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Meet the impacters

Get to know the people and organizations we support with the Tomorrow Tree Fund. 

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Meet Jean Wiener and FoProBiM

Jean Wiener is a biologist and the Founder and Executive Director of the Fondation pour la Protection de la Biodiversite Marine (FoProBiM) in Haiti. The organization works with the restoration and conservation of mangrove forests throughout Haiti. These critical habitats are essential for the protection of coastal communities from the impacts of storms. They also provide training to local communities in activities such as apiculture and eco-tourism.

Jean is responsible for all of FoProBiM's activities from writing and submitting project proposals, to project reporting, to undertaking certain field and educational activities, to meeting with officials.

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Where in the world are you based?
In Haiti; nation-wide, but mostly in the North-east.

What does a day in your life look like?
On a typical day I would head out to the project site early in the morning to meet our field team at one of our mangrove nurseries; usually located not too far from where we are undertaking mangrove forest rehabilitation. I will take a look at the health of the plants and especially check to make sure we are not having too many issues with little mangrove crabs or caterpillars which eat the young leaves. There would also be a check of the locally-made biodegradable bamboo baskets.

After this I head over to the replanting site to check on the fencing (if we have had to install some) to see if there are gaps or damage which may have been caused by cows, pigs, or goats; and we try to address any repair issues. Goats in particular are the bane of our existence in reforestation activities; a single goat can eat several hundred young plants if allowed.

All along there are usually interactions with local residents and especially children (who should normally be in school). We take these opportunities to explain to them what we are doing and why, as well as the importance of mangroves to the coastal communities. We'll often show them "how mangroves work" and if we are replacing dead plants we'll try to get them to help. It is critically important to have the local inhabitants participate as much as possible so they have a sense of responsibility and are involved in protecting their own important resources.

What made you want to drive change?
Seeing the level of poverty and complete lack of opportunity for most of the rural coastal communities with whom I work now. Also, seeing all of the beautiful and irreplaceable biodiversity and landscapes being destroyed due to a lack of management. I am a strong believer in leaving a place better than the way you found it.

If you could tell the PANGAIA community one thing, what would it be?
Help out wherever, whenever, and however you can. Clean a stream, sweep a street, reuse a bottle, bike somewhere instead of driving, lobby your politicians for clean air, ...we can all do "something" to make our planet a little cleaner, a little brighter, and a lot more healthy and beautiful; this needs to be a team effort if we are going to make things better.

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Thanks to you, we’re able to support Jean and FoProBiM. 1 PANGAIA product purchased = 1 tree planted, protected or restored through the Tomorrow Tree Fund—helping FoProBiM and other grassroots NGOs around the world fighting for our forests.