Forest Man: A film about how one person CAN make a difference

The year 2015 is designated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations as the International Year of Soils, with the aim to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions.

I am posting this inspiring film about Jadav Payeng in support of this month’s Earth-Friendly Challenge — on the topic of SOIL — hosted by Just Another Nature Enthusiast.

In 1979, when Payeng was 16, he started to plant each and every tree of what is now 1,300 acres of a pristine tropical woodland — and singlehandedly created a forest that is larger than New York City’s Central Park.

From the website, Plaid Zebra:

Payeng first became interested in planting the forest after noticing the effects of desertification on the island’s wildlife.

According to the Water Resources Management journal, “An estimated 175 Mha [million hectares] of land in India, constituting about 53 per cent of the total geographical area (329 Mha), suffers from deleterious effects of soil erosion…”

The North-East Indian forest created by Jadav Payeng is now home to 115 elephants, 100 deer, numerous rhinos, Bengal tigers, apes, rabbits and vultures.

This inspiring documentary film is narrated by photojournalist, Jitu Kalita and made by Canadian filmmaker William Douglas McMaster. Jitu Kalita is a wildlife photographer and the person who discovered — and wrote about — the forest created by Jadav Payeng.

The next time you feel hopeless about environmental problems, or overwhelmed about the depressing news on climate change and start to think “what does it matter what I do…what difference is it going to make…I’m only one person…there is nothing I can do…” please think about what Jadav Payeng accomplished, starting with one tree.

Related: Article on the Earth Island Journal The Lone Green Warrior

Jadav Payeng photo

Jadav Payeng photo via article on Earth Island Journal

Have you heard of Jadav Payeng?  He is around the same age as I am…and it is amazing that in his lifetime thus far, he managed to create a forest that is larger than NYC’s famed Central Park.

Let me know what you think of this film, and if you can, please do join in this month’s Earth-Friendly challenge.

International Film Festival in Monterey this weekend

The 12th Annual International Film Festival, presented by the Monterey Bay Chapter of the USA-United Nations Association (UNA), is happening this weekend at the historic and beautiful Golden State Theatre, on 417 Alvarado Street, downtown Monterey.

Admission is  $5 per session of films, with FREE admission for all students with ID.

While the topics are serious in nature — and perhaps some will be hard to watch— it is a super deal to see interesting and educational, documentary films from around the globe!  Some may even call us into action…

Note that on Saturday afternoon, the City of Monterey is offering FREE parking in the parking garage behind Wells Fargo Bank, at Franklin and Tyler. Enter the lot, take a ticket, and on your way out just say you have been at the International FIlm Festival.

Here is the schedule:

Thursday evening, November 3, 7:00 pm

Friday evening, November 4, 7:00 pm

Saturday afternoon, November 5, 1:00 pm

Saturday evening, November 5, 7:00 pm

The mission of the UNA – Monterey Bay Chapter “is to build understanding and support for the ideals and vital work of the United Nations, in and near Monterey County”.  Further, they are

Dedicated to the same concerns that led the people and the nations of the world to create the United Nations after World War II:

  • Human rights for all people
  • Combating World Poverty
  • Resolving conflicts through peaceful means
  • Protection of the world’s environment

To learn more about the Monterey Bay chapter of the United Nations Association, visit their website at