March 25, 2013 – Poverty & Deforestation in Central America

An Extraordinary, Garden-Variety Solution to Poverty & Deforestation in Central America

SPEAKER: Ms. Florence Reed, President & Founder, Sustainable Harvest International

DATE: March 25, 2013
TIME: 7:30 AM
LOCATION: Bangor Public Library

Abstract:This presentation begins with a look at the global and local impacts of slash-and-burn agriculture in the tropics. It then focuses on Sustainable Harvest International’s unique and successful model for reversing this harmful trend.

The talk goes on to show how this simple approach helps to alleviate poverty, reverse deforestation, mitigate global climate change, decrease illegal immigration, reduce pollution and much more.

About the speaker: Florence Reed believes that when people work together, things change for the better.This belief led her to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama in the early nineties. In 1997, Florence founded Sustainable Harvest International (SHI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to working with rural Central American communities to implement sustainable farming practices. Since then, Florence has grown SHI from working with only a dozen families to working with nearly 1,500 active and graduate families in four Central American countries to plant more than 3 million trees, convert 14,000 acres of degraded land to sustain able farms and save an estimated 70,000 acres of tropical forest from slash and burn destruction.

In recent years she has received two honorary doctorates for her work from University of New Hampshire and Southern New Hampshire University, along with many awards such as the Yves Rocher Women of the Earth award, Traditional Home Classic Woman award, Garden Club of America Distinguished Service award and etown e-chievement award. In 2009, Florence was painted by artist Robert Shetterly as part of his renowned Americans Who Tell The Truth portrait series. In November 2011, Florence was named a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow by The Council of Independent Colleges and in June 2012, Florence was presented with the Peace Corps’ prestigious Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service.

In addition to presentations on her experiences founding SHI, the work of the organization and the issues it addresses, Florence can also speak on broader topics such as sustainable agriculture, food security, sustainable development, eco-tourism and voluntourism.

Florence is equally comfortable speaking to business groups, civic organizations, church congregations and international forums. School children to CEOs of multinational organizations alike are captivated by her gripping accounts, vision, integrity, humor and forthright manner.

An acclaimed speaker for audiences of all ages and backgrounds, Florence Reed brings to her lectures a unique combination of fascinating information, beautiful photography and a warm appreciation of peoples, cultures and the natural environment. Her tales of struggle and hope exemplify what people can accomplish with determination and vision.