Rainforest Trust Hosts Partner Retreat

Ethan Freedman

Jun 13, 2017


Many of Rainforest Trust’s partners participated in a week-long retreat at Rainforest Trust’s headquarters in Virginia.

  • Group photo of the partner representatives. Photo by Austin Harter.

In May, Rainforest Trust welcomed 15 representatives from our local partner organizations to our headquarters in Virginia for a partner retreat week. The attendees hailed from 13 countries across Latin America, Africa and Asia. Together, they represented projects protecting a variety of landscapes, species and ecosystems.

  • Louis Nkembi, President and CEO of the Environmental and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in Cameroon, gives a presentation. Photo by Austin Harter.

Throughout the week, the partner representatives participated in training seminars and presentations from Rainforest Trust staff on topics such as management plan development, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping, camera trap usage, communications and fundraising. The representatives also shared details on their own projects, their successes and the challenges they’ve faced. Conservationists around the world often face similar obstacles and these presentations and dialogues allowed the representatives to learn about new solutions from each other as well as from Rainforest Trust staff.

  • Dr. Paul Salaman, CEO of Rainforest Trust, gives a demonstration on drone usage to some of the partner representatives. Photo by Austin Harter.

“Our partners brought an incredible range of individual and institutional experience to the retreat,” said Dr. George E. Wallace, Chief Conservation Officer of Rainforest Trust.

“But the common denominator was a shared desire to learn from each other and to develop ways of helping all the organizations deliver stronger, more enduring conservation.”

  • Julie Hanta Razafimanahaka, Director of Madagasarika Voakajy in Madagascar, and Gilda Palima Hicks, of GREEN-Mindanao in the Philippines. Photo by Austin Harter.

Besides the informative sessions, the partner representatives took the time to record interviews with Rainforest Trust’s staff, sharing stories and expertise. During off-hours, the week included soccer games, barbecues and hiking.

  • Dr. Paul Salaman, CEO of Rainforest Trust, during a conversation with Dani Rivera, Project Manager of the Center for the Development of an Indigenous Amazon (CEDIA) in Peru. Photo by Austin Harter.

“We witnessed every partner having the same total commitment and passion to saving species, assisting communities and protecting our planet as the Rainforest Trust team,” said Dr. Paul Salaman, CEO of Rainforest Trust. “And it felt like we were with family!”

“It was wonderful to spend time together with our partners, share our experience and knowledge and make all of our conservation action that much more successful.”