Flights for Forests is a voluntary carbon offset scheme started by the Jesuit Conference Asia Pacific (JCAP). Flights for Forests seeks to generate commitment amongst Jesuits and Jesuit institutions globally to support natural resource management at the local level and contribute to helping rural communities affected by global, economic, and climate changes.
Recognizing the impact of Jesuit travel and work in the environment, the JCAP Reconciliation with Creation program developed a simple carbon offset scheme encouraging Jesuits and partners to participate by contributing US$5 for every flight taken. The money is used to support local and indigenous youth in rural areas to care for creation in very practical ways of regenerating forests and water in their communities in several countries in the region.
Where ‘Flights For Forests’ is Making an Impact?
In the Philippines, activities for forest regeneration began in 1994 in the Pulangi watershed in Mindanao and the idea of flight contributions was realized in 2010. Flights for Forests helps in the regeneration of natural water sources so that communities have clean water, rich biodiversity, and stable soils. All of these contribute in sustaining an agroforestry but needs greater economic and social inclusion. The Environmental Science for Social Change, a Jesuit research and training organization, manages a youth program in the uplands that is regenerating both the forest landscape and accompanies the indigenous youth in caring for their ancestral domain. In Bendum, some of the related youth activities to Flights for Forests include identifying and planting indigenous tree species, teaching natural resource management in the community school, establishing and taking care of seedlings in tree nurseries, developing local forest policies to
prevent forest fires, and designing a regeneration walk through the forest for visitors.
The Ecology Program of the Jesuit Social Service in Cambodia started in 2013 with a nursery of native hardwood trees in Banteay Prieb for the vocation school for persons with disabilities who carve. Trees were planted in parishes, Catholic schools, Buddhist pagodas, and in government property. The focus has shifted to areas with high biodiversity values such as Prey Lang and the Stung Sen Core Area. With contributions to the program from guests and all Jesuits in Cambodia, presentations on forests and Laudato Si’ are made to communities and schools.
The Jesuit Social Service in Timor Leste collaborates with the national forestry department in tree planting activities in Namalai and Kasait, and there are plans to do more tree planting in areas where there is community engagement on water infrastructure assistance. Nursery sheds for seedlings are being established in Hera and Kasait to support the tree planting efforts. Help is sought from the alumni of Colégio de São José, the school which the Jesuits used to operate for the Dili Diocese, along with local community members. Integrated with these activities are discussions with communities on the need to avoid practices detrimental to the environment.
Make $5 Go A Long Way
Your contribution helps youth help the environment by regenerating natural forest landscapes and improving eco-agriculture practices. If you have communities and sites for regeneration that you want to support, please let us know.
Generous contributions strengthen our current efforts and help Flights For Forests expand to other areas
Send your inquiries to [email protected].