A year restoring forests in El Salvador 

27 January 2023
Gabriela Gavarrete

They say young people are full of ideas that can change the world. I think a great place to start is to transform our surroundings. 

Some time ago, I started dreaming of being able to contribute something positive to the planet using my love for science and my passion for working with ecosystems and their communities. In 2022, I had the opportunity to take the first step toward my dream, and now I couldn’t be happier to say that I belong to the wonderful Restoration Stewards team. 

Being part of this program has allowed me to grow personally and professionally. This is thanks to the mentoring, courses and workshops, funding, and the opportunity to take part in international conferences, talks, and discussion spaces, which have offered me many opportunities to continue shaping my path as a scientist and environmental activist. These spaces have also made my restoration project Suma un Bosque possible, together with the great team of Un Pulmón Más. 

What have we achieved with the Restoration Stewards program in the Suma un Bosque project? 

1. Establish new ways to intervene in the area, adapting to the needs of the ecosystem and the community. In addition to planting trees, together with local farmers, we established agroforestry systems that include native trees and local crops. 

2. To finance our activities and acquire equipment for fieldwork. 

3. Together with various institutions, establish a cross-sectoral committee in the community and organize the following environmental education and awareness workshops on the main threats affecting the forest:  

  • The importance of forest conservation and protection 
  • Forest fire management  
  • Sustainable tourism 

4. Talk about our project with various media outlets, encouraging more people to join our initiative. 

5. Initiate the construction of a nursery to unify the community and our organization’s efforts for the care and protection of Cerro Tecana. 

What’s next? 

As a scientist, my next steps are to collect data and record our restoration processes, as well as to carry out maintenance and monitoring activities on the plantation, which are essential to the restoration process. As an environmentalist, I’ll continue to work with the communities to conserve, protect and restore Cerro Tecana. 

Our team vision is to bring Suma un Bosque to other places that need restoration and to give our country, El Salvador, one more lung (‘un pulmón más’). 

Gabriela Gavarrete

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Supporting partners 2023

Supporting partners

The Restoration Stewards program provides funding, mentorship and training to deepen the impact of youth-led restoration projects. The year-long program is run by the Youth in Landscapes Initiative (YIL) and the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) under the banner of Generation Restoration to support and highlight the work of eight young restoration practitioners and their teams in 2023.

During the program, the Restoration Stewards and their teams are  supported to further develop their project and serve as ambassadors at both global and local levels. Globally, the Restoration Stewards share their journeys in a series of vlogs and blogs documenting their stories of inspiration and challenges and participate in different international events to showcase their work. Locally, they are sparking a restoration movement, mobilizing local communities and creating pathways to connect, share, learn, and act for livelihoods and landscapes.