We are a people...
who come from a variety of faiths, cultures, nationalities and
political persuasions. Despite our diversity, we all share a love for
of creation and care deeply for the well-being of humankind.
We have come to understand...
that environmental destruction, through radical deforestation, is a
major cause of extreme poverty and oppression in impoverished nations.
Deforestation is also considered one of the primary causes behind the
climate change crisis.
We seek to bridge...
the relational and philosophical divides that often keep people
from cooperating effectively. Therefore, we pursue solutions
to the problems behind environmental destruction that are major
contributing causes to extreme poverty and oppression in impoverished
Ethiopia. What images are conjured up in your mind by the mention
of this country? For many, it brings up images of desert. Or famine.
Perhaps a bony little boy with skin stretched over his protruding ribs.
Many people believe Ethiopia has always been in this miserly state. But
nothing could be further from the truth. Ethiopia is known throughout
the continent as The Roof of Africa because so much of the country is
made up of high mountain plateaus, once lushly forested. Until as
recently as the last century, the abundant rainfall from Ethiopia’s high
plateaus supplied much of the river water from other Horn of Africa and
East African nations.
So WHAT HAPPENED?!?!
Over the past five decades, the overwhelming majority of the once
abundant and beautiful highland and Rift Valley forests have been cut
down. According to a recent survey, less than 3% of the forest remains
intact. Of that remaining 3%, 15,000 additional acres are cut down each
year. The forests are being decimated to make way for small plot farms
and to satisfy the insatiable demand for charcoal used to cook food and
Unfortunately for Ethiopians, destroying trees means destroying a
whole lot more than the availability of shade. The Picture below
illustrates the effects of deforestation -
One Ethiopian, Tesfaye Shandolah, has dedicated his life to reversing
this devastating cycle. At the risk of butchering his story, I invite
you to allow him to tell it to you in his own words – Tesfaye Video.
Tesfaye’s dedication is beginning to pay off. Since he shared his
story with us five years ago, he and the others you see in the video,
along with thousands of others, have planted over 15 million trees. The
impact of their efforts is already clearly evident Wildlife is returning
in droves. Farmland that had become useless for growing crops is
fertile again. Clean sources of water are returning as rivers that had
run dry are beginning to flow again.
Tesfaye has said he will continue to be a planter of hope for his
country as long as he lives. We join him in hoping that photos of
starving Ethiopian children will be a nightmare confined to history
by Evan Hunt
Heavenly Treasures contributes the proceeds from the sale of Ethiopian Coffee to the ministry of Eden Projects.
For more info go to http://edenprojects.org/