In a private ceremony on 5 November 2018 at Rideau Hall, in Ottawa, the four co-founders of the non-profit organization Taking Root were presented with the Meritorious Service Cross from the Right Honourable Julie Payette, the Governor General of Canada.
Kahlil Baker (UBC Forestry PhD Graduate), Samuel Gervais, Laura Howard and Brooke van Mossel-Forrester founded Taking Root, a not‑for‑profit organization that uses reforestation to reduce the impact of climate change, restore ecosystems and promote economic development among farmers in Nicaragua. By working to reforest more than 1 500 hectares, they have helped to create thousands of jobs and improved conditions in nearly 70 local communities, while offsetting carbon emissions equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 90 000 cars.
About Taking Root
Taking Root is a pioneer in leveraging the forest carbon offset industry to promote economic development amongst smallholder farmers in Central America. As a not for profit, our mission is to use reforestation as a tool to mitigate climate change, restore ecosystems and improve livelihoods. This is achieved by encouraging smallholder-farming families to reforest the under-utilized parts of their farms using native tree species in exchange for direct payments over time as the trees sequester carbon from the atmosphere. These carbon sequestration services are then marketed and sold directly within Canada and through channel partnerships in Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, England, the USA and Spain.
About Meritorious Service Decorations
The Meritorious Service Decorations recognize great Canadians for exceptional deeds accomplished over a limited period of time that bring honour to our country. They honour achievements in both military and civil divisions.
The Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division) were established to recognize remarkable contributions in many different fields of endeavour, from advocacy initiatives and health care services, to research and humanitarian efforts.
Past recipients have tackled poverty in their community, improved education opportunities for children in Canada and abroad, or raised awareness of important causes and issues. They inspire us and make us proud. If this sounds like someone you know, nominate them today!