At Trees, Water & People (TWP), our mission is to improve lives by helping communities to protect, conserve, and manage their natural resources.
We’ve designed conservation projects throughout Latin America and on U.S. Tribal Lands with one question in mind: How can we improve the environment while creating opportunity for local people? We believe that natural resources are best protected when local people play an active role in their care and management.
Over the last 20 years of work we have learned that our community members are our greatest allies in helping the planet which is why they are a part of the larger equation when we look at global-scale issues such as climate change. It’s vital that our community members play an integral role in the reforestation, clean cookstoves, STEM, and water catchment projects to ensure their sustainability. These project are based on a human-centric model of conservation that works towards meeting the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.
Together, we are creating tangible solutions for climate vulnerable populations on the front lines of the fight for the planet. In recent years, climate change has led to severe cycles of drought and flooding, resulting in the loss of soil fertility and annual crops, affecting rural farmers. Variability in climate and rising temperatures has also been detrimental to many of Central America’s coffee crops. These challenges, along with political strife, culminate into pressures leading to out migration of peoples and communities.
Internationally, TWP has worked for over 20 years in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras where deforestation is one of the most serious environmental problems facing these countries. They are confronting some of the toughest environmental challenges in history, but these can’t be viewed in isolation from their economic and social challenges. At the cutting edge of clean cookstoves in the early 2000’s Trees, Water & People has honed its methodology, research and implementation to grow a holistic model of conservation intertwined with water catchment and reforestation along with all of the indirect benefits to humans such as health, energy, gender and education equity. In 2018 alone we planted 147,000 trees.
On Tribal Lands, Trees, Water & People focuses on renewables, reforestation, STEM education, and community empowerment through employment. Since 2002, Trees, Water & People has worked on Tribal Lands in the United States to develop economically viable, culturally appropriate, renewable energy solutions with Native American communities to support energy equity in the United States. Through our reforestation program and STEM solar energy workshops tribal and non-tribal members from all over the country receive hands-on training in renewable energy applications from Native American instructors and guest teachers that implement Social Emotional skill building into the curriculum. We are currently working across 4 states with: The White Earth Ojibwe Tribe, Oglala Lakota Sioux on Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations, Pueblo of Santo Domingo and Hoopa Valley Tribe. In 2018 alone, we collaboratively planted 33,000 trees.