Group photo taken at the World Agroforestry Centre headquarters after a meeting with Professor Wangari Maathai. During the visit, Prof Maathai met senior officials from the Centre, including Director-General Dr. Dennis

By Elizabeth Kahurani

When I first heard those words by Prof Wangari Maathai, I was too young to comprehend what she really meant, but I remember it was a phrase that impressed and stayed with me. Now that I am full grown, I only know too well the import of the words, more so now that I report on climate change and environmental issues. A good friend of the Worldagroforestry Centre (ICRAF), many staff will fondly remember her visits and spirited discussions. Her memory lives on, not just in the trees of neighbouring Karura forest and others elsewhere but also in the people she inspired to take care of Mother Nature. Indeed, as illustrated in her favourite hummingbird story, each one of us need to ask ourselves whether we are the hummingbird that tried to stop the fire in the forest even with its seemingly limited ability, or are we the huge animals like the elephant, with what it takes but watching from the side.

Reports on insufficient efforts to curb high deforestation rates in the wake of stalled international negotiations on how to reverse the trend mostly spell a bleak future climate for developing countries. That is why The Greener Side of REDD+: Lessons for REDD+ from Countries where Forest Area Is Increasing report by The Rights Resources Institute (RRI) makes for a great read and an incredible resource.  

Featured on the weekly issue of the European Commission’s Science for Environment Policy DG Environment News Alert Service is ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins research that provides new perspectives to guide a wholesome approach to efforts on reducing emissions from deforestation and land degradation.