Jonas Philanthropies Expands Impact with the Launch of ‘Trees for Climate Health’

New Jonas Philanthropies Initiative Combats Climate Change 

(New York, NY) June 5, 2020 — Jonas Philanthropies, a nonprofit dedicated to investing where it matters most, is expanding its commitment to healthcare with the launch of Trees for Climate Health, an initiative devoted to tree growing domestically and globally. As an urgent response to the global climate emergency, Jonas Philanthropies is investing $1 million in this initiative and is gathering a powerful network of partner funders to match its commitment to reach a total $10 million over the next five years. Together, these partner funders will help grow over 10 million trees by 2025.

By taking an evidence based and data-driven approach, Trees for Climate Health identifies the right trees, the right places and the right communities to create maximum social, economic, and ecological benefit. The initiative supports a diversity of tree-growing organizations which prioritize engagement with frontline communities, promote food security, biodiversity, and multi-functionality of species, and have a proven track record of high survival rates. They also put a focus on growing species of trees with meaningful carbon sequestration rates to combat climate change.

“It is core to the Jonas Philanthropies ethos to support the leadership of frontline communities,” said Lendri Purcell, Vice President, Jonas Philanthropies and Founder, Trees for Climate Health. “We are proud to be supporting these communities in a new and vital way with Trees for Climate Health. This initiative sits under a new impact area for our organization, Jonas Community & Climate Health, which invests in keeping our Earth and people well.”

“Healthy trees mean healthy people,” said Erin Axelrod, Project Director, Trees for Climate Health. “Growing trees is a critical component in addressing climate change, but only when done in tandem with urgent action to reduce fossil fuel emissions. By supporting frontline communities who are leading the tree-growing initiatives, this initiative achieves additional benefits such as improving air & water quality (watershed health), shade cover, economic security, human mental and physical health, and overall quality of life. Our data-driven approach and diversified portfolio of tree-growing partners are critical components to this endeavor.”

Together with vetting from a world-renowned Tree Expert Advisory Board, Trees for Climate Health uses an expansive database of tree-growing organizations and a data-driven criteria and analysis to select the most impactful projects for funding. The first cycle of the $1M Trees for Climate Health commitment, totaling  $100,00, has been disbursed to seven projects across five organizations around the world. These projects Include:

  • Triquilapa and Montecillos Watersheds, (Tegucigalpa, Honduras): A project led by the Suyapa indigenous leaders in collaboration with Trees, Water & People that will address urban heat island effect and protect the biggest watershed in Honduras with the growing of 40,000 trees.
  • Forest Conservation & Reforestation (Southwest Haiti): DESPRI Haiti will protect Pine National Park from deforestation and grow 24,490 new trees.
  • Moringa Reforestation (Northwest Haiti): DESPRI Haiti will grow 16,327 Moringa trees, a fast growing, drought-resistant fruit tree that will provide food, medicine, and water purification as well as help income security for local  women’s self-help groups.
  • Urban Tree Canopy Expansion (Los Angeles, CA): A project from Tree People that adds 24 trees to the streets of Los Angeles, reducing extreme heat days by up to 20°F. Local highschool students and community members will help plant and protect these trees.
  • Planting Trees and Alleviating Extreme Poverty (Kenya & Madagascar): The growing of 150,000 trees by Eden Reforestation Projects will provide income and food security to alleviate local poverty.
  • Urban Forestry with Youth Employment (East Bay Area, CA): Common Vision will grow 150 trees, provide job opportunities for urban youth and engage students with school gardens and greenspace.
  • Ponderosa Pine Reforestation of Burn Areas (Pine Ridge, SD): Trees, Water & People will re-establish indigenous foodways and create jobs in one of the most impoverished regions of the United States with the growing of 6,000 trees.

About Trees for Climate Health

Trees for Climate Health is a powerful network of partner funders and collaborators who are working to address the impact of climate change by growing over 10 Million trees by 2025. This initiative from Jonas Philanthropies takes an evidence based and data-driven approach to tree growing, identifying the right trees, the right places, and the right communities to create maximum social, economic and ecological benefit.

About Jonas Philanthropies

Jonas Philanthropies is transforming our communities for the better by investing where it matters most, in solutions that can be scaled for the greatest impact. Its programs address high-need issues and audiences with high-impact solutions: promoting leadership in nursing and veterans healthcare, preventing and treating low vision and blindness, protecting our children’s environmental health, and taking care of our climate. For more information about Jonas Philanthropies, visit, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.


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