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We are honored when ELTI's work is shared in local and international channels. We also enjoy sharing exciting news about ELTI's programs.

June 25, 2021 | IUCN

Collaboration with international partners is key to achieve our mission to inspire decision-makers to restore tropical forests. In 2019, ELTI worked with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with support from the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the German Government (BMZ) to deliver a series of "blended" courses. The course series supported 114 environmental leaders from over 60 organizations in Ethiopia, Togo, and Madagascar to achieve forest landscape restoration goals in their countries. Click here to learn more.

June 7, 2021 | Yale School of the Environment

Watch this short video to learn about ELTI’s approach and inspirational results.

June 2, 2021 | Utrecht University

A case study written by ELTI Colombia Coordinator Zoraida Calle, based at CIPAV, is featured in a book that brings together 21 articles written by restoration scientists and practitioners throughout the world. The book showcases insights from researchers and practitioners at the coalface of forest and ecosystem restoration on the greatest opportunities and fundamental challenges that will need to be addressed in different regions during the coming years.

Her article, entitled "Transitioning to Tree-based Grazing Systems in Colombia," explores the benefits of replacing conventional cattle ranching practices with complex silvopastoral systems, the challenges to this approach, and the necessity of integrating the perspectives of landholders. You can read more about the book here and download the full text of book here.

March 3, 2021 | WWF

ELTI hosted a six-day field course for Latin American decision makers whom have been awarded a Russell E. Train Education for Nature (EFN) Reforestation Grant from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and will be conducting reforestation projects in their individual communities with the goal of restoring biodiversity and enhancing human wellbeing in degraded forest landscapes. The course, which occurred in December 2019, focused on the social and ecological consequences of forest degradation and demonstrated the importance of community associations in forest restoration.

March 3, 2021 | ELTI

Mushrooms have long been used by humans both as a food source and as a medicinal ingredient. There are many types of mushrooms that can be cultivated. Two of the most common in Indonesia are Straw mushrooms and Oyster mushrooms, although the production and consumption of mushrooms remains quite low. A recent ELTI online course entitled, "Introducing Oyster and Straw Mushroom Cultivation Techniques for Communities Around Oil Palm Plantations" aimed to help local community members in areas surrounding oil palm plantations develop mushroom production as an alternative livelihood.

January 4, 2021 | Mongabay

Mongabay published an article written by ELTI alumnus David Woodbury and ELTI affiliate Arbainsyah about their research on degraded mine sites in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. The article entitled, “Being realistic about coal mine rehabilitation in Indonesia: An ecological perspective,” describes the challenges associated with an Indonesian law that requires mining companies to restore the degraded land to its “original condition,” an unrealistic target. The accepted solution by the Indonesian government to restoring degraded land is ecological rehabilitation. But ecological rehabilitation cannot restore the land to its “original condition,” and this goal may not align with local community interests or with ecological recovery. You can read the Mongabay article here and find the journal article in Land Degradation & Development here, written in collaboration with other researchers at the Yale School of the Environment, Tropenbos Indonesia and the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry and the Environment.

David and Arbainsyah conducted their research around ELTI's training landscape in Indonesia with in-kind support from the ELTI Indonesia Program and Balitek-KSDA.

December 22, 2020 | ELTI

We are pleased to announce the call for applicants for our 2021-2022 offering of the Tropical Forest Landscapes: Conservation, Restoration and Sustainable Use online certificate program. This program offers a unique opportunity to connect with Yale experts and environmental professionals from around the world and develop concrete skills to further your career.

The online program includes four thematic eight-week courses, a yearlong capstone project course and an optional field course in Latin America or Asia. Participants will learn from Yale faculty, ELTI team members and a network of international partners. Apply now!

July 24, 2020 | ELTI

Melaleuca oil, also known as tea tree oil, is an essential oil that comes from steaming the leaves of the Melaleuca cajuputi tree. The oil is used in Indonesia and around the world for its medicinal properties and is also used in a range of cosmetics and other household products. As part of an online course using Melaleuca oil as a non-timber forest product, ELTI Indonesia Coordinator Insya created a short video explaining how to collect and extract the oil from the leaves.

July 10, 2020 | MDPI

Asia Program Advisor David Neidel co-authored a paper on Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) in the Philippines. While many policy makers are interested in FLR, the methods for implementation on the ground are often ambiguous. This article summarizes the key messages and outcomes from an international conference and workshop on the subject that ELTI participated in in the Philippines in February 2019. The Manila Declaration on FLR, which was approved by the conference participants, outlines future steps needed to provide greater clarity on scaling up FLR in the tropics.

May 4, 2020 | Yale Africa Initiative

In January 2020, the Yale Africa Initiative published their "Yale and Africa" brochure to share more about Yale activities and collaborations in many countries across Africa. They highlighted ELTI's work as part of joint endeavors on research, scholarship and education (page 10). 

In collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and other partners, ELTI has implemented innovative courses that combine online components with in-person field workshops in eight African countries: Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Togo and Uganda.


Field visit during IUCN-ELTI blended course in Madagascar | ELTI Archive

April 29, 2020 | Mongabay

Mongabay published an article and video about the restoration efforts of ELTI alumna Odielca Solís. The article entitled, “In Panama, agroforestry technique of silvopasture improves ranching traditions” and video entitled, “Greener Pastures” discussed the environmental degradation in Panama’s Azuero peninsula caused by conventional ranching and Odielca’s efforts of establishing silvopastoral systems as a sustainable alternative to maintaining her livelihood and restoring biodiversity and ecosystem services. 

ODIELCA SOLÍS on her farm in Panama

Odielca Solís on her farm in Panama | ELTI Archive

April 24, 2020 | Restoration Ecology

Zoraida Calle, CIPAV researcher and ELTI affiliate, co-authored a research article entitled, “Decline in local ecological knowledge in the Colombian Andes may constrain silvopastoral tree diversity” published in the Restoration Ecology journal. Following up on a survey of workers, managers and owners of silvopastoral farms in the Colombian Andes six years later, the authors found that the ability to identify native trees and describe their uses was significantly lower, as well as the interest in planting trees.

The study shows that knowledge about the uses of native species is critical for motivating cultivation of diverse trees in silvopastoral farms, and that multipurpose trees are the most likely to be planted. The authors concluded that local knowledge on the ecology and use of native species plays a critical role on decisions made by cattle farmers about the trees they plant in their farms. “Perhaps it is time to treat local ecological knowledge as what it really is: an irreplaceable treasure,” said Zoraida.

April 15, 2020 | ELTI

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil requires that member companies protect, manage and restore High Conservation Value areas within their plantations. An example are areas with “concentrations of biological diversity including endemic species, and rare, threatened or endangered species, that are significant at global, regional or national levels.”

A new livelihood opportunity for communities living around High Conservation Value areas is to raise stingless bees for honey, bee pollen and propolis.

In partnership with Tropenbos Indonesia, Balitek KSDA and Goodhope Asia Holding Ltd., ELTI facilitated a field course in Indonesia to provide conservation managers of oil palm plantations and community members with the knowledge and skills needed to work together to promote stingless beekeeping  for the benefit of biodiversity and community livelihood.

April 14, 2020 | ELTI, Blue Forest Foundation, Tropenbos Indonesia, Balitek-KSDA and Pertamina EP

ELTI’s Indonesia Program, in collaboration with Blue Forest Foundation, Tropenbos Indonesia and Balitek-KSDA, published a book entitled, Bekantan dan Habitatnya di Sungai Hitam (in English, Proboscis Monkey and Their Habitat at the Sungai Hitam Mangrove Forest). The book outlines the results of a social and ecological assessment conducted to determine the best way forward to rehabilitate a riparian habitat for the proboscis monkey in the ELTI training landscape in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Pertamina EP supported the printing of this publication.

March 10, 2020 | ELTI

This video features the ELTI field course “Mangrove Forest Restoration and Rehabilitation Techniques,” held in East Kalimantan, Indonesia in November 2019. This field course was designed to increase participant capacity to engage in mangrove rehabilitation.

Indonesia has the largest area of mangrove forest in Southeast Asia. The rate of deforestation, however, is very high, reaching 40% over the last thirty years. This high rate is largely due to coastal development and conversion to shrimp and fish ponds.

ELTI, Tropenbos Indonesia and other local partners have been working together to maintain, restore and improve the function of a mangrove forest as a Proboscis monkey habitat in Sungai Hitam, East Kalimantan. Mangrove forest rehabilitation is aimed at ensuring the sustainability of Proboscis monkeys while enhancing local community livelihoods.


March 10, 2020 | GEF Small Grants Programme

In one of the most deforested regions of Panama, the Azuero Peninsula, water is becoming very limited for livestock during dry seasons. Farmers are struggling to adapt to the effects of climate change and are seeking innovative approaches to manage natural resources more sustainably.

ELTI alumni and members of the Save a Tree, Live Better Ecological Producer’s Association (SAVIM) received $20,000 USD in support from the Global Environmental Facility's Small Grants Programme to explore a promising innovative solution to limited water supply.

Over the next 15 months, the famers will establish three rainwater harvesting systems to supply water for a native species tree nursery, an agroecological garden at the local primary school and cattle aqueduct for silvopastoral systems.

As the first of its kind in the region, this project will contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to reduce environmental impacts while improving the quality of life of local communities. The project will also directly address priorities set forth by the Panamanian government to optimize the use of water resources, soil and climatic conditions to guarantee the production of water throughout the year.

These photos from a Panamanian landscape illustrate the extreme seasonal changes during the year and consequently the increased vulnerability of degraded pastures to provide water and sustain livestock production.

Photo credit: ELTI archive

January 30, 2020 | Land Degradation and Development

Restoration techniques for lands degraded from surface-mining are well established in temperate regions. However, until recently, restoration practitioners in East Kalimantan, Indonesia had little scientific guidance on best practices for mine reclamation in moist tropical regions.

Determined to find answers to inform future restoration efforts, ELTI alumnus David Woodbury and collaborators published a paper entitled, “Filling a void: Analysis of early tropical soil and vegetative recovery under leguminous, post-coal mine reforestation plantations in East Kalimantan, Indonesia.” Contrary to the popular practice of planting monocultures of fast-growing leguminous trees on degraded lands, results suggest that this practice alone may not be sufficient to restore native forests. Instead, greater emphasis should be placed on establishing healthy soil from the onset of mine rehabilitation projects, which will build the forest’s foundation for recovery.

David conducted his research around ELTI's training landscape in Indonesia with in-kind support from the ELTI Indonesia Program.


January 30, 2020 | CANOPY by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

ELTI’s new online certificate program, “Tropical Forest Landscapes: Conservation, Restoration, & Sustainable Use”, was featured in the fall 2019 edition of Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies’ CANOPY magazine. The article highlights the capacity of the online certificate program to achieve impact by supporting participants to apply their new knowledge on the ground. In its first year, the online certificate program enrolled a global group of 43 people from 29 countries. Trainees praise the course’s content as well as the possibility of interacting with other participants who work to promote conservation and restoration around the world.

Click here to read article (page 13, "A Campus for the 21st Century: Online Programs Open Yale Expertise to the World").

October 27, 2019 | Visayas State University

ELTI and Visayas State University are celebrating their longstanding partnership in the Philippines. Since 2009, ELTI has partnered with the university’s Institute of Tropical Ecology and Environmental Management (ITEEM) with the shared mission of empowering local communities to design and implement sustainable land-use practices, and to conserve and restore tropical forests and native tree cover in human-dominated landscapes.

One of the key approaches used by ITEEM and ELTI is Rainforestation Farming. This agroforestry approach aims to restore ecosystem functions and services by harnessing the power of native species, local communities, and partner organizations to rehabilitate degraded landscapes. By providing more than 25 field trainings and reaching over 700 individuals, ELTI and ITEEM have demonstrated the potential of Rainforestation to address ongoing environmental challenges and to strengthen community resiliency in the Philippines. In light of the ten-year anniversary, ELTI will continue to conduct field trainings and hopes to conduct a nationwide survey of all ELTI alumni in the Philippines.

October 11, 2019 | The Sustainability Agenda

ELTI Director Dr. Eva Garen was featured on The Sustainability Agenda podcast to discuss ELTI’s work in Latin America and Southeast Asia. The Sustainability Agenda explores innovative approaches to sustainability around the world. Dr. Garen shared ELTI’s approach to capacity development and restoration, with insights from her 25+ years working on the social aspects of conservation and development in the tropics.

October 10, 2019 | ELTI

The ELTI Indonesia program in partnership with the Research Institute for Natural Resources Conservation Technology (Balitek KSDA) developed a leaflet to encourage ecotourism in the riparian forest of Sungai Hitam in Samboja, East Kalimantan, Indonesia.

The riparian forest of the Sungai Hitam River provides critical habitat for the endangered Proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) but is threatened by the fact that the region is not part of a protected area. Currently, the riparian zone is fragmented by other land uses including plantations, agriculture, livestock, mining and municipal waste management. To address these habitat issues, tours in which visitors can watch monkeys and birds from the comfort of a boat will be offered, and funding for habitat restoration and protection will increase. In addition to increasing funding for the conservation of habitats of the Proboscis monkey, ecotourism is an important opportunity to gain local support to protect this important species, restore their habitat and enhance community livelihoods.


September 1, 2019 | ELTI

Water shortages in Panama’s La Villa River watershed are becoming a problem for both farmers and cities in the Azuero Peninsula. With over 78% of the watershed deforested due mostly to conventional agriculture and ranching practices, more sustainable land-management activities are needed.

With support from the Conservation, Food & Health Foundation, ELTI will train and support farmers and extension agents within the La Villa River watershed to become environmental leaders. ELTI was selected from a pool of 300 applicants to apply our training-of-trainers model, which offers experiential learning opportunities for farmers to learn from ELTI and local experts about land management practices at ELTI’s Panama Azuero training landscape. ELTI will provide follow-up training to help farmers establish and manage model farms, as well as learn how to share their knowledge and experience. By demonstrating and communicating results to others, this group of environmental leaders will help to replicate more sustainable farming throughout the region.

La Villa River, Panama

July 27, 2019 | Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

The work of ELTI teams and partners across the tropics received special attention in an article by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies this month. The article stressed that humanity is facing a crucial moment for tropical forests and that ELTI is supporting leaders to “restore and protect these threatened landscapes, providing them with the access to information and the tools to achieve more sustainable practices.”

A mini-documentary included in the article featured the on-the-ground results that ELTI alumni are achieving in Panama and the Philippines. ELTI also shared a vision for where the initiative is going next, “to support our alumni with project incubation, open-access information, networks and leadership development. It’s their time to shine and become global restoration leaders.”

July 19, 2019 | BBC

And this is the podcast episode "Reinventing the Ranch," in case you missed it.

July 18, 2019 | BBC

Cattle farming is responsible for almost 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization. Silvopastures offer a solution with multiple environmental benefits. In a BBC short video and podcast, ELTI alumni Sandra Carbonell (farm owner) and Carlos Mejía (sustainable ranching specialist), explain how cows that eat bushes and graze in woodland grow faster and produce less methane than cows in open pastures.

The video “How a new diet for gassy cows is helping the environment,” produced by Daniel Gordon for BBC World Service, shows the striking contrast between Sandra’s silvopastoral farm and a degraded conventional cattle ranch.

The episode “Reinventing the ranch,” aired on May 21, 2019, focuses on a project that is helping Colombian cattle farmers completely remodel their land to fight climate change. This podcast, called People Fixing the World, features brilliant solutions to global problems.

ELTI has offered a variety of training events for the technical team and several cattle ranchers involved in the Colombian Sustainable Cattle Ranching project, between 2011 and 2019.

July 10, 2019 | Restoration Ecology - The Journal of the Society for Ecological Restoration

An article of the journal Restoration Ecology cited ELTI’s capacity development model on how it provides “restoration strategies compatible with local ecological and social realities.” The authors underscored the need for training on skills and disciplines associated with restoration that go beyond only ecological dimensions. The article is available at Wiley Online Library, and a news piece about it was published at CIFOR's Forests News.

Meli, P.; Schweizer, D.; Brancalion, P.H.S.; Murcia, C.; Guariguata, M.R. Multidimensional training among Latin America’s restoration professionals. Restor. Ecol. 2019, 27.

June 30, 2019 | ELTI

The ELTI Restoration Boot Camp for Tropical Asian Forests brought together a wide range of committed practitioners to learn about managing Asian forest landscapes. After an engaging 6-week online course, participants met in Leyte, the Philippines, for a week of hands-on activities in the field. Amid the scenic tropical island, participants learned about nursery management, wildling collection and ways to collaborate with local communities. Check out a few pictures from the Philippines!

March 31, 2019 | Blue Forests

The habitat of this important primate species is isolated in a landscape dominated by human activity. Plantation, agriculture, livestock, mining and waste management companies occupy large part of the surrounding areas and put pressure on the Proboscis monkey habitats.

ELTI invited Blue Forests to assess this situation and study opportunities to conserve the Proboscis habitats. The main goal was to identify strategies to develop the capacity of communities in the Sungai Hitam and increase public knowledge around the importance of mangrove forests as ecosystems that are useful to humans and to the Proboscis monkey.

This video in Indonesian describes the Blue Forest report and assessment of Sungai Hitam Mangrove Forest.

March 26, 2019 | Evi Indraswati

In 2016, ELTI alumna Evi Indraswati participated in an ELTI online course on forest restoration. She says, "At that time everyone felt that they were lacking a complete understanding of the forest restoration process. The knowledge about forest restoration that I gained through the course increased our team’s certainty about our ability to restore the forest of Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park.” 

After the ELTI course, Evi published a book on her experiences restoring the forest in the park. Click here to view the full text.


Cover of Eva Indraswati's book

February 11, 2019 | ELTI, YSE

Learn more about our new online certificate program "Tropical Forest Landscapes: Conservation, Restoration & Sustainable Use" from Dr. Indy Burke (YSE dean), Dr. Eva Garen (ELTI director) and Gillian Bloomfield (program coordinator and mentor). This unique interdisciplinary program can help you enhance your knowledge and skills to manage tropical forest landscapes successfully.