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Community Forests International works in Canada and Zanzibar to help protect and restore forests, support communities adapt to climate change, build economic prosperity, and champion social equality. Community Forests International is committed more than ever to centring not only forests but also climate justice in our vision, mission, and actions — understanding that by acting with justice people will be the restorative force that the world needs.
We know that fostering strong relationships between people and forests is critical for a safe future. Our solutions always benefit both forests and the people directly connected to them. Community Forests International believes the most important climate solutions can be found wherever people live and work closely with forests.
Community Forests International was created in 2006 when Mbarouk Mussa Omar, a community activist on Pemba Island, Zanzibar, befriended a Canadian tree-planter travelling in the region. Their vision to bring back the region’s forests and help communities adapt to climate change sparked an island-wide movement based on respect, trust and friendship that continues to this day. The success of these grassroots efforts inspired Community Forests International to open an office in New Brunswick in 2010 and continue our mission to support community-led climate solutions across the Maritimes.
We know that fostering strong relationships between people and forests is critical to ensuring a climate-secure future — whether on the islands of Zanzibar, the coast of Mozambique, or the Canadian Maritimes. While the special regions we work in are home to different ecosystems and unique challenges, our solutions always benefit both forests and the people directly connected to them.
From restoring degraded lands for immediate environmental and economic benefits, protecting forests for long-term ecosystem and livelihood benefits, to supporting climate-adaptive practices, markets, and innovations intended to enhance livelihoods in the face of climate change — the solutions we help build centre long-term environmental and community resilience. We employ a people-based approach that enables rural communities most directly connected to forests to adapt and thrive alongside their surrounding forest ecosystems.
The effects of the climate crisis are being felt earlier and more rapidly than expected — but not equally by all people or communities. Working to rebalance the scales of injustice and dismantling the underlying inequalities in our society is critical to strengthening our ability to collectively respond and adapt to the climate crisis over the next decade and century. We are committed to challenging all forms of oppression in the movement for climate justice.
Browse our annual reports to learn about the meaningful impact of our work over the past ten years and the proven pathways to resilience that are increasingly needed in so many at-risk communities at the center stage of climate impacts today.
Help communities and forests thrive by by making a one-time donation or signing up to become a monthly supporter.
For over 10 years we have been empowering rural communities to thrive with forests. Check out some of our impact to date:
Co-creating solutions for people and the planet.
Protecting endangered forests by holding them in trust.
Planting back lost forests for future generations.
Supporting climate-smart innovation.