The goal of this project is to revitalize deforested land in the Dominican Republic where, with our partner One Tree Planted, we aim to help plant and care for 1,275,000 trees.
Within the framework of the holistic "Plant With Purpose" approach, the restoration of the forest also aims to achieve sociological improvements. For example, many local farmers are to be involved in the project in order to raise awareness for the environment. As poverty decreases, competition for resources (such as land and fuel) diminishes, and communities come together in peace and reconciliation to improve and preserve the environment in their watersheds.
Reforestation through agroforestry is critical to restoring ecosystems, improving livelihoods, and promoting environmental stewardship. In the Dominican Republic, three different types of plots are used for reforestation: Forestry, Agroforestry for shade coffee, and Agroforestry for multi-story cacao. Farmers* choose which concept to apply on their land depending on the ecosystem and market demand. The seedlings are raised in nurseries located on the farmers' plots.
The local team has developed a three-pillar approach to restoration that leads to ecological regeneration, economic empowerment and spiritual renewal. This enables farmers to live and work in a way that protects their land as a byproduct of their values, rather than being imposed from above.
The key is that caring for the environment and the well-being of the community becomes an integral value for Plant With Purpose participants and their networks. For example, the program teaches the following tree care and maintenance techniques: tree seed collection and treatment, nursery establishment and management, tree planting techniques, grafting, pruning, and more. Tree species and locations are selected by community members and small farmers based on their needs and preferences. As a result, the farmers are highly motivated to think long-term and care for the trees over time.