Colorado: Trees, Water People (TWP) protects the world’s trees

A group called Trees, Water People (TWP) are like many NGO’s who work
with impoverished peoples cooking and firewood needs by helping with
more fuel efficient stoves, as well as setting up tree nurseries. It’s
a much more supportive form of forests protection in terms of get
local buy in to the protection efforts. All to often big name
environmental groups protect forests at the expense of those who live
closest to the forest. Groups like TWP can help address their
failings! –Deane

TWP is a non-profit organization based in Fort Collins, Colorado with
a mission to improve people’s lives by helping communities to protect,
conserve, and manage the natural resources upon which their long-term
well-being depends.

Trees Water & People was founded in 1998 by Stuart
Conway and Richard Fox in order to establish reforestation, watershed
protection, appropriate technology, and environmental education
programs in Central America, the Caribbean, and the American West.
Since its inception, TWP has achieved notable successes in its
programs that have been recognized in many ways, including receiving
the prestigious Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy in 2005.
Additionally, TWP has received media coverage by the BBC, CNN
International, National Geographic, Worldwatch Magazine, and National
Public Radio, among others.

The organization’s efforts are guided by
the principles that natural resources are best protected when local
people play a substantial role in their care and management, and that
preserving local trees, wetlands, and watersheds is essential for the
ongoing social, economic, and environmental health of communities
everywhere. Using this approach, TWP has established local tree
nurseries and reforestation projects across Central America, which
help to combat the area’s severe deforestation. Also in this region,
TWP has introduced fuel-efficient stoves into numerous communities.
TWP’s improved stoves are an alternative to traditional 3-stone open
fire cookstoves. Traditional cooking methods threaten the health of
families due to toxic smoke that is trapped inside the kitchen.
Furthermore, traditional stoves use more firewood than necessary. The
stoves that TWP has developed with Aprovecho Research Center use 50% –
70% less firewood. To date, TWP has built approximately 27,000 stoves
and planted 2.5 million trees in Central America. TWP also works in
the American West.

An important project currently expanding across
North American reservations is the Tribal Lands Renewable Energy
Program. This program involves local residents in the production,
installation and maintenance of solar heating systems in order to
reduce exorbitantly high utility bills common in reservation
communities. Additionally, TWP volunteers and community members plant
shade and windbreak trees at homes on the reservations. The benefits
of this program are extensive. In particular, the program reduces the
reliance of native peoples on harmful fuel sources, frees up limited
family income to be used on other necessities, and provides a link
between the people and their traditional beliefs of harmony with
nature and responsible stewardship of Mother Earth.

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