Can we reverse engineer development?

We often get asked how we choose the communities we support in Pemba.  It’s a great question with a simple answer – they choose us.  We’ve worked hard to build trust across the island, and we know it’s paying off because we are regularly approached by new groups wishing to join our tree-planting and climate change adaptation efforts.  One of the most rewarding parts of our job is being invited into a community to witness the struggles its people are facing - then setting to work with our local team to solve those problems together.

As of late we've been turning the the tables in a way and inviting outside perspectives and help into our own communities here in the Maritimes.  It’s part of our ongoing effort to inspire truly innovative solutions at home and abroad.  Specifically, we’ve enlisted the aid of Mr. Mbarouk Mussa Omar, founder and Executive Director of our Tanzanian sister organization Community Forests Pemba (CFP), and his colleague Mr. Michael Tritchler.  Some of the challenges we're exploring with Mbarouk and Michael include the impacts of sea level rise on our coastal communities, regional food security in a changing climate, and the management of our greatest natural wealth - our forests. 

Pembans are emerging as leaders of climate change adaptation in their region, and we think they can offer some valuable lessons to Canadians.  What do you think?  Can we reverse engineer development?  Can a change in perspective change the whole playing field? Can Africa save rural Canada?  

Please stay tuned for updates on our experiment in turing development on its head - it promises to be interesting, and maybe even revolutionary.

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