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International Tree Foundation

International Tree Foundation (ITF) is a pioneering environmental organisation founded in Kenya with the creation of Watu wa Miti (People of the Trees) by Richard ‘St. Barbe’ Baker and Chief Josiah Njonjo. St. Barbe was generations ahead of his time in terms of recognising the importance of trees and forests in sustaining life on Earth and he inspired people across the world to plant and protect trees.
ITF currently operates three grant making programmes - Africa Drylands, Sustainable Community Forestry and UK Community Tree Planting. Over the past 5 years we have supported 54 projects in 15 countries working with 46 community partners. We also run the Tree Power schools programme, the African Community Forestry Network and have a launched a 20 Million Trees for Kenya's Forests centenary campaign.

Date of Establishment:

21-Jul, 1924

Purpose of Organization:

Our mission is to protect, plant, cultivate and promote trees in partnership with local communities in ways which support the:
– conservation of trees, forests, associated biodiversity and indigenous knowledge about the wise and sustainable use of trees, plants, soils, water and other natural resources;
– advocacy and promotion of public awareness of both local and global environmental and socio-economic issues created by deforestation and unsustainable agriculture and the potential of trees to rehabilitate degraded land, generate livelihood benefits and combat climate change;
– building of the capacity of local communities to increase their resilience to environmental degradation and climate shocks through supporting the establishment of community-led natural resource management strategies.
– improvement of livelihoods in rural communities through the sustainable use of forests and forest products, especially through the cultivation and use of traditional foods and medicines to improve food security, nutrition, and health;
– adoption of agro-ecology and agroforestry practices to develop sustainable agricultural systems that generate income, create jobs and business opportunities;
– development of socially and environmentally desirable local governance and community by-laws which meet the needs and aspirations of local communities, while contributing to the formulation of more effective national and regional policies.

GEF/SGP involvement:



Over the years ITF has supported community tree planting projects in more than 30 countries including: Algeria, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia in Africa; Bangladesh, India, Nepal and the Philippines and Sri Lanka in Asia; Lebanon and Palestine in the Middle East; Belize, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru in Central and South America. In the 1990s we funded the acquisition of land in Belize to preserve a tropical rainforest and the Forest People’s Fund supporting forest peoples in Rondonia in the Amazon basin.

In the 1940's ITF (known then as Men of the Trees) launched both the World Forestry Charter and the New Earth Movement and Charter. In the early 1950s ITF launched an international Green Front to promote reforestation worldwide with the largest single challenge being to reverse desertification and reclaim the Sahara Desert through the strategic planting of trees; undertaking a 25,000-mile ecological assessment throughout the Sahara and the Sahel regions. This was later taken up by the African Union and is now known as the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative. ITF was also instrumental in establishing National Tree Week in 1975 which has been organised every year since by The Tree Council.
Countries in which organization is active:
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Congo, Dem.Rep. Of the
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom
  • Zambia

Contact Details
Street Address:
Mayfield House,
256 Banbury Road,
United Kingdom
Telephone No.:
Organization founded:

NGO Information
Focal Area:
  • Biodiversity
  • Climate Change
  • Climate Change - Agriculture/Forestry
  • Land Degradation
  • Organization Type:
  • Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)
  • Geographic Scope:
  • Global

  • Contact Person
    Mr Andy Egan Key Contact Person
    Chief Executive

    Contact Person
    Mr Paul Laird Key Contact Person
    Programme Manager

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