HOW RESPONSIBLE REFORESTATION CAN EMPOWER COMMUNITIES

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At EARTHDAY.ORG, we believe that a reforestation program is most successful when it benefits the people who live near planting sites. We know that reforestation offers many benefits when carried out responsibly — like healthier habitats and soil, less erosion, increased groundwater retention, carbon sequestration, increased food security and local economic benefits. So, it makes sense that these benefits should be felt and managed by local communities!

Our Canopy Project® reforestation initiative does just that. Our projects are carried out by local communities, and all benefits from the planted trees go to support the people who must care for them.

In Madagascar, The Canopy Project works to support rural farming villages that are facing difficult ecological conditions. Due to widespread cultivation of cash crops, as well as decades-long practices of slash-and-burn farming and illegal logging, much of Madagascar’s ecosystem has been damaged, making it more difficult for individuals to access the natural resources they need to support their families.

For rural communities in the area, subsistence agriculture remains a central focus of daily life, requiring them to rely on the stability of their surrounding habitat for their livelihood. Our project near Masoala National Park has supported the planting of over 70,000 trees in 2020, restoring the degraded forest around the village and providing a source of sustenance and income for over 110 subsistence farming families living near the planting site.

Four people stepping out of boat carrying trees to plant
The Canopy Project reforestation project in Madagascar

With support from Honest to Goodness™ — a new purpose-driven plant-based creamer brand — as well as our donors, we have been able to carry out a reforestation project in Madagascar that puts the local community first. Part of the B Corp™ movement, Honest to Goodness was founded on a mission to make a lasting, measurable positive impact on the local communities where its ingredients are grown. To connect their sourcing of vanilla from Madagascar with a community-conscious and purpose-driven project, Honest to Goodness is supporting the economic empowerment of local communities through our program. Our on-the-ground partners lead education and responsible forest management training for the farming families so that they can become lifelong stewards of their local environment and enjoy the benefits of a healthy forest.

The Canopy Project will continue to support this initiative in 2021 and beyond, with the help of Honest To Goodness and other donors. Want to support The Canopy Project? Consider donating to support our work in Madagascar and around the world!

Source: earthday.org 

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