News & Updates

Cheakamus Community Forest Featured in the Narwhal


Title Image Leigh Joseph, a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) ethnobotanist, harvests devil's club in the Cheakamus River watershed near Whistler, B.C. Photo by Alana Peterson

Stephanie Wood’s recent Narwhal feature Meet the Cheakamus, the only community forest to develop carbon offsets in B.C. offers readers a lovely, storied journey through the challenges and successes of the Cheakamus Community Forest. Brinkman Earth Systems was intimately involved in developing the Cheakamus Community Forest project, and we still support and work with the community today.  

Stephanie Kwetásel'wet Wood is a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh journalist and natural storyteller. Stephanie’s calm comprehensive approach brings the elements of what is possible for the Narwhal’s Carbon Cache series of in-depth features on natural climate solutions. Stephanie also captures the legacy of pre-contact Indigenous Stewardship in her sharing of the rich qualities of living biomes and connectivity, making this a beautiful article. We are proud to be part of creating Cheakamus forest’s unique climate project, and pleased to have a great picture of Robert Seaton, our Chief Science Officer featured.


CONGRATULATIONS! Erik Brinkman Executive MBA Valedictorian


CONGRATULATIONS to Erik Brinkman, our Chief Administrative Officer, who completed his SFU Beedie School of Business, Executive MBA! And double congratulations on being nominated Valedictorian of the 2021 SFU Business Faculty Graduates for his academic achievements. The Brinkman Group supports and celebrates personal and professional growth. Erik’s growth from planter, to Project Manager, to Business Development Manager to CAO reflects many achievements. This excerpt from Erik's SFU Convocation Speaker profile reflects his long commitment:             

“Erik Brinkman is a tree planter turned business executive in the resource management sector. He has planted more than 1.5 million trees by hand and continues to work with his family firm on mission-critical sustainability projects and initiatives.”

You can watch his valedictorian speech, from min 47:52-50:18 of SFU’s June 2021 Virtual Convocation Ceremony D. There you will find him reflecting both on his personal and professional journey, which can be summarized as, “Life is a gift.” 

This achievement is a significant professional milestone that will continue the Brinkman Group’s 50-year core business mission of healing and affirming life.


Other recent news articles related to Erik's unique EMBA journey:

Forest Foods Featured in The Narwhal


A B.C. Indigenous group has been working to bring its territory back to life and create a replicable model for restoration following the devastating 2017 Elephant Hill fire. But it can take a century for forests to recover and climate change adds to the timeline.

Read the story here.

Brinkman featured on CBC News


"It’s a great time to be a tree planter, as there is a huge need to reforest areas harvested and burned down by wildfires"

It takes the stamina of an athlete to run up the side of a steep mountain the way Lann Dickson does.

Read entire article here

Brinkman Featured in The Guardian Article: Reviving Land Makes Businesses Grow


"Five years ago, Jurriann Ruys, a successful partner at management firm McKinsey in Amsterdam, did something his former colleagues could never have predicted. He quit, to help solve the problem of land degradation.

Nearly half of Earth’s forests have been cleared or degraded. This presents many global challenges, including collapsing biodiversity and loss of ecological function."

Read entire article here

Brinkman Featured on Voice of America News: Clear-Cuts to Rosewood


Voice of America journalist Steve Baragona just released an article and video on, in the Science and Health section, titled "Report Sees Profit in Restoring Degraded Land," which features the forest restoration work we do.

Report Sees Profit in Restoring Degraded Land, by Steve Baragona - Voice of America

"There’s money to be made planting trees, according to a new report. Around the world, an area larger than all of South America has been deforested, eroded, drained or salinized. Governments have pledged billions to restore hundreds of millions of hectares. What’s missing are the businesses to make it happen. ... 

When it comes to planting trees, the Brinkman Group is one of the biggest. Over the last five decades, Brinkman has planted 1.4 billion trees on 1 million hectares of land. The company got its start replanting clear-cut forests in Canada. In the 1990s, it started growing trees on previously slashed-and-burned land in Central America. Brinkman created a diverse forest habitat with a mix of trees, including teak for furniture and flooring and rosewood for guitars. To preserve that habitat, trees would be selectively cut, not clear-cut, at harvest time."

Read the entire article here.


Brinkman Profiled in New WRI & TNC Report: “The Business of Growing Trees”


Brinkman’s forest restoration work has been profiled in a new report released Jan 18th 2018 by World Resources Institute (WRI) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) on the Restoration Economy. The new report, titled The Business of Planting Trees: A Growing Investment Opportunity, shows that “restoring degraded and deforested lands is not only a boon for the environment, but a lucrative opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs. WRI and TNC looked at hundreds of companies – tech startups, consumer goods companies, timber producers, etc. – and selected 14 enterprises to highlight from around the world.”

Having been in “The Business of Planting Trees” for nearing 50 years, it is an honour for us at Brinkman to have been selected as one of 14 leading examples across the globe of successful business in the land restoration economy, and one of only 2 companies showcased as “a ‘one-stop shop’ for restoration” in the Project Management section. The Brinkman profile showcases treeplanting projects across Canada, carbon offset projects in BC, and native species hardwood plantation management projects in Central America, as pointed examples of the various land restoration project types our team of skilled managers have delivered. 

With over 1.4 billion trees planted and over a million hectares restored, having our hands in the soil across this time has taught us how each natural system works together uniquely, supporting and enriching its human communities. Without stewardship, without balance between people and the biosphere, there is no economy. We've learned how to plant a sapling – or an idea – so its roots grow strong and deep.

Brinkman profile excerpt from report:

business-planting-trees_Brinkman Profile Excerpt 1_Page_1.jpg

business-planting-trees_Brinkman Profile ExcerpPage 1., by WRI & TNC

business-planting-trees_Brinkman Profile Excerpt 1_Page_2.jpg

business-planting-trees_Brinkman Profile Excerpt, Page 2., by WRI & TNC

Download full report here:

business-planting-trees_0.pdf, by WRI & TNC


Pound 4 Pemba 2017: Thank You Planters for the Biggest Year Yet!


2017 was another landmark year for the Pound 4 Pemba fundraiser. This year 332 planters, staff, and supervisors donated all or a portion of their day's earnings to help vulnerable communities on the Island of Pemba adapt and thrive in the face climate change. Over the years, the fundraiser has grown from the earnest efforts of 1 camp coming together to buy netting for community nurseries, to a company-wide celebration of the culture and spirit of solidarity and generosity that drives positive change. From empowering women with the training and support they need to grow food and start businesses,  to helping farmers transition their land to diverse and resilient food forest systems, Community Forests Internation and the B&A crew have come a long way in growing grassroots change in Pemba. 

Fundraiser Breakdown

This year we raised a total of $41,081.11 in 9 camps in B.C and Ontario this year. That is over 1/4 million trees Pounded for Pemba! With an additional $10,000 generously donated by Brinkman! We also received a very special donation of $1000 from Justin Chingee in honour of incredible friend and fellow planter - the late, great Alex Robertson.

Pound 4 Pemba is a huge part of why Pemban communities continue to thrive and innovate on their island and we can't thank you enough for your incredible support.

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The Final Numbers (photo: Top donors - Tony Hisco's camp near Upsula Ontario raised over $9000 in one day!).

This year, we also challenged the public to match tree planter generosity through our Crowdfunding campaign (still open if you want to share the video or challenge a friend or family member) and courted corporate sponsors to match the tremendous effort of tree planters like you.

Mbarouk Planting tree.jpg
Mbarouk and community members in Micheweni, Pemba restoring coastline with mangrove seedlings in solidarity with Canadian tree planters during Pound for Pemba 2017.

Pound 4 Pemba is how a tree becomes a forest. How our collective efforts are leveraged by the European Union to land $248,630 in Pemba.  How a group of tree planters acting for change becomes a movement halfway around the world.

P.S. I posted some photos from the tour on our Flicker site. If I took a photo of you on the block, that is where it can be found.

From all of us in Canada and Pemba, Asante Sana! Thank You!

Zach Melanson

Co-Founder & Communications Director
Community Forests International

CFI info graphic.png

CFI info graphic.png, by Community Forest International