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Yale University

An ELTI alumnus describing restoration opportunities in his community in the Colombian Andes. Photo by Eva Garen. Courtesy of ELTI, Yale University

Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative (ELTI)

$15,310,527, 2006-2021

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Tropical forests support a large proportion of the planet’s biodiversity. As they continue to be degraded, conservation and restoration of forests is an urgent issue, but local communities often lack access to resources that would help them manage these areas sustainably.

In 2006, with Arcadia’s support, Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies established the Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative (ELTI) to help landholders, natural resource managers and decision makers protect and restore tropical forests.

ELTI operates in Central and South America and tropical Asia, and has trained over 5,000 people to date. In addition, 150 alumni have received mentoring and support to implement tropical forest restoration projects and organize their own training events. In Panama’s Azuero Peninsula, ELTI’s training courses in 2014 inspired local cattle ranchers to establish a forest reserve after learning how increased forest cover could improve their farm production and improve river health.

Learn more about our environmental grants.

  • Participants in field exercise during ELTI field course in Azuero Peninsula, Panama. Photo by Eva Garen. Courtesy of ELTI, Yale University
  • ELTI Rainforestation field course in the Philippines. Photo by David Neidel. Courtesy of ELTI, Yale University
  • Participants during ELTI field course in the Azuero Peninsula, Panama. Photo by Sean Mattson. Courtesy of ELTI, Yale University