To help communities in Central America and Haiti protect and replant their forests.
To keep the Earth's forests healthy, the forests that remain must be protected, and new trees planted to replace the ones that have been cut down. But because human needs are part of the equation too, TWP's approach to reforestation involves more than just protecting forests and planting trees.
We began reforestation work in Central America in 1998 after the devastation of Hurricane Mitch. Widespread deforestation left the region vulnerable to disaster as torrential rains ripped unimpeded down steep mountainsides, causing floods and landslides. The hurricane killed over 11,000 people in Latin America and left 8,000 missing, mostly in Nicaragua and Honduras.
Since then, TWP has created successful community reforestation projects in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Self-sufficient, sustainable community tree nurseries in these countries allow local people to produce tens of thousands of native tree seedlings and plant them in deforested areas.
The program trains local entrepreneurs to grow and graft valuable fruit and forest trees and also provides micro-enterprise loans to start their own nurseries. Nursery workers can increase their incomes by selling the fruit on the local or international markets, or by selling trees to other local families and farmers. Planting trees on agricultural land also helps farmers diversify their crops and reduce soil erosion.
Much of the success of these programs is a result of working with existing local groups and local communities in low-income rural and urban areas. These projects not only help to protect native forests and watersheds, but improve people's lives by protecting their health and raising their standard of living.
Since 1998, TWP has helped grow and plant over 3,400,000 trees in Central America. This effort has helped local people preserve their remaining forests, protect their water supplies, replant degraded parts of their forests, increase their incomes, and learn agroforestry techniques to preserve their soil.
1. Plant trees to combat local deforestation and soil erosion
2. Provide income to local communities through growing trees in self-sufficient, community-based nurseries
3. Provide sustainable fuelwood
4. Help communities sustainably manage their natural resources