…this month by my extended family in Tado, eastern Indonesia, to help achieve my annual goal of carbon-neutral living while conserving biocultural diversity.
Why 300 trees? What types of trees? And why Tado?
Three hundred trees represent the number of actively growing woody plants I need to plant to offset the tonnage of carbon dioxide (a major greenhouse gas) emitted by my lifestyle every six months. The trees planted are culturally significant, locally native species – mango and jackfruit – used for traditional foods and medicines.
Tado is the name of the indigenous clan who claim me as family, ever since I showed up on their doorstep as an aspiring PhD student in 1997. We began living and working together in 1999, collaboratively researching, documenting, and conserving Tado ancestral lifeways. We built a community research center and developed a community-based ecotourism program, both of which are going strong almost twenty years later (!!).
My younger brother Yeremias Uril (Jeremy), pictured above) chose species that could be hand-grown from locally collected seeds and stakes, would thrive even under low rainfall conditions, and could re-vegetate a denuded hillside. Yeremias envisions these trees helping to restore local watersheds and provide ethnobotanical teaching moments for tourists hiking in the area.
Yeremias has even proffered a special “Trekking + Tree Planting” ecotourism package for visitors who want to leave an environmentally-friendly legacy while visiting Tado.
Big Sister (a.k.a. Dr. Pfeiffer) is SO proud!