The International Program made a BIG impact last year though their clean cookstove and reforestation projects, empowering communities to sustainably manage their precious natural resources. These community-led projects improve human, environmental, and economic health! Thanks to all of our partners who make these projects a success.
Positive Legacy and Trees, Water & People have partnered to offset Jam Cruise passenger’s carbon footprints since Jam Cruise 6, a collaboration that has netted tens of thousands of trees planted and hundreds of clean cookstoves built. Jam Cruise 10 represented the most ambitious carbon offsetting effort to date, as the establishment of this nursery will lead to a healthier environment, stable livelihoods, and increased tree cover in Northern Haiti for years to come.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this event; it wouldn’t have been a success without your enthusiasm and energy!
Together with Jam Cruise 10, Positive Legacy, andSustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL), we are planting 10,000 native tree seeds today in Labadee, Haiti! This hands on project is part of Positive Legacy’s mission “to create meaningful opportunities for music fans and musicians to become active participants in reducing the environmental impact of the events we participate in, and to do something positive for the communities we visit.”
The trees will be transported to a nursery built at SOIL’s compound in Cap Haitien, Haiti and will be raised with care for introduction into communities around Northern Haiti. If every passenger and artist participates in the project by taking just a few minutes to contribute, we can easily reach our goal of planting 10,000 seedlings to start the nursery.
Thousands of diverse indigenous seeds will be made available for this activity, ensuring that our efforts will increase biodiversity, stabilize hillsides, improve soil quality, provide food security and create income-generating activities for the communities of northern Haiti.
Stay tuned for photos and video of the tree planting event.
Thank you to Positive Legacy, SOIL, and all the Jam Cruisers for making this event possible!
Looking for a gift for the person in your life that has everything? Give the “Gift of a Stove” in their honor this holiday season! For only $20 you can donate a new clean cookstove to a family in Haiti in honor of any family member or friend: http://treeswaterpeople.org/stoves/programs/haiti.htm
One hundred percent of carbon offsets sold for Jam Cruise 10 will benefit the northern community of Limonade, Haiti, where Trees, Water & People and our partner SOIL (www.oursoil.org) are working together to launch a 10,000 seedling nursery that will reforest the surrounding north coast.
A short 2 hour flight from Miami delivered me from the order and predictability of the United States into the bedlam, rubble, and breathtaking resilience of this Caribbean nation who’s remarkable history rivals any on planet Earth. It’s not hard to imagine the tropical island paradise that must have originally existed here – before Columbus, colonization, slavery, sugar cane empires, revolutions, wars, invasions, coups, and the earthquake of January 2010. The people here have lived through everything, tend to have very few things (from a material point of view), and somehow seem to get up every morning to do the significant work that the day brings to them. The streets are packed with people walking; heads often loaded high with baskets of food, clothes, or other goods. The capital city Port-au-Prince isn’t just hilly – it’s like San Francisco on steroids. And of course the roads are bad, and overcrowded with cars and trucks and motorcycles and Earthquake debris, yet people are swarming all over like ants, going where they need to go, doing what they need to do. Did I mention that it regularly pours with monsoon intensity at this time of year, which of course doesn’t slow people down a bit?
Yesterday, TWP Deputy International Director, Sebastian Africano, picked me up at the airport after my arrival at 8 am. He was already moving in fast forward (including Central America full on chaos driving mode). We battled our way through morning traffic to the new United Nations base (the old one was thoroughly destroyed, at great cost to human life, in the Quake). We met up there with inimitable International Lifeline Fund field leader VJ Jahangiri. VJ has been the feet on the ground launching and directing ILF’s pioneering stove work in Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and now Haiti. We had one sit down with a UN staffer we wanted to see, the second office we went looking for had vanished. Typical Haiti story I’m told. The neighbors think they moved to another town, maybe we’ll find them.
Next stop is the ILF office and stove manufacturing site. How Sebastian finds his way through the insane maze of streets, and without getting swiped by a truck or bus, or running over a pedestrian, is totally beyond me, but I’ve quickly learned not to question and to look down at my feet when it looks like collision is imminent.
ILF headquarters is in a moderately converted house high on the hill overlooking the Gulf of Gonave. Lots happens here, most exciting is probably the boys out back – hammering, cutting, shaping, riveting, coaxing sheets of steel into the Zanmi Pi Bwa, the “Friend of the Trees” cookstove. Some would call them craftsmen, I prefer artists. They’re a dozen or so young men recruited from off of the streets by TWP and ILF who create these beautiful, technologically sophisticated, life and environment altering stoves. Everything is made totally by hand, not even a single power tool (both because these guys prefer it and electricity is not something to be so relied on here). One gentleman cuts the disk that will be the stove’s base, he passes it to another who hammers the edge into a 90 degree bend that will mate with the sides. Other groups work on the charcoal basket, a crucial component that needs to hold the fuel, supplying it with adequate combustion air, withstand the rigors of 1000 degrees of so temperature, last long enough to keep the cooks happy, and be easily replaced when it finally wears out.
And there’re stations for making the handles, the ash door, the pot holders, etc. Finally, by some miracle (called production management), in the end there are the right quantity of each of these parts so that stacks of completed, ready-to-go stoves accumulate at the house rather than inventory of components. As I write, I hear the BANG SMASH CLANG of these men at work. It’s a beautiful sound to me (although I send my deepest sympathy to any neighbors within earshot).
From here, we set off in a caravan that included ILF’s Patrick Chevalier and Dagne Casseus. Dagne is one of ILF’s sharp and valuable field monitors. One of the great lessons learned at TWP over the years is that the best technical stove design in the world isn’t worth the tin (or tile or mud) it’s made out of if it doesn’t suit the cooks’ sensibilities, which usually (but not always) means the women of the house. The field monitors perform the indispensably crucial tasks of surveying, educating, and following up with users so that we can learn what’s working, what isn’t, and how we can improve operation, desirability, and ultimately sales of cookstoves. We had the very deep pleasure of visiting two homes of families who not only use but are involved in the sales of the ZPB stove. So, it wasn’t surprising that they spoke highly of them, but they also communicated (through Patrick, translating from the Haitian Creole) with real honesty and thoughtful articulation. We got feedback on cooking, as well as pricing and marketing.
Seeing the working stoves in place in homes, and hearing how they had significantly reduced charcoal costs and improved lives was an absolute thrill for me – first day here and the trip is already more than worth it! I reconsidered this conclusion during the two hours it took to make the trip back to our home base through rush hour and the rain, covering a distance that might take us 20 minutes back In the USA. After dinner and a shower, I stand by my earlier impression.
The Zanmi Pye Bwa Cookstove Project in Haiti is a joint effort between Trees, Water & People (TWP) and International Lifeline Fund (ILF), two American-based nonprofit organizations. TWP has worked with ILF on developing a local charcoal stove design, intended for micro-entrepreneurial manufacture and dissemination during 2011. This stove, the Zanmi Pye Bwa (“Friend of the Trees”), has posted fuel-use reductions on par with many of the imported stoves in Port-au-Prince (40% reduction in charcoal use), but can be produced at a lower cost with local skills and materials.