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Trees for Life Program - Planting Hope


Olive trees are not only one of the main sources of income for small farmers, but more importantly, a hope for a better future, where livelihoods are sustained, enabling families to live in dignity.


Canaan’s Trees for Life program is all about positive aspirations for better life conditions for farmers, and sustaining their way of life. 


The program works with farmers to plant new plots with olive and almond trees, expand the size of current farms as well as plant new ones. The program also brings in new farmers to the sector, especially young people so as to inject new blood and energy in the sector and plant the seeds for long-term sustainability.  


In the past 10 years, the project has planted more than 130,000 trees with support from grassroots movement partner organizations and businesses.


In partnership with the Land of Canaan Foundation in the U.S., the Trees for Life Program has a campaign where individual donors can buy trees to be donated directly to farmers. The program has been a huge success where donations as low as US$20 can have a significant impact on farmer families. Visit the Land of Canaan Foundation to learn more about the program.





Young Trees Lead to a Regenerative Ecosystem

The Trees for Life Program started in 2005 and is administered by the Palestine Fair Trade Association (PFTA), the umbrella organization for all fair-trade farmers in Palestine. While the primary function of the program is to distribute tree saplings, the underlying goal is to sustain and expand the existing capacities of the farmers by maintaining their life-long farming traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. 


These customs are the very practices that have enabled the older generations to live in a symbiotic relationship with the surrounding ecosystem. This fruitful relationship protects the environment as it supports its key pillars of soil, wildlife, and crops. This relationship not only allows the whole ecosystem to be sustainable, but also to grow and support new varieties of crops, animals, and even meet ever-changing human demands.


A committee of PFTA farmers administers and implements the program. Any farmer can apply, and they’re selected based on suitability of land, farmer’s readiness and capacity to care for the trees, and her/his commitment to fair-trade practices. Priority goes to women farmers, young farmers, and farmers who have lost trees due to the geopolitical challenges. Trees are usually planted between Tree Day, January 15, and Land Day, March 30. The ritual of planting trees is a symbolic initiative to keep hope and regenerate the soil that provided for our ancestors for generations.


Read more about the program:

Trees for Life Report 2015
Trees for Life Report 2014
Trees for Life Report 2013
Trees for Life Report 2012
Trees for Life Report 2010
Trees for Life Report 2009