Brazil Community Reforestation Programs, Planeterra, Brazil
Planeterra is based in Ontario, Canada. Their project plan is for the reforestation of areas in Southern Brazil by engaging community groups to determine their present land use practices and help guide them toward greater self-sufficiency.
Why Brazil? The company recognizes that some of the greatest forest habitat losses have taken place in this country. The nation has lost hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of Amazonian forests, an area larger than many countries. This deforestation is due largely to clearing land for cattle ranching, commercial agriculture and logging. The project aims to educate local people in the benefits of maintaining natural ecosystems and developing methods of sustainable forestry. This will then lead to benefits in the overall health of the environment; enhance nutrition and economical benefits for the community. To reach these objectives requires training community groups in Guaranta, Promissão, Arcos Iris, and Marilia to develop and utilize better land use practices in moving toward greater self-sufficiency and simultaneously reforest their lands.
From 2009-2012, the project contributed $31,000 toward local communities in Southern Brazil to reforest their lands. A total of 450,000 trees have been planted by providing training through workshops and seedlings for farmers in order to increase their food production. The resulting reforestation has created natural barriers on their lands and provides shade and sustenance for livestock and other animals. Agroforestry students from the University of Londrina worked with settlement populations to provide training to new residents of the area who were once landless. Effective training methods included the distribution of manuals and videos that were developed and distributed with best practice reforestation instruction to the different communities.
AGRIPO/ Village of Tayap, Cameroon
Tayap, a village located in the rainforest Congo Basin of Central Cameroon, has a partial equatorial forest. Because of intense forest farming, certain flora and fauna species are critically endangered. AGRIPO is intent on changing this by establishing more sustainable practices. One major aim was to improve the living conditions of the villages’ rural population by promoting organic agriculture and promoting eco-tourism. Agroforestry and eco-orchards are current activities in attaining lifestyle improvements that will be scaled up and enlarged as this commitment moves forward.
There are already many major achievements attained as a direct result of AGRIPO’s initiative. Sustainable crop rotation is now being practiced on over 100 designated hectares of land as well as a 2 hectare nursery plot for the planting of 12,500 seedlings of indigenous species of non-timber forest products like wild mangoes. In addition, as a result of funding from the GEF Small Grants Programme managed by United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Tayap has established a micro-credit scheme for rural women; create employment opportunities in the community that also extend to the youth. As a result of their hard work and learning through practice, the village has been awarded “Climate Challenge – Innovation in Agriculture and Forestry” of AFD-CIRAD in 2016*.
For more information on the strong community engagement with this initiative, please view their website
Green Hope Foundation (GHF), Colombia
GHF was founded in 2007 by the Japanese-Colombian, Mr. Chan Shigematsu. He is focusing on developing sustainable projects and forest conservation in the Colombian Amazon, although he also develops sustainable social projects in different parts of our country and other countries.
Since 2010, Green Hope Colombia (GHC) began its pilot project in Iquitos, the largest city in the Peruvian rainforest. This pilot project served to review past attempts at reforestation so as to ensure success in future projects. Since then GHC has the support of the European Community to plant approximately 7,000 to 10,000 native trees annually, in Indigenous communities that has deforested their environment. NGO and the community working together, ensures that families benefit the most from the project by putting their desire to succeed and to work and improve their quality of life, first and foremost.
Meanwhile, GHC supports the community with workshops, materials, planting native seeds, organic fertilizer, shovels, machetes, gloves and boots to build nurseries and then planting these native trees. The goal is to recover degraded soils, restore and make La Selva, the root of the Amazon, sustainably managed with natural resources; for the communities to produce food, and for the surplus to be sold on the local markets of their cities and hotel projects, thereby encouraging ecotourism.
Financial support is sought to plant more trees, create fruit and observe other national and international markets. The development of these projects empowers their communities now and for future generations. It will also discourage the current illegal practices of wildlife poaching, trafficking wood, prostitution, gangs and the trafficking of illicit drugs.
At this time, our indigenous communities and we will be planting 38,000 native trees.
Costa RicaDiscover projects
Monte Alto Foundation, Costa Rica
Founded in 1993, the Monte Alto Foundation protects the high basin of the Nosara River by the creation and administration of 924 hectare forest reserve. In response to local deforestation pressures on the area surrounding the headwaters of the Nosara River, a source of drinking water and of well being for the inhabitants of the small town of Hojancha in the central highlands of the Nicoya peninsula, local farmers came together in 1994 to enhance local forest conservation and create the co-managed Monte Alto Protected Zone. This 924-hectare area was created by acquiring land for natural regeneration or reforestation. A co-management agreement with the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment ensures local participation in the area's management decisions.
The Fundación Pro Reserva Forestal , Monte Alto, continues to use monthly contributions from its member farmers to purchase additional land parcels, adding to the forest reserve area. Alternative income-generating activities such as ecotourism have helped to decrease reliance on clearing forest for cultivation for the community's 7,250 residents. The reserve is also excellent for bird watching. The Foundation was awarded with the National Environment Award “Guayacan” 1996 and the National Award for Healthy Communities by the WHO in 1998.
Asociación de Mujeres Waorani del Ecuador
Ecuador's Yasuní Man and the Biosphere Reserve is located at the intersection of the Amazon, the Andes mountains, and the equator—is home to extraordinary biodiversity and a recently contacted Amazonian indigenous group known as the Waorani (or Huaorani). Relatives of the Waorani, the Tagaeri and Taromenane, still live in voluntary isolation deep in the reserve, Developed in response to the uncontrolled poaching of wildlife in the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve (driven by local demand for bushmeat), Asociación de Mujeres Waorani del Ecuador is promoting organic cocoa cultivation as a wildlife protection measure and a pathway to local sustainable development. The association has created a land management plan that emphasizes zero deforestation, organic cocoa certification as a primary economic driver, and the management of subsistence hunting activities to protect threatened and vulnerable wildlife species. Community cocoa is processed into organic-certified chocolate, creating local access to new markets and more lucrative revenue streams. The association has been so successful at reorienting the local economy that the bushmeat market has been closed down. Women lead both organic farming and business management activities. Organic cocoa cultivation is complemented by activities in fish farming, fruit tree cultivation, and the operation of tree nurseries, which support both food security and reforestation needs. Revenues from the cocoa business have been invested into local education, health and infrastructure projects.
Sayaxche Municipality in Petén, Guatemala
The forests in the region of Sayaxche, Guatemala are under threat by palm oil conglomerates. Most communal lands have been sold to palm plantation owners. The plots that remain in the hands of the indigenous Quek’chi farmers are to be reforested with Maya Nut in 2014, 2015 and 25,000 trees in 2016. It should be noted that women are the primary beneficiaries of the Maya Nut programs.
Since the 1990’s, many new settlers have come to Petén. The area is experiencing severe deforestation in its southern half. Deforestation has been particularly rapid near Laguna del Tigre National Park in western Petén.
To combat deforestation, Guatemalan, former President, Álvaro Colom, proposed dramatically expanding ecotourism around Mayan archaeological sites, especially El Mirador, and further developing an agricultural system in the southern portion of the Maya Biosphere Reserve that would prevent further northward migration. He called his plan “Cuatro Balam”.
Local partners in this reforestation are the Ministry of Agriculture in Guatemala and the communities of:
- El Horizonte
- Zuchitan de Melchor
- Lachaquilaito Poptun
- Sembradores Ecologicos Sayaxche
- Macul arriba Dolores
- UNCADI San Luis
- Laureles las Cruces
- Barrio el Centro Sayaxche
- La Maya Itza Las Cruces
- La Técnica agropecuaria
- Grupo San Francisco
- El Limon Flores
- Setul Sayaxche
Trees, Water & People, Haiti
Trees, Water & People (TWP) is a multifaceted organization, currently supporting community-led reforestation projects in Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Between 1998 - 2014, an impressive 5,652,803 trees were planted. In addition to planting and protecting trees, their programs focusing on: establishing and maintaining tree nurseries; educating communities about positive environmental impacts of reforestation; and strengthening economic development through conservation and the management of forest resources. TWP partners with local groups already organized in their efforts for sustainable practices, as well as with schools and communities in low-income rural areas. They provide guidance on how to maintain their trees by planting and grafting. The tree nurseries produce the native tree seedlings, which are planted in deforested areas and on local family land. Some of the mature trees are used for firewood and fruit production, while others remain for the entire life cycle of the tree, beneficial in sequestering carbon and creating healthy soils and watersheds.
Indian Farm Forestry Development Cooperative Limited’s Project in Uttar Pradesh, India
Covering 549 acres (222 hectares), this Indian Farm Forestry Development Co-operative Limited (IFFDC) project is being implemented in the Uttar Pradesh districts of Allahabad, Sultanpur, Pratapgarh, Unnao and Lucknow. The primary goal of the IFFDC is to reduce an estimated 169,554 CO2e (carbon monoxide equivalent) over the course of its 30-year lifetime and has been designed to assist farmers, both men and women, promote the establishment of plantations on wasteland and marginally productive lands. This is achieved by organizing primary farm/forestry cooperatives. Project activities are aimed at improving soil and water conservation that help to bring about ecological balance and generate consistent employment for the rural poor. The target group comprises small and marginal farmers who own less than 4.9 acres (two hectares) each, as well as those without land of their own, making up more than 90 percent of the total membership.
Yayasan Orangutan Sumatera Lestari – Orangutan Information Centre (OIC) Ketambe Reforestation and Ecotourism Development Initiative (KREDI) Indonesia
This Indonesian reforestation initiative is primarily focused on saving orangutans with an added component of fostering tourism. The Orangutan Information Center (OIC) has been in operation in Sumatra, Indonesia since 2001, raising awareness in the local communities as well as the local government about ecosystem conservation. The orangutan is the flagship species because of its critically endangered status because of their compromised habitat. The participation of the local communities is vital to the success of the OIC initiative through environmental education, training programs and sustainable development practices.
At present, the OIC works in Northern Sumatra, including a UNESCO World Heritage Site, at a grassroots level in raising awareness of the importance of sustainable practices and ecosystem conservation. Run by Indonesian conservationists, drawn from conservation science, forestry and environmental education backgrounds, they instill pride in the local communities for their efforts in conservation practices. The community then owns the fate of Indonesia’s endemic species and natural habitats. Their methods work more successfully than most international efforts because of their knowledge of local needs.
For Orangutans to thrive, the need for community knowledge and practices is urgent. This species once populated vast areas of the forests of Southeast Asia but are now confined to two islands in Indonesia and Malaysia where two genetically distinct species exist, the Sumatran Orangutan and the Bornean Orangutan. The former is predicted to become the first Great Ape species to go extinct in the wild because of the lost forests by human development. Vast spans of forests were depleted to agricultural plantations as well as the illegal natural resource extraction. There are now less than 900,000 hectares of orangutan habitat left standing. As a result, the Sumatran Orangutan has had a population depletion of over 86% in the past 100 years making it critically endangered. With the current rate of habitat loss, certain extinction could occur within 50 years. The forests not only ensure the fate of the orangutans, but offer valuable ecological services such a water for consumption and irrigation, soil fertility, flood control and climate regulation, all vital for its biodiversity value and restoration for an economic value to be gained far higher than for deforestation for oil palm, logging and other developments.
Arab Group for the Protection of Nature (APN)
Location: Campaigns run in Jordan and Palestine
“APN seeks to strengthen the capacity of the Arab peoples to sustain the region’s natural resources and gain sovereignty over them, particularly in areas suffering from war and occupation.”
APN was established in 2003 by a group of motivated persons concerned with the protection of the environment and the natural resources in Arab countries against hazards including the impacts to the environment from war and foreign occupation. They seek to strengthen the capacities of Arab peoples to sustain and control their natural resources and work toward promoting and advocating regional and global environmental issues.
Their objectives are to implement efforts for rehabilitation and sustainability of natural resources in the Arab region and influence efforts for global environmental policies as well as enhancing the role of civil society organizations through effective partnerships.
Current initiatives include a One Million Trees Campaign (MTC).
Another initiative, The Green Caravan, engages students toward the planting of trees. They, in turn, work to combat lack of green spaces and threats of desertification, overgrazing and urban sprawl in Jordan. The project educates school students on the importance of nature and conservation in addition to the environmental impacts of the misuse of agricultural lands. APN communicates with local councils and institutions to ensure proper sites for planting, communicating with schools to encourage student involvement and obtains proper documentation for projects while ensuring sites are well-guarded, watered and follow-up of the community involvement.
Major achievements include, to name a few, building a Green Garden in the town of Tafilah to offset the damage of the 2012 frost, planting seedlings in the Karamah forest in the village of Sammakiyeh in the town of Karak, cleaning and planting al-Zahra’ garden in the Ruseifah in conjunction with Amman municipality and Jordan University and implementing agricultural activities in several schools around the country.
Kwetu Training Centre for Sustainable Development, Kenya
Founded in 1997, the Kwetu Training Centre is based in Kenya’s coastal district of Kilifi where it uses a model demonstration site and extensive youth group engagement to promote sustainable environmental management of the coast’s mangrove forests. This has involved voluntary reforestation efforts and development of silviculture based around the mangrove ecosystems, such as crab farming, bee keeping and ecotourism. To this end, the center has recently constructed a boardwalk through the local mangrove forests. As local illiteracy rates are high, Kwetu uses methods such as dance, drama, and music to convey conservation messages to local communities, and especially youth, while the group also runs a campaign to raise HIV/AIDS awareness. Its role as a critical support system for local initiatives has resulted in widespread impact along the coast, including the planting of more than 190,000 mangrove seedlings since 2007.
Eden Projects, Madagascar
Eden Projects is dedicated to advancing reforestation in four countries: Haiti, Madagascar, Ethiopia and Nepal. All of these countries have experienced severe deforestation and the ensuing consequences. For example, in Ethiopia, a startling 98% of the forests have been destroyed in the last 50 years. In Haiti, less than 2% of the land is forested compared to 60% just 80 years ago, presenting a devastating environmental problem and urgent response.
The Eden Project aims to reverse deforestation while addressing extreme poverty in these areas. This challenge starts with engaging local villagers in these efforts, which in turn, provides the villagers and their families a much needed income while strengthening the overall communities in which they live.
The success of the organization speaks for itself with the cumulative planting of approximately 90 million trees! The general organization structure appears transparent and trustworthy, and their existing network might be useful to engage sponsors in the World School Championship in Reforestation. According to the information on the website, planting one tree requires $0.1, and hence with an amount of $10, an additional 100 trees could be planted.
Forests for Monarchs
Location: La Cruz, Mexico
Beneficiaries: Re-forestation efforts
Biodiversity: Sustainable forests, Butterflies (Monarchs)
Deforestation is a critical problem in Mexico that affects over one-half the country's forests, negatively impacting ecosystems, watersheds and the well being of all inhabitants. Where forested mountaintops were once home to millions of Monarch butterflies arriving each fall, after flying up to 2,000 miles from the northern U.S. and Canada, there are now just islands of remnant forests surrounded by plowed fields and cutover lands. Highland lakes are filling with silt from bare slopes that were once forested.
WSC is supportive of their efforts because Forests for Monarchs is making a difference. Since 1997, trees have been distributed to communities and small landowners, and the resulting new forests are greening up the mountainsides, helping restore watersheds and giving the people new hope for the well being of their families. By the end of the 2012 planting season, over 6 million organically grown pine and other native tree seedlings had been planted.
Forests for Monarchs is a project of La Cruz Habitat Protection Project, Inc., a U.S. non-profit organization, in partnership with La Cruz Habitat Protection Project – Mexico in support of the planting and management of sustainable new forests in Michoacan, Mexico and beyond
Green Hill Valley
Elephant Camp with Re-Plantation
Beneficiaries: Re-forestation efforts
Biodiversity: Former timber enterprise, fauna, flora, trees.
“It is our intention to support and improve the health and education of the local villages. We also wish to maintain the natural environment by re-planting and conserving the forest.”
– Green Hill Valley
Green Hill Valley elephant camp, located in Southeast Asia, is setting up a project in the Kalaw area focusing on protecting the local ecology, elephants and traditions of the local people. The region is known for its abundance of natural beauty including birds, butterflies, orchids, teak and bamboo forests. It began in 2011 by Founders, Htun Htun Wynn, Tin Win Maw, Project Manager, U Ba Kyaw Than and two elephants. Five more elephants were later adopted who retired from Myanmar Timber Enterprise under the Ministry of Forestry.
Green Hill Valley supports the local villages in improving their health and education while maintaining the natural environment for conservation of the forests as well as replanting of de-forested areas. GHV welcomes visitors to the camp to explore the forest and to be directly involved in their forest recovery efforts by planting one tree for each.
WSC supports the GHV because of their forest recovery program, created for people who love to conserve the nature and environment. With a background history of timber works sites and forestry, Myanmar has less forests than at any time in past centuries. More than ½ of the country’s landscape was covered by forests, but today, the absence of forests has left the area prone to climate change and its effects. We are going to be a part of this effort to help restore the regions natural habitats while GHV works to introduce visitors to their multifaceted programs for learning and restoration.
Trees, Water & People, Nicaragua
Trees, Water & People (TWP) is a multifaceted organization, currently supporting community-led reforestation projects in Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti. Between 1998 - 2014, an impressive 5,652,803 trees were planted. In addition to planting and protecting trees, their programs focusing on: establishing and maintaining tree nurseries; educating communities about positive environmental impacts of reforestation; and strengthening economic development through conservation and the management of forest resources. TWP partners with local groups already organized in their efforts for sustainable practices, as well as with schools and communities in low-income rural areas. They provide guidance on how to maintain their trees by planting and grafting. The tree nurseries produce the native tree seedlings, which are planted in deforested areas and on local family land. Some of the mature trees are used for firewood and fruit production, while others remain for the entire life cycle of the tree, beneficial in sequestering carbon and creating healthy soils and watersheds.
Camino Verde, Peru
Located in the Amazon rainforest of Tambopata, southern Peru, one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world, Camino Verde is dedicated to preservation of this extraordinary bio-diversity through the planting of the regions most endangered trees. Our Living Seed Bank is a reforestation center and working farm representing over 300 species of trees with more then 20,000 individual trees planted to date.
In Tambopata and throughout the Amazon, the leading cause of deforestation is agriculture by slash and burn, but, an alternative to this ecologically destructive farming exists. Camino Verde practices and shares agro-forestry, another name for an ecologically sound, tree-based agriculture. The areas planted are highly diversified polycultures that imitate the structure of wild forest and provide habitat for animals while providing a perennial, diversified income to small farmers. Many of the species planted have never been planted elsewhere. As a result, Camino Verde is compiling a unique body of data on native species reforestation that will inform future efforts. They have also been actively sharing successes with local farmers, planting over 5000 trees. Additionally, Camino Verde's innovative strategies have been shared with farmers on 3 continents.
Trowel Development Foundation, Philippines
Founded in 2004, the Trowel Development Foundation is a community-based organization employing climate-adapted aquaculture technology to replant mangroves. Mangrove reforestation efforts have focused on planting native tree species in strategic areas, resulting in restored marine biodiversity, food security, and protection of coastal areas. The initiative also works to increase local incomes and improve livelihoods through a value-chain system to market tie-crabs. The group has established five community managed tie-crab farms that benefit 250 subsistence-fishing households. This innovation has been implemented in idle fishponds, where mangrove-friendly and climate adapted tie-crab fattening technology has been employed to double the income of fishing households.
In 2008, the idea for WeForest evolved out of a thorough search for scientific evidence of Global Warming, and in turn, to address this urgent issue by providing feasible, realistic and simple solutions for a business model. Co-founder, Bill Liao, Special Envoy for Sustainable Development and the Environment at St. Kitts and Nevis, along with Mary-Noelle Keijzer, decided to transform their powerful business model into an NGO. WeForest was established in Belgium in 2010 (non-profit organization) with a model of using trees as currency for companies to engage their millions of customers. It was enhanced in 2014 when, for the first time, brands distributed trees directly to their customers. As a result of this, over 8 million trees have been planted.
The company is comprised of a team of 20 professionals spread over 3 continents and 12 countries, all sharing the same commitment for a better world. Half of the team is made up of volunteers.