Legacy Forest: In Memoriam – Polly Higgins

To commemorate and celebrate the life of Polly Higgins, lawyer and barrister, who worked tirelessly to introduce the Law of Ecocide into The Rome Statute, it has been suggested that we plant a heart-shaped legacy forest in the tropical region of Boré, Kenya.

Polly passed away on Easter Sunday 2019 after a very short illness and people from all over the world have paid tribute to this inspirational environmentalist.

Polly’s memorial forest will be located just a few degrees south of the equator, where trees grow incredibly quickly. A mango tree, for example, at 5 years old will be 12 ft tall and bear 100 pieces of fruit, cashew trees of the same age, will be about 20 ft tall and laden with nuts.

Not only will Polly’s forest do a fantastic job of mitigating climate change by swiftly drawing down and locking in tonnes of carbon dioxide, but the commodities from the forest will also alleviate hunger in the community, they’ll provide safe habitats for wildlife and much needed shade for humans too. They’ll also provide the community with medicines from the neem tree and water purifiers and food from the moringa, and more besides.

The trees are likely to be planted by members of our women’s empowerment group, the Mothers of the Forest. They’ll nurture and water them and once they’re nicely settled into the ground, our team will gather the GPS coordinates of every single tree on our electronic logger. If the trees die for any reason (think ‘rowdy baboons’) the Mothers will replace them; environmental investments with Word Forest, are safe.

Mothers of the Forest

As mapping sources like Google Earth take new photos of our planet, in due course, Polly’s friends and family will be able to visit her legacy forest from the comfort of their own homes. Our team will also gather photos on the ground periodically, charting its health and progress.

We always consult with our tree planters in Kenya and once we know how many trees we’ll be working with on this amazing project, and they’ve selected the most suitable site, they’ll also identify the best varieties to plant there. For now, imagine if you will, multiples of trees laid out as beautiful, expanding green hearts of varying types; some fruit bearing, others nut bearing, and more laden with medicine and other foods. In the centre we will place a hand-carved wooden plaque with Polly’s name carved upon it by one of our talented craftspeople.

As weA new Word Forest classroomll as planting trees, we believe it’s important to support the communities in Kenya who are living on the frontline of climate change. We do this by building solid stone classrooms and facilitating education. A tree costs just £2.50 which pays someone to take care of it, buys new seed and funds a few building materials for schools that need urgent assistance.

As well as providing education of the 3Rs to adults and youngsters in rural Kenya, we deliver environmental education too by partnering with organisations like The Wildlife Clubs of Kenya.

We hope to connect with Polly’s team soon, to find out if there are any resources we could translate and deliver to our friends in Kenya, to help them understand more about ecocide and Polly’s vital work.

We hope the heart forest will be a fitting tribute to a wonderful, strong, immensely caring woman, who gave her all for the planet.

256 trees will create a half acre heart.

4,096 trees would create a 10 acre heart and would also pay for an entire classroom to be built too.

It’s £2.50 a tree, please choose how many you would like to donate below.

Thank you – asante sana (Kiswahili).

The Team

Or choose your own number:

Number of trees donated so far: 715