“If you see a forest in Ethiopia, you know there is very likely to be a church in the middle,” writes Alison Abbott in Nature. “…These small but fertile oases — which number around 35,000 and are dotted across the country — are some of the last remaining scraps of the tall, lush natural forests that once covered Ethiopia, and which, along with their biodiversity, have all but disappeared.”

Thanks to the efforts of forest ecologists like Alemayehu Wassie and Meg Lowman, Ethiopia’s churches are beginning to see the value of reforestation and have become active partners in the renewal.

TREE Foundation is only $237,000 away from saving the highest biodiversity church forests in northern Ethiopia.