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Connecting Forest Restorers from around the world.

Last year, a few members of our team had the incredible pleasure of meeting with our Brazilian partner, Yorenka Tasorentsi, during their message-sharing visit to Europe.

In this blog, our Head of Restoration, Angela Mayson, shares thoughts on this profound gathering of restorers and a call to action to care for this precious Earth.

The recent stories of flooding in Marachel Thuamtago and Yorenka Tasorentsi are heart-wrenching, highlighting the real impacts of climate change and deforestation here and now. However, amidst these challenges, I want to share a little of the hope we shared at a meeting a few of the TreeSisters team, and I had with Yorenka Tasorentsi, Founder and Ashaninka spiritual leader Benki Piyako and his family last year.

In November, we had the privilege of meeting Benki, his family, and others from the Yorenka Tasorentsi Institute during their European visit. They visited as environmental activists, sharing knowledge and blending traditional wisdom with modern approaches to tackle global issues.

During a gathering in Suffolk hosted by Tommaso Marzotto, we joined with over 40 forest restorers from around the world. Tommaso and his wife Stella Ismene are part of the Yorenka Institute and use their network across the world to support the institute's mission. Tommaso has a background in the entertainment industry (a co-producer of the film Rocketman), and Stella, a successful artist creating photos and paintings often inspired by the Amazon rainforest. Through conversations and music, we delved into our planet's pressing issues. Benki’s son, Yorenka Tasorentsi, Vice President and apprentice paje (shaman), Raine and his talented partner, Rosane, performed incredible traditional songs, sharing ‘messages from the forest, inspiring a deep love for nature and fostering a united path forward marked by joy’.

Benki spoke passionately about the threats to his homeland. How cattle farms, cocaine and the mining of precious metals were destroying the forests. How increasingly communities were being displaced from their way of life connected to nature and the Earth. He spoke of wanting to connect restorers around the world to enable a worldwide shift toward reciprocity and care for the planet. We found a shared vision: to see the love for the Earth restored. This vision was shared with people from across Europe, South America, and the USA and translated from and into languages including Russian, Italian, Portuguese and the traditional language of the Ashaninka. We planted trees, symbolising our commitment to this cause, and he issued a call to action: For every one of us to share in the responsibility of looking after nature, to connect to each other, learn from each other and do what we can to nourish the Earth.

Amidst ancient oak trees, we spent meditative time in connection to nature. We all placed our hands in the sandy soil of the Suffolk landscape and planted young trees whose roots stretch downwards and whose tips will reach upwards for centuries after we had travelled home. These experiences were profound, grounding us in our commitment to protect the Earth.

The Yorenka Tasorentsi Insitute is living this message. Replanting forests that have been damaged by farming and mining. Sharing knowledge and connections to their ancestors with their people and communities in Marachel Thaumatargo.

So, to hear again that our friends at the Yorenka Tasorentsi Institute and in Acre, Brazil, were in distress from the direct effects of climate change and deforestation was devastating. After fires raged through the area in September, burning the forest and harming the incredible restoration efforts, TreeSisters supported through funding fire-saving equipment. Now, they are impacted by the flooding. Intense rainfall has caused the Juruȧ River to overflow, destroying over 2000 homes and impacting food supplies and livelihoods.

In the face of such adversity, Benki's message of hope resonates. Can we come together as a global network to restore our planet? Can we take meaningful action to mitigate the impacts of climate change?

Let's heed Benki's call and work to protect our planet and its people.


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