In November, Benki and a delegation representing the Yorenka Tasorentsi Institute embarked on a journey to Europe, marking a pivotal continuation of Benki’s extensive international engagements as an environmental activist and leader.
During this tour, Benki actively participated in hands-on projects, showcasing his leadership and sharing practical insights. His influence over the years has inspired European partners seeking guidance on planting methodologies for reforestation efforts. Benki’s engagement included three strategic projects aimed at advancing ecological restoration in Europe and strengthening the global network of environmental stewards.
Federico Quitadomo, one of the partners inspired by Benki’s work, initiated a project in Italy, inviting Benki and his family to share their expertise. The collaborative effort integrated Amazonian agroforestry practices with local methods, resulting in the cultivation of a diverse array of trees. This included peach, apricot, mulberry, orange, clementine, phejoia, pomegranate, holm oak, and more.
The delegation also visited Suffolk, England, engaging in a project hosted at Tommaso Marzotto’s family home. This gathering included partners from Tree Sisters, anthropologists, and Institute supporters. Meaningful conversations fostered knowledge exchange, forming the basis of a regenerative interrelational web. Nearly 200 trees, comprising native fruit trees and nuts, were planted to support both human sustenance and the local ecosystem by providing food for birds and supporting regional wildlife.
In continuation of the tour, Benki visited the planting project in Vernessac, West France, led by Benjamin Stuhlmacher, who’s reforestation studies at the Institute led him to start his own planting project in 20.. . The three-day initiative involved 60 people of all ages planting nearly 3000 trees, representing over 45 diverse species. Notably, the project also focused on safeguarding a water source by planting hundreds of water trees close to it.
Throughout these engagements, Benki not only shared teachings but also issued a call to action, highlighting the urgency of contemporary environmental challenges and emphasizing our shared responsibility in nature stewardship. This initiative reflects the Institute’s unwavering commitment to fostering international collaboration and knowledge exchange for the betterment of the planet.
Photographs by Stella Ismene, showing the planting initiative in Puglia, Italy.