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January 31, 2024 by Rebecca Jacobs

Empowering Zanzibari Women: The ZanzADAPT Project Unveiled

Community Forests International and Community Forests Pemba are excited to announce the newest collaborative effort—Zanzibar Women’s Leadership in Adaptation Project, ZanzADAPT. This transformative initiative is poised to empower women in vulnerable coastal communities, fostering gender equality and resilience to the increasing challenges of a changing climate. Ranked 160th out of 189 nations on the UN… Read more »

November 1, 2023 by Rebecca Jacobs

Into the Wabanaki: A Forest Care Guide

Your Path to Forest Stewardship At Community Forests International, we are thrilled to introduce the much-anticipated launch of “Into the Wabanaki: A Forest Care Guide.” This isn’t just another forest guide; it’s your portal to a remarkable journey deep into the heart of the Wabanaki Forest. As stewards and caretakers of this special forest, our… Read more »

November 15, 2023 by Rebecca Jacobs

Cultivating Abundance: Suleiman Mrisho Mwita’s Farm

Nestled in the vibrant landscapes of Zanzibar, Suleiman Mrisho Mwita’s farm stands as a living canvas painted by the hands of sustainable farming, guided by the seasoned expertise of Community Forests Pemba (CFP). His journey began in the early 2000s when he transitioned from a public servant to a steward of the land in 1998.… Read more »

November 8, 2023 by Rebecca Jacobs

Npilanej Wksu’skik | Let’s Heal the Hemlocks

The Hemlock forests of Asitu’lisk are not just a treasure of nature’s beauty; they are a sanctuary for countless species and a safehouse of traditional knowledge. However, a looming threat, the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), poses a serious danger to these forests. This tiny invasive insect, driven north by climate change, has the potential to… Read more »

November 16, 2023 by Rebecca Jacobs

Entrepreneurial Resilience Unveiled: Mwana Khamis Kombo’s Success Tale

In the vibrant colours of Wete Market, Mwana Khamis Kombo shines as a testament to entrepreneurial prowess and unwavering determination. Juggling the roles of a farmer and a market vendor, Mwana defies conventions, making her mark in both agriculture and trade. Her business acumen extends beyond local boundaries, with Mwana Khamis strategically sourcing produce from… Read more »

June 29, 2023 by shalan joudry

Being People of the Dawn-Land

In Wapna’ki, we are the first to welcome the morning sun each day before the rest of Turtle Island (North America). We are first to give thanks to the new day. What does that mean to me when i look around this landscape as the sun rises? It is the geography of the landscape that… Read more »

August 29, 2023 by Community Forests International

Be a Catalyst for Change: Why Monthly Donors Matter

At Community Forests International, we believe that collective action is the key to a thriving future, and you can play a pivotal role by joining our community of dedicated monthly donors. Getting to the Roots of Monthly Giving Just like the ecosystems we strive to protect, our collective efforts shape the world we live in.… Read more »

July 15, 2023 by Rebecca Jacobs

Growing Dreams: Hassan Kombo

In the heart of Pemba Island, Zanzibar, Hassan Kombo, a seasoned farmer with two decades of experience, has not only cultivated the land but also sown the seeds of a transformative journey. In 2022, Hassan embraced a new chapter by joining Community Forests Pemba in hopes of elevating his agricultural practices. While Hassan possessed substantial… Read more »

June 12, 2023 by Daimen Hardie

Adapting to Disaster

Co-written by Daimen Hardie and Megan de Graaf. As we write this, our communities in the Wabanaki region are reckoning with several wildfires, including the largest wildfire ever recorded in Nova Scotia. Homes for both people and wildlife have been lost, many families displaced, and acres of forest ecosystem gone. Forest stewards and caretakers have… Read more »

June 12, 2023 by Megan de Graaf

Five Ways to Prepare for Carbon Offsets Markets

A Short Guide for Land Stewards Forest carbon offsets opportunities available to forest stewards are starting to pop up across the Maritimes. Each program is different and will vary in its accessibility, requirements, and the amount that it pays for carbon offsets. While you continue to evaluate emerging opportunities, there are several things that you… Read more »

May 11, 2023 by Rebecca Jacobs

Springtime in the Wabanaki Forest

Spring has arrived, and it’s the perfect time to venture into the wonders of the forest. As the snow melts and days grow longer, the whole ecosystem undergoes a remarkable transformation. So lace up your hiking shoes and get ready to discover the wonders of the season. Here’s what to look out for when exploring… Read more »

March 1, 2023 by Rebecca Jacobs

More Found Forests

You asked, we answered! You wanted to learn more about the Forgotten Forests in our care, so today we’re featuring a few more of these special places. In case you missed it: in the summer of 2022, Community Forests launched the Forgotten Forest campaign to secure 2,500 acres of forest for restoration and long-term protection.… Read more »

February 28, 2023 by Monica Allaby

$1 million for climate-focused forestry

Community Forests International is pleased to announce that it has received a $1 million grant from TD Bank Group as part of the 2022 TD Ready Challenge, a North American-wide initiative that provides funding to the top 10 organizations developing innovative and impactful responses to climate change. “One-third of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed… Read more »

January 30, 2023 by Rebecca Jacobs

Asitu’lɨsk: Land Full Circle

If you’ve been part of our community for a while, you’ll probably have seen news of an incredible forest and space in Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia) called Windhorse Farm. This enchanting natural landscape consists of the ancient Forest Wapane’kati and its riparian zone on the shores of Atuomkuk (Wentzell) Lake and the Pijnuiskaq (LaHave) River. These… Read more »

January 30, 2023 by Rebecca Jacobs

Finding Forgotten Forests

If you’ve ever visited or lived in the Maritime Provinces of eastern Canada, you are probably familiar with the Wabanaki Forest. Perhaps you’ve even walked through the woods to immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of life that are part of this special ecosystem. Yet, most of the forests in this region are not… Read more »

January 10, 2023 by Rebecca Jacobs

Caring For Our Common Ground

Announced in April of 2021, the initial phase of the Common Ground project began an exploratory partnership between Community Forests International, the Nova Scotia Family Forest Network, and the Ulnooweg Development Group. What started as an effort to empower nature-based climate action throughout communities in the Maritimes quickly expanded into partnerships and increased solidarity among… Read more »

December 15, 2022 by Megan de Graaf

Why forest complexity matters for biodiversity and resilience

Forests are rich in biodiversity. They are home to an incredible variety of plants, animals, and microorganisms. According to this analysis by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, forests contain approximately 80% of the world’s amphibian species, 75% of bird species, and 68% of mammal species. Protecting forests is critical for… Read more »

December 8, 2022 by Rebecca Jacobs

Local knowledge is key to protecting biodiversity

The recent United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) has been a reminder for the conservation community about the need to place Indigenous and local knowledge at the heart of biodiversity efforts—including protecting and restoring the world’s forests. Forests are beautifully diverse ecosystems. Globally, forests contain over 60,000 different tree species, 80% of amphibian species, 75% of… Read more »

November 16, 2022 by Monica Allaby

Weaving Wabanaki and Western knowledge with Suzanne Greenlaw

Suzanne Greenlaw is combining Wabanaki ecological knowledge and Western scientific knowledge to improve access to culturally significant plants. In creating Below the Canopy, our new podcast, we’ve had the privilege and opportunity to connect with a roster of inspiring guests, including none other than Suzanne Greenlaw, a citizen of the Hulton Band of Maliseet Indians… Read more »

October 26, 2022 by Monica Allaby

Meet Jocelyn Marshall: Knowledge-Keeper, Educator, and Inspiration

The Common Ground Project has introduced Community Forests International to some remarkable people over the last 18 months. One of these people is Jocelyn Marshall, who works as Indigenous Relations Advisory in special projects at Ulnooweg. Jocelyn is a knowledge keeper and Band Council member from Potlotek First Nation, who grew up surrounded by her… Read more »

October 2, 2022 by Monica Allaby

Below the Canopy with Jesse Saindon: Native Seeds to Thriving Forests

On just five acres of land, Jesse Saindon is growing a unique mix of native hardwood trees, including bur oak: an ecologically and culturally significant tree species. In September, Community Forests International launched Below the Canopy, a podcast that explores the relationships between people and forests—with a focus on the Wabanaki forest. Our host, Megan… Read more »

September 29, 2022 by Rebecca Jacobs

VIUNGO: Seeding Resilience

Just over two years ago, Community Forests launched the VIUNGO Project in Zanzibar. Translating to “ingredients” or “spice” in Swahili, VIUNGO is a four-year collaborative effort between local and international organizations in the region. Together, we are working to support small-scale farmers, empower women and youth, and boost economic growth and opportunity—key ingredients in a… Read more »

August 20, 2022 by Rebecca Jacobs

What does conservation mean for us?

What do we mean when we talk about forest conservation? At Community Forests International, our approach has always been to put community and climate at the forefront. Community: building relations for solutions. While the well-being of all communities is at the core of our work, we increasingly aim to centre those most impacted by the… Read more »

July 20, 2022 by Community Forests International

How an invasive species is impacting culture and forests.

In celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day 2022, we invite you to watch our short film, The Borer and the Basket, directed by Mi’kmaq filmmaker Desmond Simon. Through the traditional Indigenous craft of basket making, this film outlines the spiritual, ecological, and cultural practices at risk from the spread of the emerald ash borer, an… Read more »

July 2, 2022 by Community Forests International

Take Action Against Glyphosate

Community Forests International is firmly against spraying glyphosate on forestland and we ask you, our community, to voice your opposition. Glyphosate is used to suppress hardwood tree species that compete with industry-favoured softwood species. It is one of several forest management practices that is limiting our forest composition—eliminating the diversity that is critical to the… Read more »

June 28, 2022 by Monica Allaby

Acre by Acre: The Community Forests International Brand

There’s a small island in the Indian Ocean, in the Zanzibar Archipelago, that is home to vibrant communities, lush mangrove forests, and a rich history of spice farming. Community Forests International has worked in partnership with the people of Pemba Island for 15 years to support community-led projects that range from tree planting and agroforestry… Read more »

March 29, 2022 by Rebecca Jacobs

Forests Are Our Greatest Climate Solution

Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reductions Plan is here – but where does it leave our forests? On Tuesday, March 29, the Government of Canada released its 2030 Emissions Reductions Plan (ERP), announced as a “comprehensive roadmap” for greenhouse gas emission reductions.  Community Forests International applauds the ambitious commitments to empower communities to take climate action, most… Read more »

March 15, 2022 by Rebecca Jacobs

Melrose Hill: Forest For The Future

We are excited to announce that Community Forests International has successfully secured nearly 500 acres of forest in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, to protect for long-term community and climate benefits! This newly protected property marks the first expansion into the province for Community Forests International’s active conservation work, and we look forward to caring for… Read more »

January 20, 2022 by Abigail Christ-Rowling

A Call To Action For The Environmental Movement

A Resource Guide to Support Environmental Organizations in Decolonization Work In Canada, climate and environmental justice cannot be separated from Indigenous reconciliation. That is why Community Forests International is continually learning ways to centre Indigenous justice within our work to protect and restore the forest of the Wabanaki-Maritime region — all while working to inspire… Read more »

January 17, 2022 by Community Forests International

New Brunswick Forests Need the Wolastoqey Nation

In solidarity with the Wolastoqey Nation of New Brunswick. New Brunswick is a province defined by beautiful forests and rivers that support an abundance of life. For thousands of years before settlers arrived, long before the province of New Brunswick existed, the Wolastoqey Nation thrived in reciprocity with the forests of the Wolastoq watershed. Today,… Read more »

January 4, 2022 by Rebecca Jacobs

A better future is possible

At the 2021 Climate Change Conference (COP26), dozens of world leaders pledged to end global deforestation by 2030. But what does this mean for the Wabanaki forest in the Maritimes?  With a deforestation rate of 0.02%, deforestation seems to be of little concern in Canada. Yet this hides a more complex truth: that under business-as-usual, Canada’s forests… Read more »

December 14, 2021 by Monica Allaby

Introducing the Forest Accord

Community Forests International is delighted to present the Maritime Forest Accord, a new resource and storytelling hub dedicated to uplifting the vibrant community of people committed to forest stewardship in this region. We hope this platform will serve as a central resource hub for people and groups who care about the special forest in this… Read more »

November 11, 2021 by Mia Tran

Environmental Justice with Tina Oh

Community Forests International’s Environmental Justice intern Mia Tran had the opportunity to interview award-winning environmental justice activist, Tina Oh, to talk about what the movement means to her and what she sees for its future. Tina Oh is a migrant justice organizer with No One is Illegal – Halifax/Kjipuktuk (NOII-Hfx) and a master’s candidate in… Read more »

October 7, 2021 by Monica Allaby

How might climate change affect the Wabanaki forest?

The Wabanaki forest—also referred to as the Acadian forest—roughly spans Wabanakik, a region that encompasses the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and parts of New England. This unique forest type is an eco-region transition zone, boasting tree species found in both the boreal forest, to the north, and the… Read more »

October 26, 2021 by Rebecca Jacobs

The Wabanaki Forest

You may have noticed that over the past year, we have begun to refer to the forest in the Maritimes as the Wabanaki-Acadian Forest, or simply the Wabanaki Forest. You may be wondering where this name comes from or why we’ve made this change. In Canada, climate justice cannot be separated from Indigenous reconciliation and… Read more »

November 11, 2021 by Mia Tran

Towards Indigenous Reconciliation

In Canada and across the globe, there is increasing recognition of Indigenous leadership as essential to both the environmental movement and the interconnected demands for Truth and Reconciliation. In this second blog of the Environmental Justice series, we explore further the connection between environmental justice, forests, and reconciliation.  Patterns of Injustice The costs of environmental… Read more »

September 23, 2021 by Rebecca Jacobs

Restoring the Mangroves of Mozambique

Expanding Our Roots At the end of 2020, we announced that Community Forests was going to expand our reach to Mozambique. Last month a small team from Community Forests Pemba travelled to Mozambique as expert advisors to help build climate-adaptive livelihoods and community-led mangrove restoration. This is the first of many collaborations for Community Forests.… Read more »

November 4, 2021 by Mia Tran

What is Environmental Justice?

Environmental issues affect all of us — but not all of us equally. Marginalized groups and communities face disproportionate impacts of the climate crisis — while being the least responsible for its causes. Yet for as long as environmental harms and impacts have been made, environmental activists and communities have fought back. Today, that movement is… Read more »

September 27, 2021 by Rebecca Jacobs

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

On September 30th  we come together to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families, and their communities. Reconciliation is a complex process. It means Indigenous history education for all. It means food and land security, clean drinking water, and basic human rights… Read more »

August 13, 2021 by Rebecca Jacobs

A Movement for Environmental Rights

Community Forests International is very excited to join the Coalition for Environmental Rights. The Coalition is a diverse group of organizations and partners working towards environmental justice in Canada and to secure the right to a healthy environment, including clean air, water and soil, and a safe and stable climate. What are Environmental Rights? The… Read more »

July 27, 2021 by Rebecca Jacobs

Zanzibar’s Farmer Field Schools: Growing Resilience

One year ago, Community Forests launched the VIUNGO Project in Zanzibar. Translating to “ingredients” in Swahili, VIUNGO is a four-year collaborative effort between local and international organizations in the region. Together, we are working to support small-scale farmers, empower women and youth, and boost economic growth and opportunity – key ingredients in a recipe for… Read more »

June 15, 2021 by Community Forests International

Forests & Floods

Updated May 2023 to include new research from the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo. Community Forests International’s new report, Forests and Floods: Natural Infrastructure for a Green Recovery, highlights the important role that forests could play in reducing flood risk in New Brunswick and similarly impacted regions in Canada. The… Read more »

June 9, 2021 by Rebecca Jacobs

Walking Our Common Ground

Community Forests International is excited to announce the launch of the Common Ground project. A collaborative initiative between Community Forests International, The Ulnooweg Development Group, and The Nova Scotia Family Forest Centre, the Common Ground project seeks to mobilize citizen climate action in the rural Maritime region on the unceded territory of Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik… Read more »

May 21, 2021 by Rebecca Jacobs

Climate Justice is Resilience

The climate crisis affects us all — but not all of us equally. Marginalized and underprivileged individuals, groups, and communities face disproportionate impacts of the climate crisis — while being the least responsible for its causes. These struggles are often compounded by unequal access to the resources needed for urgent adaptation and mitigation efforts. Some… Read more »

March 31, 2021 by Monica Allaby

Protecting Forests and Supporting Rural Livelihoods

Community Forests International is helping family forest owners lead nature-based solutions to climate change. There are more than 80,000 family forests across the Maritimes Provinces. Stewarding these forests for carbon storage could make a significant contribution to climate change mitigation, but family forest owners in the region face challenges pursuing ecological forest management. This is… Read more »

March 30, 2021 by Monica Allaby

The Community Forests Story

You may be wondering how Community Forests International came to work in Atlantic Canada and in Zanzibar, Tanzania — two very distinct regions. Let’s take a look! In 2006, Mbarouk Mussa Omar — a community leader and climate activist on Pemba Island, Zanzibar — befriended a young Canadian tree-planter, Jeff Schnurr, who was traveling in… Read more »

March 7, 2021 by Rebecca Jacobs

Uplifting Women’s Equality

Translating to “ingredients” in Swahili, the VIUNGO Project is a four-year collaborative effort between local and international organizations in Zanzibar. Community Forests and our partners are working to support small-scale farmers, empower women and youth, and boost economic growth and opportunity – key ingredients in a recipe for resilience! In celebration of International Women’s Day,… Read more »

March 23, 2021 by Rebecca Jacobs

Tuko Pamoja – We Are Together

Tree planters are Community Forests’ roots. Back in 2006, co-founder Mbarouk Mussa Omar approached a young group of Canadian tree planters to discuss how to make tree planting a source of environmental and economic sustainability for communities of Pemba Island, Zanzibar. As Mbarouk said, “We started with an idea and then worked each and every… Read more »

February 26, 2021 by Rebecca Jacobs

Unlocking the potential of Zanzibar’s horticulture sector

At the end of 2020, Community Forests International was excited to announce the anticipated launch of the VIUNGO Project in Zanzibar. Translating to “ingredients” in Swahili, VIUNGO is a four-year collaborative effort between local and international organizations in the region. Community Forests and our partners are working to support small-scale farmers, empower women and youth,… Read more »

January 18, 2021 by Rebecca Jacobs

Innovative Forest Management on the Chignecto Isthmus

The Chignecto Isthmus is the narrow strip of land bridging Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. As the only transportation corridor between Nova Scotia and mainland Canada, the isthmus is vitally important for local communities and nature alike. Unfortunately, the region faces many threats–from natural habitat fragmentation to risk of flooding exacerbated by rising sea levels.… Read more »

September 29, 2020 by Monica Allaby

Can forests protect us from flooding?

Climate change is causing more frequent and extreme storms. For much of Canada, this will likely mean more flooding. Flood damages in Canada exceeded $1.8 billion between 2009 and 2017. Here in New Brunswick, the province has been forced to access federal disaster relief funding more than any other jurisdiction in Canada. Recent data shows… Read more »

July 30, 2020 by Monica Allaby

What are forest regeneration surveys and why are they important?

Healthy Acadian forests provide essential ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, water regulation, wildlife habitat, and recreation. Today, however, less than 5% of the Acadian forest remains in a pre-colonial condition. This is due to long-term intensive land-use and forestry practices that favour single-aged, softwood-dominated forests. We need to protect healthy forests for the immediate… Read more »

May 26, 2020 by Dani Miller

The Future of Nova Scotia’s Forests

In March, we visited Caledonia, Nova Scotia, to understand the challenges facing small private woodlot owners in the region Making a living off of the land is a rewarding, but challenging commitment. Small private woodlot owners, of which there are approximately 80,000 in Canada’s Maritime Provinces, face both new and persisting challenges in managing their forests.… Read more »

April 27, 2020 by Megan de Graaf

Sustainable Forest Management

At Community Forests International, we talk a lot about the importance about sustainable forest management. But what does “sustainable management” actually mean? Here in the the Maritime Provinces, the forestry industry has a long history of managing forests for a narrow set of goals, mostly to do with producing timber, which is then processed to… Read more »

March 26, 2020 by Daimen Hardie

We Adapt

As we wrapped up a video meeting with the Zanzibar team this morning, my colleague Omar chimed in with a question that’s been in the back of everyone’s mind: “I want to ask, what is our real plan for this planting season? Because of course so many people are still depending on us.” Omar is… Read more »

March 23, 2020 by Monica Allaby

A Family Forest Preserved

Community Forests International has acquired a 115-acre forest in Waterford, New Brunswick, about 15 kilometers from Sussex. The Sackville-based charity has now protected more than 1,170 acres of old forest in New Brunswick. The forest was donated to Community Forests International by Elizabeth (Betty) Lucas, née Buchanan. The forest belonged to her family since 1855,… Read more »

March 18, 2020 by Monica Allaby

A Time for Community and Compassion

Our team has received some thoughtful notes of solidarity from colleagues and partners around the world these last few days, and it’s really heartened us. We wanted to share some of our own thoughts in hopes they might help you all get through these stressful times. Like many of you, we are trying to process… Read more »

November 4, 2019 by Monica Allaby

Gender Equality and Climate Change

Anne and Daimen were recently invited onto the Femme Wonk podcast Katie Davey podcast to discuss the interplay between gender inequality and climate change vulnerability with host Katie Davey, drawing from our work in Zanzibar. “Without women being able to participate fully in income-diversifying activities and learning skills that will help them build resilience, whole… Read more »

May 3, 2019 by Megan de Graaf

8 Native Species for a Changing Climate in the Maritimes

Climate Change in the Acadian Forest Here in New Brunswick, we live amid a unique forest type known as the Acadian Forest. This forest type covers all of the Maritime provinces and northeastern US, and is a mix of cold-loving (boreal) species like spruces, poplar, grey and white birch, and balsam fir, and more southerly… Read more »

June 5, 2019 by Zach Melanson

Partnering for Climate Action

A Canadian architecture studio’s decision to become carbon neutral has resulted in the preservation of more than 1000 acres of endangered forest in the Maritimes — a legacy set to grow. In 2011, DIALOG became one of the first companies in Canada to offset carbon using forest renewal and restoration. The architecture firm has recently… Read more »

July 3, 2019 by Daimen Hardie

Can we grow spice like a forest?

In the spring of 2015, I put out a call for help. Our small team at Community Forests International was starting a new initiative — a spice agroforestry project on Pemba island, Zanzibar — and I knew we couldn’t do it alone. What happened next has taught me a lot about the process of innovation.… Read more »

July 3, 2019 by Zach Melanson

Women’s Empowerment

Salume Khamis walks up a path between two small adobe houses; one is partially converted into a small store selling dried goods and a few household items. She smiles broadly and greets her teacher, Siti Makame. When Salume first met Siti two years ago, she had a no personal income and a small garden that… Read more »

November 24, 2014 by Daimen Hardie

Can nature protect us?

How can we protect nature? This is a longstanding question in the conservation sector, maybe even the question of conservation. But I’d like to see it reversed. How can nature protect us? Turning this traditional line of thinking around offers a new perspective on our relationship with the natural world, and reveals some hope when… Read more »

June 21, 2019 by Daimen Hardie

Problem Solving with Friends

I’ll be honest, the first few times I heard the words social innovation, I tuned it out. These days social is so often pasted onto fundamentally bad things to make them seem less bad and innovation is forever used to make ordinary things sound new and exciting. I translated social innovation into the worst of… Read more »

August 14, 2019 by Zach Melanson

A Climate-Smart School on Njao Island

Update: March 3, 2021 We’ve just received news from Zanzibar that the climate-smart school will be officially inaugurated at the end of this month! The Zanzibar islands are one of the poorest regions in the world and are increasingly at risk of the effects of global climate change. Climate change is causing sea levels to… Read more »