A letter from the Principal of Lalibela elementary school in Ethiopia


This letter that has just arrived from the Principal of the Lalibela School in Ethiopia fills me with both joy and sorrow. From 2010 to 2013, we carried out a project funded by the UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification) and the Italian Ministry of Environment to protect Lalibela from erosion using traditional terrace techniques, planting trees, and creating a productive garden. I am happy because the Principal informs me that there is now a forest that sustains the slope, mitigates extreme weather conditions, and provides shelter and well-being for people and animals.

However, it saddens me to think that the magnificent Lalibela is still affected by interventions on the monuments that ignore the need to restore the overall ecosystem, recover water capture methods, and preserve ancient environmental knowledge. Those projects from 13 years ago were an example that should have been replicated, but unfortunately, it wasn’t. This story is emblematic of what is happening globally. The same disregard for warnings about extreme weather events and examples of effective mitigation practices has occurred on a planetary scale, leading to the evident results we face today.


“Dear brother Pietro Laureano how are you  we are fine except missing you still this is because we passed a lot of challenges like COVID 19, ugly war  cost life, …..in case of these we feel pessimist.You are the first person who fought global warming in Lalibela Ethiopia ,your project showed nice forest.A lot of people who look our forest admired in each time students studying inside the forest by taking fresh air you have to be proud with your good deed. after this we are ready to connect with you Till we wish you long live!!!”

-Gebyaw Kebe



In this video our work in Lalibela in better detail.

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