“From the beginning, Arcadia has given us the flexibility to develop meaningful programs that achieve results from the bottom up,” said Eva Garen
’97 M.E.S ’05 Ph.D., ELTI’s program director and principal investigator for the new grant. “This approach has enabled ELTI and our partners to identify the pressing issues related to forest landscape degradation and to develop innovative and valuable training and leadership opportunities, including open access resources, for the people addressing these complex issues on the ground.”
“The results have been inspiring and demonstrate the value of empowering cross-cultural exchanges of knowledge and experience.”
It is especially rewarding, Garen said, to see the diverse and creative ways that the alumni of ELTI’s training program apply what they learn
with support from ELTI’s leadership program. Alumni have implemented their own training courses based on ELTI themes and have even established community associations in order to receive international funding to implement high-impact restoration initiatives, she said.
Among the resources that ELTI makes available publicly is its Tropical Native Species Reforestation Information Clearinghouse
(TRIC), an online trove of research information. TRIC has more than 1,200 resources in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Since its launch in 2011, it has been accessed by more than 53,000 users. All of the participants from ELTI’s online courses — more than 400 to date — receive special guidance on how to use TRIC for literature reviews to gather information on the ecology, land-use history, and restoration strategies relevant to their own restoration initiatives.
The online courses offer tailored tutoring to practitioners across the tropical world and enables participants to develop and refine on-the-ground projects focused on tropical forest landscape restoration based on their own local contexts.