Yale International Tropical Forestry School
The International Tropical Forestry Conference at Yale University was inspiring and educational as ever. This year Tree Jenny our founder and tireless leader attended the Yale ISTF 2019 as a Breakout Session educator giving a 2 hour interactive talk about transgression and disturbance of the forest and how we can create resilient forest communities in the face of these destructive times. With real time videos documenting conversations of people both in Costa Rica and Kenya discussing the drivers of deforestation, it is clear that poverty is the leading cause of deforestation. Our model of fair pay resolves this issue and inspires regeneration not only of local landscapes and ecosystems, but also of the family itself with income for both men and women being paid from the tree production, compost building and tree planting and maintenance activities.
It is such a great experience when people managing small groups in other Equatorial countries ask us about our model and how they can use it too. More and more, people and institutions are recognizing that the answer to forest conservation and regeneration lies in empowering local communities and investing them with effective tools of self management. People from Nigeria ( Melechie and Marshall) and Malaysia ( Sitti) and even the Phillipines like Marta are ready to replicate our fair pay programs in their seriously threatened landscapes and communities. We met people from Kenya like Milka who are working to help their communities of Indigenous peoples stay in their lands and resist evictions for "conservation" reasons. We met other researchers from Kenya who are seriously excited to connect with us and learn from our program recently begun with the Maasai Center for Regenerative Pastoralism.
The Costa Rican project continues to be the premier example of high growth rates for maximum carbon dioxide sequestration. We showed many videos of all the labor necessary to actually grow a tree to strong maturity approximately 4 years old and ready to brave the elements and give us all the benefits trees in the equatorial rainforest are so cherished for giving. Realizing that we can all give back to Mother earth and play a role in being part of effective solutions to climate change and land degradation and to flooding and droughts is incredibly heart warming.
For now, it is unfortunately clear that international funding for tree planters is still a revolutionary idea and still tree planters are treated like slaves who have to work for free simply because they are so vulnerable and poor. When the internatioanal funding institutions realize that paying tree planters is basically tantamount to stopping deforestation, perhaps large scale change and regeneration will be easier. For now, it is still up to all of us to keep funding this endeavor while we continue to apply for grant funding with our paradigm changing model of fair pay for biodiverse community reforestation including men and women across the Equator. Thank you our generous Tree Sponsors!!!
Welcome to Yale ISTF 2019
New Tree friends from Nigeria
Marta from the Phillipines
Malaysia wants our fair pay tree planting model
Milka from Kenya Sengwer Community
Breakout Sessions shared fascinating info