Lovingly referred to in his village as "mbah," or "grandpa," Sadiman, a 69-year-old Indonesian who lives on the island of Java, has been tenaciously planting drought resistant and water storing banyan and ficus trees in the mountainous areas near his village in order to alleviate the adverse effects of drought conditions and wildfires, restore local groundwater and natural springs, prevent land erosion and revitalize the barren hills and landscape for agricultural use. Even as Sadiman admits that he experienced some initial ridicule and hesitancy from village residents because “they believed there are spirits in these trees," these concerns did not deter Sadiman. Rather, because of his graciousness and committed replanting efforts, over time, natural springs started to form once again across the once arid landscape, with the spring water now being connected to nearby homes for domestic use and farmlands to enhance local agricultural production and food security. Sadiman's story of kindness and compassion is a wonderful reminder of what one person is capable of to help their community become more resilient to the challenges of climate change.

Read Full Story