This is our last post for 2010 and just like we did in 2008 and 2009, we dedicate it to announce that the annual assessments (2009-10) of our planting partners are now available online!
Here's a little bit more about these assessments: As part of our pledge to quality service to our customers, we decided at the beginning of our operations to conduct annual assessments of our planting partners.The two main goals of these assessments are: 1. to verify the quality of the planting operations and to make sure the high standards we promise to our customers are kept and 2. to provide our customers with details on the tree planting operations they support to balance out their books.
As always, the trees planted by our planting partners provide multiple significant benefits to both the local communities in the areas where they are planted and to the environment. This year we had an example of it in Guatemala in the tragic circumstances of the tropical storm Agatha that took place in May 2010, causing horrific flooding and mudslides (see photo below, credit: Ann Hallum) that killed at least 145 people, washed away crops and highways, and hundreds of homes. Particularly hard hit was the Department of Chimaltenango where AIR works. Dr. Ann Hallum, the Director of AIR, reports about the difference AIR's trees made then on AIR's assessment:
During the summer of flooding, 2010, I witnessed most dramatically the power of trees (especially pine trees, with their deep tap roots). Over and over again, we saw that where there were no trees, the mudslides occurred, and in areas right next to a slide with trees, the mountainside held together. More than once, we saw a young forest planted by AIR stop the mudslides that would have destroyed small houses below, and a stream. As the AIR technician said, “the trees stood against the mud like little soldiers.” We are planting more urgently than ever!
AIR tree nursery; Santa Apolonia; Rebecca Hallum, Anne Hallum, with Luis Iquique and the resident committee, June 2010 (photo: Ann Hallum)
This is the third year we're conducting these assessments. You are invited to read them (see links below) and also visit our planting partners' websites to learn more about them. Links to both the first year's and second year's assessments for each of our planting partners, as well as links to their websites, are available on our planting partners page.
Another example is Malawi, Africa where our partner RIPPLE Africa is working. Their video below shows the effects of deforestation and bush burning in Malawi and also illustrates the woodland conservation program that RIPPLE Africa has initiated there.
This video shows both sides of reality in Malawi - deforestation and frustration on one side and reforestation and hope on the other side, which we're proud to support.
Another video we would like to recommend is Planting Hope - The Story of Sustainable Harvest International (Video generously filmed & produced by Myriad Media) that provides a closer look at the great work our partner SHI is doing in Central America, including the planting of over 2.7 million trees in countries such Belize, Panama, Nicaragua and Honduras since 1997.
Here are links to the three reports:
RIPPLE Africa's assessment
We will keep you posted of course with more data, photos and videos from the planting operations! Thanks again to our planting partners and to everyone that was involved in the work on the assessments.
Happy New Year!
Raz @ Eco-Libris