Philippines RPCV Fitzgerald plants trees for the future

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Philippines: Peace Corps Philippines: Peace Corps in the Philippines: Philippines RPCV Fitzgerald plants trees for the future

By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, June 28, 2001 - 3:13 pm: Edit Post

Fitzgerald plants trees for the future

Fitzgerald plants trees for the future

Fitzgerald plants trees for the future

Brian Fitzgerald (Ghana 91-93) is putting his Peace Corps forestry experience to work through Trees for the Future, which is dedicated to reforestation around the world. He is Africa Program Coordinator for the non-profit organization based in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Fitzgerald's job involves frequent travel to African countries where Trees for the Future has projects: Ghana, Chad, Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda, and Eritrea. He plans two trips back to Ghana in 1995.

According to Dave Deppner, Executive Director of Trees for the Future, "The destruction of the world's natural resources proceeds at a daily rate in excess of 100,000 acres, mostly in the developing countries of the humid tropics. Forests degrade into eroded landscapes. Farmlands turn into deserts as climate changes."

As a Peace Corps volunteer, Fitzgerald found that Ghana had more than its share of such problems. After serving six months in the Philippines doing community extension work in forestry, the Peace Corps had to pull out because of political unrest. Then, after returning home to Connecticut for several months, he was sent to Ghana. He trained at Cape Coast and subsequently spent two years planning and directing forestry projects around Sankubenase in the Eastern Region.

"I made all the initial contacts myself, but community leaders really got behind the projects," says Fitzgerald. "Before I got there, three logging concessions had destroyed lots of farmland, providing no compensation for damages."

Over the past decade or two, this has happened often in Ghana despite the government's efforts to stop it. Lack of law enforcement has been a problem, as has the speed with which some companies operate. According to Fitzgerald, "I visited plenty of places where they illegally cut everything, leaving a strip of trees alongside each road so you don't notice the clear-cutting when you drive by. Brong-Ahafo is in particularly rough shape."

Trees for the Future maintains a field office in Ghana, staffed by two people, who are currently coordinating reforestation projects at the Winneba refugee camp.

The organization, founded in 1989, hopes to plant nearly seven million trees in 1995 across 19 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Those wishing to make donations or receive more information may call Brian Fitzgerald at 1-800-643-0001.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Ghana; Special Interests - Forestry



By Kwabena Badu ( - on Tuesday, April 19, 2005 - 2:15 pm: Edit Post

Where are you now, Stumpy McFishstick?

Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.