Gorongosa National Park Mozambique

When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace and hope. — Wangari Maathai

I am always wary very wary of enterprises that claim to be helping others.

Tony’s Chocolonely, garish bars, branding exercise, poor quality industrial chocolate, FairTrade scam, chocolate produced by a company with links to slave plantations.

Recently launched Cauz Coffee, branding exercise by Cauz Clothing, buy our hyped coffee and we donate 50% of our profits to cancer.

But it does not have to be.  As we learn from conversation Emily Barker and Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood over a cup of coffee, it does not have to be.

Coffee grown at high altitude, in the shade of trees, the coffee cherries ripening slowly the beans sought after for high quality coffee. We need the trees, we need the trees to be protected, sale of the coffee beans brings money into the area and a reason not to destroy the trees.

In Ethiopia, a designated forest, protected status, sadly counts for nothing. A joint project, Kew Gardens and Union. Kew Gardens mapped the forest, Union offered to buy coffee beans collected from the forest. Now local people have a reason to protect their forest.  The forest is important internationally. Wide biodiversity, wild coffee trees, watershed protection.

In Peru, Mayni people are harvesting shade-grown coffee from under the canopy of mature trees, with huge benefits for wildlife and the community.

99 Plus reforested a degraded cattle ranch. Panama Geisha grows in the shade of the trees. The green beans highly sought after, micro-lots sell for very high price.

Conservation has to take account of people. If not, the conservation will fail.

Nelson Mandela

It is important for conservation and rural development to be combined. Conservationists must take account the needs of the people around the reserves.

Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique is working with local communities, supporting agriculture, health and education.

The growing of high quality arabica is bringing money into local hands, supports local projects.

We need to see Doughnut Economics Gorongosa, this would address poverty whilst at the same time sustaining the natural world on which we all depend.

The rain shadow side of the Andes was barren, nothing would grow. Non-native, trees, all that would grown in the environment were planted, these in turn protected native species, now a forest teeming with wildlife.

Wangari Maathai

It is the people who must save the environment. It is the people who must make their leaders change. And we cannot be intimidated. So we must stand up for what we believe in.

Founded in 1977 by Professor Wangari Maathai, the Green Belt Movement (GBM) has planted over 51 million trees in Kenya. GBM works at the grassroots, national, and international levels to promote environmental conservation; to build climate resilience and empower communities, especially women and girls; to foster democratic space and sustainable livelihoods.

In England we have heavy rain in the winter leading to saturated ground and flooding. Hard flood defences do not work, sends floodwater downstream. We need rewilding, agroforestry, grass-grazed agriculture.

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