculata), an emblematic tree of Patagonia. The main objective of this initiative is to restore native urban forests, benefiting not only the reserve, but also local communities, beekeepers and educational tourism.

The “One Forest Bathing Guide, One Tree” project is a testament to the commitment to restoration and reforestation. By addressing the loss of these ecosystems and their impact on people’s health through Forest Bathing, the project seeks to strengthen conservation and contribute to human well-being and the environment.

Parque Urbano in Valdivia has been designated as a therapeutic forest, and Forest Therapy Hub conducts the FTHub 3-Day In-person Immersive Training in Nature in this urban protected area every year. The reforestation and restoration of these forests, with the initial contribution of these 200 native trees, will promote the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) throughout their lives, which is essential in the fight against climate change. “In the urban park El Bosque of Valdivia, you live the experience of being able to guide in a place where we can counteract the effects of the soundscape of urban life, being immersed in a native forest of more than 300 years old where to guide in inclusive trails. Conducting the training here is a privilege,” said Claudio.

Alex Gesse, Executive Director of Forest Therapy Hub, stressed the importance of native forest conservation as a key strategy in the fight against climate change and for the well-being of people. “We are proud to carry out concrete actions for their conservation in Chile,” he said.

Claudio Vasquez, Director of Bosques Para Ti (“Forests for You”), emphasized the relevance of the project for the sustainability of the forests in the Valdivian rainforest. “We want to be a positive force that influences and guides significant changes through wellness work for people through Forest Bathing and environmental education,” he said. When these native trees reach maturity, it is estimated that they will produce around 26,000 kilos of oxygen and provide an enriched habitat for wildlife, benefiting around 40 species. This project is a testament to our joint commitment to preserving Chile’s natural beauty and addressing today’s environmental challenges.

 

Ph: Courtesy of Bosques para Tí (Forests for You)

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