Terra Meera is a newly founded Center for Regeneration and Human Potential, born in Croatia and founded by Dr. Irena Ateljevic. Located in an abandoned valley, Terra Meera pioneers are laying the foundations for a community project dedicated to local and regenerative agriculture in the area.
This campaign will plant a biodiverse and native fruit forest, revitalise the Terra Meera land, support the local economy and create a source of food and educational opportunities for local and international communities.
The ‘why’ lies in the present - between the rich local history and the future, which calls for greater responsibility towards all life on this planet. The Bribir region that surrounds Terra Meera used to be thriving with small-scale farmers and traditional agriculture that fed many communities in Central Dalmatia.
But the civil war in 1990s changed everything. A majority of the population fled the area, abandoning cultured land and leaving it out of balance. After 20 years of neglect, the land needs human care for ecosystems to thrive again. Moreover, mass tourism in the nearby coastal area has attracted consumer lifestyles for which our food now mostly comes from the imports (70% of all food needs).
And then there is the story of the soil. It’s health and its existence. If we continue to degrade the soil at the rate that we are now, the world could run out of topsoil in about 60 years, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. Without topsoil, the earth’s ability to filter water, absorb carbon, and feed people plunges.
The solution is clear, cost-effective, and sustainable: Trees.
Instead of clearing fields, intensifying mono-crop production, and ultimately degrading the land - agriculture focused on the power of trees or agroforestry strives to restore and protect the soil, diversify crops, and optimize the land in a regenerative way.
As the first stage in the regeneration process, we are aiming to plant an indigenous fruit forest consisting of almost 300 trees.
Locally, we work with the last few people who live off the land in the area, Vesa, Mirko, Milivoj. We learned so much from Drazen: a hard-working stone mason, planter and bee-keeper. Then there is Zeljko and Roman, two Croatian agroforestry experts focused on indigenous species of the area. Internationally, we have partnered with Gone West, a social enterprise and tree planting company that has planted over four million trees globally since they started in 2013.
Terra Meera, has become one of the Gone West Plant & Protect projects.
What does this mean? The Plant and Protect scheme defines a unique set of requirements necessary to ensure the core principles of sustainable tree planting and land regeneration.
The goal of the Plant & Protect program is to contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change, increasing the area of land covered by native trees, improving water quality, stabilizing the hydrologic cycles, increasing and protecting woodland biodiversity, creating green and sustainable jobs, and creating a canopy under which other opportunities can prosper.