The mission of the New Forests Project is to protect, conserve, and enhance the health of the Earth's ecosystems and the people depending on them by supporting integrated grassroots efforts in agroforestry, sustainable agriculture, reforestation and protection of natural resources.
The New Forests Project is a program of The International Center, a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C.
The New Forests Project (NFP) is a people-to-people, direct-action program established in 1982 in an effort to reduce the effects of deforestation in developing countries. Since its inception, the Project has supported more than 4,500 communities in over 120 countries. Its goal is to provide farmers, community organizations, and environmental groups with the resources necessary to begin successful projects in reforestation, sustainable agriculture, water protection and conservation of natural resources. NFP has supported organizations and individuals in all developing regions of the world. However, most requests for support usually have come from Africa and Latin America.
Over the years, NFP has distributed fast-growing, multipurpose tree seeds; provided technical assistance, educational and training materials, and equipment needed for reforestation efforts. During the first sixteen years, the seeds were mailed in small quantities to all those who requested them. In 2009, the shipment method was changed to address increasing costs and restrictions. Shipments are now sent in larger quantities to organizations that have the capacity to re-distribute the seeds locally and provide technical support to those receiving them.
In 2008, NFP also began to provide small grants for training and the purchase of reforestation equipment. In 2009 in order to reduce dependence on seeds shipment from abroad NFP began to promote the implementation of local seed orchards and in 2011 it began to provide financial support for project-wide sustainable agriculture efforts in specific countries.
From 1989 to 2011, the New Forests Project also ran the Clean Water Initiative that supported community-oriented approaches to water and sanitation in Central America. The program worked with local organizations that coordinated technicians who travelled to small communities and rural populations to provide training and clean water technology (Circuit Rider Program). The Initiative also supported the access by local rural communities to low cost water disinfecting supplies through local community stores (Chlorine Bank Program).