Rather than preaching the unrelenting gloom and doom both for people and for the planet, the International Tree Foundation continues to emphasize on solutions by putting its focus towards environmental renewal through its three pronged approaches – Forest restoration, Agroforestry and engaging with the next generation stressing on sustainability. This, in essence, covers a holistic inclusion of right stakeholders, in recognition that in order to alleviate poverty we must spur economic growth through a healthy planet.
ITF’s deep involvement with communities aims at changing how people treat the environment, by making them aware of how they affect the environment – Community engagement is a way of ensuring that they have access to valued social settings and activities, capabilities to enable them to participate fully. One of the major reasons why we stress for a greater role by the community in making environmental decisions, is to actually protect their rights. The right to protect and manage natural resources, their right to live in a healthy environment.
Under the Engage the next Generation approach, “My 20 trees and me” is greatly inspiring as the project is a simple approach to help young children better understand how their decisions and actions affect the environment. All of this while building knowledge and skills necessary to address environmental issues around them. This project acknowledges that children are the future and educating them about the importance of environmental conservation will help ensure the long-term health of our planet for generations to come.
Indeed for me, this opportunity working with ITF has further inspired my own personal environmental renewal. Renewing my commitment and making a solid decision to help in my own personal way including making choices that benefit the earth, rather than hurt it! By learning to be respectful of the planet, we can slow down many of the threats to the environment so that future generations can enjoy the same natural ressources we often take for granted such as air and water.
– Aisha Karanja, ITF Campaign Manager