Often times, members of poor rural communities tell environmentalists “We are with you as long as you bring to our families more livelihoods, rather than just eliminating jobs from extractive industries.” We can now affirm that a steadily increasing number of both rural and urban “green” jobs have been generated due to the groundswell of interest in such foods and in the healthy landscapes and waters which spawn them.
With Borderlands Restoration Network that is based where I live in Patagonia Arizona, at least 70 people from border communities have been employed full time, part time or seasonally since we began work in 2002. Remarkably, the landscape-level restoration of this food-producing capacity now directly employs over 125,000 Americans and generates more than $9.5 billion in economic output on an annual basis.
These restorative activities generate a “multiplier effect” of at least 95,000 other jobs, amounting to another $15 billion of value in indirect business-to-business contracts and sales.
–Gary Paul Nabhan