Spring in the rainforest is a hive of activity. In Gadaisu village in Papua New Guinea, each family has their own food garden. They’re set away from the village, on land that the village has used for generations. A couple of times a week the most green-fingered family members hike the hour-long journey from the village to the gardens. These are not your average allotments. Tropical rain and equatorial sun means a lush crop of vegetables and herbs. From pineapple to peanuts and marrow to mustard seed, there is a variety to feed their families and sell at the local market.
The rainforest is more than simply trees. It is an intricate ecosystem of plants and people, animals and amoeba that make up the most biologically diverse habitat on Earth.
Knowledge of the forest comes naturally to those living there. From using wild herbs and tree leaves to treat medical problems to knowing which produce to grow alongside the seasons, the knowledge that Cool Earth’s partners hold is unparalleled.
Wisdom is passed through generations. The elders of Gadaisu have taught the village not to cut down new forest when their plots stop growing as well, but to use a strict rotation system, just like their elders did before them. Gardens start to lose their fertility after 3-5 years, so each family has 2 or 3 garden plots. When not in use, the ground can recover and fertility can return to the soil.
Those who live in the forest know more about how to look after it than anyone else. Cool Earth works with this knowledge and experience, not against it. By empowering local communities in Papua New Guinea to resist advances from palm oil plantations, we can make sure every Spring in the rainforest is as bountiful as this one.