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The Coastal Forest of Eastern Africa is rated first worldwide for ecological diversity and 8th most endangered. 40% of this forest type is found in the coastal regions of Zanzibar. For the past ten years, we’ve been working with our local sister organization to establish community-owned and operated tree nurseries that grow over 30 different species of trees for ecosystem restoration, food production and income generation. To date, 2.5 million trees have been planted in 32 different communities across Pemba Island.
Planting trees is only the first step, though! Tree planting only works if it also works for the communities in which projects are based. That’s why we plant forests that serve a variety of community needs, including food production and income generation. The ownership of land on which a new forest grows is also fundamental to the success of any tree planting investment, and if the status of the land is not secure, the future of the forest will always be uncertain. To ensure that new forests are protected from intense harvesting, we facilitate community conservation agreements with local governments.