This article was originally published on National Geographic


“Until recently, the people living on the island of Kokota thought their forests were lost forever. The tiny Tanzanian islet measures only one square kilometer and is home to just 500 people.

For centuries, Kokota’s residents subsisted by harvesting the island’s natural resources, including its trees. By the early 21st century, though, the deforestation had become unsustainable and the islanders faced a crisis. Fisheries were depleted, which threatened the Kokotan’s food supplies, and rivers ran dry, which left people with little water to drink or cook with.

Kokota’s residents also faced threats largely out of their control. A changing climate has meant the island is now experiencing rising sea levels, more erratic rainfall, and coral bleaching in the surrounding waters.

But in recent years, the island has managed to step back from the brink of ruin. Reforestation efforts began on Pemba in 2008, and since then, more than two million trees have been planted there and on Kokota. Kokota also has its first school as well as a system for collecting rainwater. Though small, the island is an example of how a community can successfully adapt to the growing challenges created by climate change, its residents say…”

Read on at: National Geographic.