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Rooted in Ethics: New Framework Pioneers Ethical Land Care Practices

Today (May 22nd 2024) marks the launch of a groundbreaking initiative aimed at transforming how we care for peoples, forests and lands. Developed over five years through extensive collaboration and deep listening, Rooted in Ethics: The Community Tree Stewardship Framework sets forth life-affirming guidelines, ethical principles, and working practices for forest and land protection and regeneration.

Co-created with representation from Original Peoples and Nations, Rooted in Ethics calls for and champions land and forest restoration that respects and honours the rights of Nature, communities, and cultures.

Promoting best practices in tree care and community empowerment, this framework advocates for representation and community-led decision-making at both systemic and organisational levels. By providing ethical approaches to restoring forests and lands and securing funding that meets their needs, the framework and its accompanying Practices Guide seek to empower local communities as stewards of their environments.

The framework also aims to open up conversations and offer practical guidelines for organisations, businesses, and local governance bodies to adopt that complement existing standards. It argues for the inherent rights of Nature and what it could mean if we considered Nature as conscious and intelligent - and how we might better care for the planet we all call home. 

Commenting on the launch, Suzi Steer, lead author on behalf of TreeSisters, said:

"Rooted in Ethics represents a significant milestone in our collective journey towards a positive future and more harmonious relationship with Nature. By bridging deep knowledge of Original Principles with the best scientific research practices, we hope to ignite a public conversation about our connection to Nature and inspire positive action towards peaceful coexistence."

“Working on Rooted in Ethics has been very meaningful because, at the beginning, we were looking at ethics from the Western point of view related to Nature. Then we saw that those kinds of ethics, the rational ethics coming from humans, encounter these other ethics coming from Mother Earth and Father Sky. They complemented each other, and it's beautiful because it's an intention, a way of bringing together this ancestral wisdom, and it's very powerful. We not only have ethics as humans, but these are ethics for all species.”

- Mindahi Bastida of the Otomi-Toltec of Central Mexico, Lead Author for The Fountain.

Rooted in Ethics: The Community Tree Stewardship Framework is not just a vision for the future but a call to action. Action that bridges divisions and collaborates for a world where Nature and humanity can thrive. 

For further information or inquiries about Rooted in Ethics, please see our website or contact


Named organisations contributing directly to the text: The Fountain, TreeSisters, International Tree Foundation, Trees for the Future, and WeForest

Groups and expert editors: The Mother Earth Delegation of United Original Nations, facilitated by The Fountain, Erin Axelrod and Kevin Bayuk of LIFT Economy, Mike Hannis of Bath Spa University, Myra Jackson of the UN Harmony with Nature Program and Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature.

Named organisations in the wider consultation: The Converging World, Coherence Lab, Earth Restoration Service, Fauna & Flora International, Global Canopy, the Global Forest Coalition, GreenHouse PR, The Lever Room, My Green Pod, Positive TV, Pristine Media, the Sumatran Orangutan Society, Urquhart & Hunt, Tree-Nation, Treeconomics, Verdant World and the World Land Trust. Be The Earth, The Tedworth Trust and Paul Bechtner Foundation


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