How long have you worked for Size of Wales, and what’s your main role within the organisation?
I joined Size in August 2016 so just over three years ago, I am the Forest Projects co-ordinator so I look after our projects in Africa, Asia and South America.
What drove you to work within the topic of climate change, and re-forestation?
In 2012 I spent six months in Uganda, living in a rural community. I was repeatedly told how the climate had changed in recent years, how the rain had become unpredictable, how severe the flooding had become and how the community were struggling to adapt to these changes. This was an area where just a generation before it had been relatively easy to grow enough food to eat and sell for an income. The community now experience many months of hunger each year and all to frequently lose their crops either due to lack of rain or severe flooding. The more I learnt, the more I have become passionate about being part of the solution. I am particularly interested in how individuals and communities can adapt and what we in the UK can do to support.
What do you enjoy most about coordinating global Forest Projects?
I enjoy supporting and continuously learning more about the projects we work with in Africa, South America and Asia. They are all inspirational projects with the focus ranging from working on land rights to forest protection, tree planting and alternative livelihoods. The communities in these areas are doing amazing work and it is very rewarding to be able to play a small part in supporting them to do this. Size of Wales is a positive charity, the science and news stories can be bleak but we remain passionate and committed to doing everything we can to protect tropical forests and engaging the people of Wales in doing the same.
Is it a cliché to say trees are our future?
Protecting our existing forests and significantly ramping up tree planting efforts globally are crucial in tackling climate change. Trees provide a natural and cheap solution to this global and sometimes overwhelming problem. They are only part of the solution but a vital part so with my ‘Size’ hat on I would say yes, trees are our future!
Do you have any exciting plans for the current re-forestation projects, or are there any new ones you’re planning?
There has been a significant increase in public interest in climate change and particularly tree planting since I joined Size of Wales. The time really is now, we have to protect our existing forests and grow many many more trees. We are committed to protecting existing forests and will continue to support a number of forest projects in tropical forest areas. We are also currently looking for at least one tree planting project in Wales to support which will complement our work overseas and enable us to be part of the local tree planting community. The Mbale tree planting project has just planted its 10 millionth tree and we are now scaling up the programme to enable the planting of 25 million trees by 2025. We also hope to create a network to share knowledge, expertise and good practice across tree planting projects globally. So lots going on and lots of exiting plans!