This article was originally published on Mongabay

  • A major reforestation effort is underway in the eastern part of Indonesia’s Flores island.
  • It began when residents Markus Hayon and Damianus Pelada set out to restore an area around an ancestral spring that had all but dried up after an earthquake in the 1980s.
  • The cousins proceeded to plant thousands of trees — though not without some challenges along the way.

“On the eastern Indonesian island of Flores, verdant bamboo groves and thickets of tall mahogany and teak trees today carpet once bare hills. The young forest is the handiwork of two cousins. Over the last 18 years, they have planted near 6,000 teak trees and 3,000 candlenut trees and more banana trees than they could keep track of.

Their driving force? The fate of their ancestral spring — the Wai Keloba.

The story of 38-year-old Markus Hayon and his cousin Damianus Pelada begins with an earthquake in 1985. After the tremor, the spring at the base of the Kewali Kelewo mountains shriveled. Once a glorious 100-liter-a-second gusher, the Wai Keloba became a two-liter-a-second dribble. This new reality deeply affected the lives of the 2,000 residents of the three surrounding villages of Tana Tukan, Wotan Ulumado and Samasoge…”

Read on at: Mongabay.