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Meet Yorit and Aviram Rozin, the founders and directors of Sadhana Forest, a volunteer-based organisation focused on establishing long-term plant-based food security through environmental restoration.

Date posted: 07 May 2024, 11:00am

Article length: 8 minutes

Since its launch in 2003 in India, Sadhana Forest ( has dedicated its energy and resources to creating a vibrant, indigenous Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest (TDEF), and aimed to introduce an increasing number of people to sustainable living, food security through ecological transformation, wasteland reclamation, and veganism. 

In 2010, Sadhana Forest achieved third place in the Humanitarian Water and Food (WAF), an international acknowledgment of the high-quality ecological and humanitarian work accomplished by that time. Currently, the organisation operates in India (where Aviram, Yorit, and their family still reside in the experimental, international township of Auroville), Haiti, Kenya, and Namibia.

Aviram, along with the Sadhana Forest France teams, has been assisting Emerald Stay in its environmental commitment since 2020.

This brief interview will provide us with valuable insights into Sadhana Forest's purpose and actions, as well as shed light on our collaboration. Read our complete interview with Aviram below.

Aviram Rozin, Emerald Stay’s Impact Collaborator

Sadhana Forest is officially identified as one of the most innovative and efficient organisations globally, with backing from the UN and the World Bank. Could you share your background and elaborate on how you initiated and sustained this remarkable initiative? What are the underlying principles and the ultimate goal?

I am a serial entrepreneur and set up and ran different projects and companies before Sadhana Forest. I have always been pulled into leadership roles. I started Sadhana Forest because I was looking for a place to live with my family. I wanted to live in a community that was fully aligned with my values and aspirations, but I realised that it did not exist yet. Thus I needed to start my own organisation. 

Sadhana Forest is an attempt to look at the bigger picture. We are trying to connect the dots between different societal and environmental challenges we are faced with, and the solutions that exist. We do not want to just plant trees, but to do so while living in a way that is as much in harmony with nature and the communities around us as we possibly can. 

All our centres are off-grid, fully solar and wind-powered, and have been designed to have a positive impact and showcase our values and commitment for sustainability. Our structures are built from natural or upcycled materials, we eat only vegan wholefoods and live very simply with minimal waste. Everything is intended to inspire by demonstrating different options such as composting, recycling, eco-construction, short resource cycles, the use of natural and biodegradable products and cleaning agents… . 

Sadhana Forest is not just a reforestation organisation, it is a way of life! We want to create a new model of integral environmental and humanitarian work.

Aviram Rozin, Emerald Stay’s Impact Collaborator

Hosting and training thousands of volunteers annually, alongside collaborations with academic partners for research and scientific advancements in reforestation, sets Sadhana Forest apart. Could you enlighten us on your methodology and what makes it stand out? 

Sadhana Forest is a volunteer-run organisation. All the management is done by volunteers, and so is most of the hands-on work on the ground. We host over 1,500 volunteers per year. As we do not have to pay wages, our overhead and management costs are very low. This allows us to invest almost all our funds in tree planting and on-the-ground work. We are a ‘lean and mean’ grassroots organisation.

It is very important for us to objectively study the effects of its environmental regeneration work and to gain deep insights into its underlying processes. Sadhana Forest is therefore heavily involved in different scientific research projects around soil regeneration, long-term carbon sequestration, water conservation and biodiversity.

The organisation is bringing together the spirit and energy of grassroots community work, the efficiency and precision of the corporate world and the curiosity and systematic investigation of science.

Aviram Rozin, Emerald Stay’s Impact Collaborator

Beyond our efforts to measure our carbon footprint and minimise emissions, we have also been offsetting our unavoidable ones by making a yearly carbon contribution to support Sadhana Forest in Haiti. Can you provide more details about this project and its evolution?

Sadhana Forest Haiti was started in April 2010, right after the devastating earthquake, in the town of Anse-à-Pitres near the border with Dominican Republic. This area is suffering from economic insecurity, malnutrition, lack of access to drinking water, and an increasing amount of climate disasters (hurricanes and tropical storms).

The Sadhana Forest team goes out every day to plant indigenous food-producing trees together with local people around their homes. We have planted over 130,000 food-producing trees so far, providing a reliable long-term source of food for 10,000 families. Our campus also has drinking water taps where people can come and collect clean drinking water from our borewell throughout the day. 

One of the most popular trees we plant is the Maya nut. A mature tree produces on average 170kg of very nutritious nuts per year. Once dried, the nuts can be preserved for 5 years. We have a solar-powered mill where people can mill their nuts into flour for baking, free of charge.

Despite all the economic, political and climatic challenges the area is facing, the project has been going strong for 14 years now. It is not an easy context, but Sadhana Forest wants to work with those communities that need it the most! In September 2023, the Dominican Republic closed its border with Haiti, making it harder for people in Anse-à-Pitres to get basic supplies and increasing food scarcity. The border is still closed, at the time of this interview (March 2024). This challenge makes our project all the more relevant and impactful.

Aviram Rozin, Emerald Stay’s Impact Collaborator

Last but definitely not least, do you have a dream we could all be part of? 

Let us dream together of Emerald Stay spearheading the hospitality world towards a sustainable model of increasing global forest cover, biodiversity and long-term carbon sequestration and reducing world hunger. 

We can make this dream a reality by starting more Sadhana Forest centres in all arid corners of the world. These centres will support dozens of millions of malnourished people to plant indigenous food forests around their homes.

If you would like to be part of this dream, scan the QR code below or go to 

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