TEA Talk: Can tea and forests healthily co-exist?

TEA Talk: Can tea and forests healthily co-exist?

Does tea cultivation have to mean the destruction of forests? And if forests are conserved how will communities that depend on them live?

About this event

As we get closer to COP26, when world leaders will re-examine our goals to tackle the climate emergency, our next TEA Talk addresses the interface between forests and tea.

Humans and forests have had a centuries’ long love-hate relationship. Forests have been a source of food, shelter and income. But they can also be treated as obstacles to commercial agriculture. Our exploitation of these planetary lungs has often gone too far. Tea cultivation frequently means deforestation as land is cleared to make room for the crop and trees are felled to fuel tea factories. And the loss of forests can have a devastating effect on the climate which then impacts on tea and the people who grow it…

But tea companies can become caretakers of their neighbouring forests or grow their own trees for more sustainable fuel, forests can be “created” and the communities that depended on them can find alternative livelhoods.

Watch this recording of the TEA Talk to hear from our expert panelists, Sheeba Sen of Alaap, Thwango Ndalama of the Ethical Tea Partnership and Sammu Kirui of Finlays about how they and their organisations are helping not only to stem the destruction of forests, but how they are recreating them and, in so doing, creating livelihood opportunities for the communities around them so that both the forests and the communities can become ‘self-sustaining ecosystems’.

Sammy Kirui – Corporate Affairs General Manager at Finlays in Kenya. He will talk about the company’s efforts to conserve the Mau forest adjacent to its tea estates.

Sheeba Sen – founder of Alaap, a not-for-profit organisation working to bring back the native forests of the Himalayas. Alaap focuses not only on the survival of the forest, but also on the survival of the people who depend on forests – or who could destroy them in the process of trying to make a living.

Thwango Ndalama – is the Ethical Tea Partnership’s Malawi Country Manager and will be sharing with us her experience of tackling deforestation through bee-keeping, developing community tree nurseries, working with village natural resource management committees and more.

Image: City A.M. https://www.cityam.com/in-one-of-the-last-mountain-rainforests-on-the-planet-a-tea-estate-is-doing-its-part-to-conserve-rwandas-rich-biodiversity/