While employed at the Eden Project Pete Whitbread-Abrutat developed and managed the partnership between Eden and the Forest Restoration Research Unit (FORRU), based at Thailand’s University of Chiang Mai. FORRU has successfully combined academic ecological research with a transformative local communities’ programme that has encouraged forest communities to plant trees and protect their forests instead of cutting them down. Starting in the tropical montane evergreen forests in and around the ecologically and culturally diverse Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, over several years, and with Eden’s help, FORRU’s work has spread throughout Thailand and tropical Asia.
- A BBC2 documentary about Eden, including a long segment on the FORRU project, which required a week in the field, script writing and presenting to camera. This was subsequently adapted into a short Eden film for which Pete wrote the script and narrated.
- Reciprocal capacity building for staff members of Eden and FORRU.
- A public exhibit in Eden’s Rainforest Biome showcasing the importance of forest restoration for ecosystems, communities and economies.
- Further support for FORRU projects, including two Darwin Initiative-funded projects, and sponsoring by Eden of a FORRU technical book on tropical forest restoration.
- A visit to Eden by Thailand’s Crown Princess Sirinhorn.
To watch a short video of Eden’s work with the FORRU project, please click on this link.