The Forest Healing Foundation is a grassroots forest conservation and restoration initiative in the central hills of Sri Lanka. Our vision is that forests stay forest.
From our home in the heart of the jungle, we work closely with surrounding villages and communities to co-create solutions for conserving the forest of this biodiversity hotspot. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, this work has become more important than ever. As the financial impacts put increasing pressure on rural livelihoods, many smallholders have had no choice but to sell their trees for timber or to sell their entire forest plots. We are working hard to support our communities through this difficult time whilst also protecting the forest. Our projects include supporting the development of a community forest produce brand, working on agroforestry initiatives with local farmers, restoring degraded land and improving water infrastructure for local farms to help reduce the pressure on forests.
In his book, “Wild Hope”, Cambridge conservation professor Andrew Balmford observes that in its urgent need to raise public awareness of the huge scale of the threat faced, the conservation movement has risked losing one vital ingredient for its success: hope. We see this hope every day – in the incredible local knowledge of our trees and wildlife, in the enthusiasm and expertise of the young ecology students who come to study the forest and in the support from individuals around the world who donate to projects like ours. We want to engage with Conservation Optimism to help spread this hope. By partnering with likeminded organisations, we can help to build a strong, positive and solutions-focused conservation narrative that will inspire others to join too.