The Vetiver Network International

Rating: 4.53 stars   62 reviews

Issues: Environment

Location: 149 E Rosewood San Antonio TX 78212 USA

Mission: The Vetiver Network International (TVNI) promotes the worldwide use of the Vetiver System (VS) for a sustainable environment particularly in relation to land and water.
Results: Positive feed back from many users throughout the tropics
Target demographics: natural resources conservation and mitigation of climate change impacts, particularly soil and water conservation, decontamination of land and water, and infrastructure stabilization
Direct beneficiaries per year: Ours is a knowledge based organization that directs support to end users and other organizations and institutions that work directly with beneficiaries.
Geographic areas served: world wide especially in countries that have tropical to semi tropical climates
Programs: Technical knowledge and feedback about the Vetiver System; supporting country networking, facilitation conferences and workshops, and providing sound technical advice on projects and applications that relate to the Vetiver System. Supporting communities that are looking for solutions to mitigate against climate change
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 54-1778296
210-732-7138
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

It is with TVNI support that in Kenya we were able to set up an NGO (following good example of SLUF in Ethiopia) that promotes sustainable land use and yes: Vetiver System is very much part of that. Our Kenya network is now vibrant - even if I leave this country one day (I am not a national); we have an active network, and increasing capacity to train farmers, promote the technology in the development world keen on catchment protection (no small thing in Kenya where irrigation projects main problems include catchment degradation), and in the world of engineering.

TVNI has character and charm, it is a real informal network, but it really works worldwide !!! !!! !!!
So when I have to fix this steep slope in Kilifi (on the coast) I just call this TVNI friend in South Africa and since he's following every step on the way, and adding advice. Where to use a drill, where to use a hammer, what fertliizer, what to mix in the hydromulch. It demonstrates that the technology promoted by TVNI is truly open-source and accessible.

We also have some measure of solidarity between members.
Does Alain from DRC not get paid by the road project in Uganda? Half a dozen of TVNI people get mobilized to put pressure (some of it from Kenya).
Does Rose from Siaya again not reliable supply as agreed? She'll be blacklisted. Because only good, reliable suppliers should remain (so buyers - many are farmers - should not be duped).
Is one of our members forcefully evicted (tribal)? Several of us contribute to get him relocated.


TRUST is at the core of TVNI values, and that is where it should remain. To guard our quality.
And this TRUST and SOLIDARITY belongs, make no mistake, in an NGO that promotes something really technical. To slow down water speed, keep soil in place, to guard the basis of many farmers' existence.
In that sense, it is life-changing.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Allow it to operate 48 hours/day, 14 days/week, 24 months/year, to do even more !

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

We (our NGO) was greatly helped by TVNI's website, Facebook page and group emails as well as direct emailing, in which we got backstopping on how best to address catchment protection, and deal with rehabilitation of gullies. The technology promoted by TVNI (Vetiver System) is durable, low-cost and very effective; the local communities (farmers) that we work with are happy with the result (even if it takes a bit of training and follow-up to get it right).

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give it more funding to promote itself!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

It is amazing how over so many years TVNI maintains its network status, with increasing numbers of people active in it, and TVNI sustains a combination of youth enthusiasm and (many) years of experience.
It has been my passion for over 15 years now, to do things for Vetiver and that means:
- networking through email, phone, facebook, websites
- occasional field visits to see a problem and advise
- technical backstopping: and that's the fun, making your hands (and boots, clothes, not to mention the car...) really dirty, but the outcome is always that another community of enthusiasts is forever linked to you.
Most recently a community of Maasai where the quarrel was: 'Vetiver is for handicraft' (women) against: 'Vetiver is for fixing roads and drains' (male leadership) and that was a result of two different presentations. Of course we start where we always start: nurseries, learning to establish a decent, CLOSED hedge, checking survival rates.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Incrase its funding to send people to international conferences so that this technology also appears in more formal networks of science, engineering, etc.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

TVNI has for more than 15 years taken a lot of my time and enthusiasm, it is really great the way we are end-user oriented and share and give feedback across the world, at such low-cost. The network has a very pleasant amount of professionals, all ready to help out and do their own things on the ground.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been involved with propagating, planting, and educating about vetiver for over 20 years. Our family farm, Agriflora Tropicals, in Puerto Rico has been a source of quality plants to local and USA projects both on site and online. Publishing the Vetiver Solutions and the Vetiver Puerto Rico blogs has been a very rewarding experience allowing me to share knowledge with people around the world.

Everyone in The Vetiver Network International is a volunteer and, as an Associate Director, I have been trusted to admin the Caribbean and Latin American discussion groups and the TVNI Facebook group. TVNI and its volunteer members and now spreading vetiver knowledge around the world in many different languages. One of the best organized among environmentally consciousness groups.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

In 1989 we aquired a 30-acre farm in the tropical mountains of Puerto Rico. Rain-driven erosion was an immediate concern until we found The Vetiver Network International (TVNI) and its abundant educational material about this amazing plant. Many years and many rains later, vetiver still defends our farm and we have become professional growers and consultants for this technology. TVNI has always provided the educational and teaching tools and the human network to help us make a valuable environmental contribution while providing our small family farm with an additional source of income.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Our farm has never experienced damage to its roads protected by the vetiver. Any other protection method would have been more costly and probably less durable.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

How did you learn about this organization?

Through our Department of Agriculture

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

Making knowledge available within a broad network of members and the general public.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with the Vetiver Network International (TVNI) and the promotion of the Vetiver System (VS) as a technology for environmental mitigation over the past 25 years. I have seen the network and the application of the technology spread around the world with some excellent results that impact on natural resources conservation, disaster mitigation, structural stabilization and pollution control. I have seen poor rural people benefit from VS application in better farm incomes, better health, and conserved land assets.. I have seen better and lower cost maintenance of roads. I have seen dirty polluted water and land contaminated by waste products become clean again. I have seen hope where before there was despair.

I have been part of an organization that is totally organized and supported by volunteers, that operates on less than $10,000 a year. I have seen thousands of VS users interacting on many VS focused websites, blogs and social networks (FaceBook) – providing support to each other in the quest of applying and developing new innovative measures that involve the use of Vetiver grass. The networks are truly “for the people and by the people”. TVNI is a knowledge based organization that shares information on the public domain via the Internet. Further over the past year it has expanded its support for workshops and training. It has helped those who are looking for solutions for low cost fuel energy, for cleaning up waste products and subsequent health benefits. It has expanded its support for women in Vetiver.

The network has a philosophy of “Letting a Thousand Flowers Bloom” – the results have been exceptional. The Network is built on trust and respect for everyone involved with the technology. We listen to feedback from the smallest and poorest contributor to large companies all of whom are dealing with similar problems at different scale. Each one is able to learn from the other. TVNI is a truly a giant network both globally, professionally and technically trying to deal with those problems that are generated by climate change, poverty and natural resources conservation. It offers something to everybody who are looking to solve problems relating to activities involving soil and water.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

PROBLEM AND NEEDS: My field is agriculture and i focus on working with developing countries. I have been disturbed during most of my life about two global issues: a) disappearing soils and their reduced capacity to produce more food and fodder; and b) reduced availability of water, needed to make crops grow and survive. I have had my own small production farms (in three different countries) and saw the degradation of both accessible water and quality soils. I was for five years assigned the management of an agricultural and rural infrastructure project in Madagascar, one of the countries that bleeds so much soil, it is the only place on earth that a satellite picture brings out plumes of brown, mud charged waters coming out the country's river into clear blue Pacific. Among other, the project was tasked to rehabilitate critical farm-to-market infrastructure, and we had to assure the sustainability and durability of all the construction/ rehabilitation work. It included rural roads, bridges, culverts, drains, river embankments, irrigation ditches, railroad, port. etc. that were constantly destroyed by the island's (larger than France in surface) heavy rain storms and annual cyclones. We wanted to find the best and surest system to protect what the US Gov't was paying large amounts to rebuild, but which in the past broke down or disappeared due to cyclones, floods and storms. The project organized a "soil erosion" workshop to which we searched for and invited about ten dozen projects and technical specialists to present their experience in reducing soil erosion, floods and infrastructure protection. Dale Rachmeler, a colleague, suggested inviting a representative from an organization in the US that specialized in erosion control. We managed to have Founder of the organization attend and be part of the workshop (he happened to be in China at the time). After two days of presentation by various practitioners, workshop attendees were asked to vote for technology or system that seemed the most sustainable, efficient and low cost technology. The vote was overwhelmingly The Vetiver Network; the simple, highly effective plant- based technology changed my life. In agriculture, one only has about 25 chances (harvest seasons) "to get it right." After less than several months into learning about the Vetiver system and the plant used, I recall saying: " this is what I have been looking for my adult life, and I am going to help propagate the system world wide." I was additionally motivated by reading a document that described the two major threats to global survival were: are population growth, and "the loss of agricultural land to grow food." The world’s cropland was losing topsoil through erosion faster than new soil could be formed, thereby reducing the land’s inherent capacity to be productive. Where losses are heavy, productive land turns into wasteland or deserts. ONE OF THE BEST SOLUTION: For the past 18 years, The Vetiver Network International (TVNI), a knowledge sharing organization, is composed of fifteen regional and national Vetiver networks around the globe. They have spawned and informed tens of thousands of applications of plant-based soil remediation and climate change adaptation practices now in almost all countries of Central and South America, the Caribbean,Sub-Sahara Africa, Mediterranean countries, South and South-East Asia, China, Australia and parts of Pacific Island States to reverse soil-loss trends. THE PLANT: At the base of the system is a most unusual one in the plant kingdom; it is one of the oldest on the planet, and one that developed adaptation properties over millions of years, being resilient to land slides, droughts, submergence, floods, fires, brackish waters and a variety of soil types, predators and diseases. In addition, the plant is non-fertile and non-invasive. THE APPROACH: The deep and massive roots of the Vetiver plant grow to two to three meters (6-9 feet), stabilizing soils, and through its stiff leaf/stems grow to about to meters, slowing rain water-run off, and filters and traps soil particles on the up-hill side of the plants, creating natural terraces . The "Vetiver system," which is a form of phytoremediation technique is applied through planted hedgerows of closely spaced Vetiver plants (Chrysopogan zizanoides), along the contour of slops and lowlands, retaining upward to 95% of eroding soils in the slopes and open fields. One of the dominant features of the Vetiver System is the simplicity of its application; it requires knowing only a few basic guidelines. It can be applied by anyone who knows how to handle a hoe or shovel, plant plants in rows perpendicular to the slope, and care for the plants for the three months of planting. The plant also retains soil moisture in sloped areas, facilitating reforestation and increasing the option of hillside farming, where usually soils are too dry to farm. OTHER ASPECTS OF VETIVER: The Vetiver plant and system have multiple applications and uses. The leaf/stem part is used as a raw material for "sustainable" handicraft industry, which provides for year-round income generation (developed at a national level in countries such as Thailand, India, Venezuela, Madagascar, China, Indonesia, Mali, Philippines). Vetiver plants are also used extensively to treat solid and liquid wastes; treating waste water and toxic and heavy metal contaminated soils. The applications, requiring more technical know-how and used in most tropical and sub-tropical countries that have contaminated mine tailing and waste water problems; Africa, South America, Madagascar, China, Australia, South East Asia and the US. HOW IS VETIVER SYSTEM TECHNOLOGY PROMOTED: All Vetiver Networks are peopled by volunteers. Globally, the main web site of the Vetiver Network is: www.vetiver.org. There are a 15 Affiliated Vetiver Network web sites, 10 email access affiliated country networks and four Vetiver Blog spaces; all are informed through contributions of research documents, Power Point Presentations, papers presented at International Vetiver Conferences (Five have been held over the last 1 years); in India, Venezuela, China and twice in Thailand; the latter two were under the auspices of the Kind of Thailand, an agronomist who has played an influential role in the research, application and dissemination of the Vetiver System not only in Thailand but neighboring countries and world wide in addition to Regional and Country specific Vetiver Conferences. The Vetiver Network International maintains a Google Picasa shared Photo album site covering some 20 different applications of Vetiver world wide; and a FaceBook site. Affiliates are invited both in a formal and informal manner, and expected to promote quality Vetiver System applications, use non-fertile cultivars (there are over 100 registered Vetiver plant suppliers word wide listed on TVNI's main web site) and contribute to global promotion of the Veitver System by sharing information. The content and the approach have given me much work but most importantly, quantifying satisfaction, as the Vetiver plant has been shown to be one of natures most effective carbon sequestration "system." Four vetiver plants sequester the same about of CO2 in 8 months than a grown tree of 4-5 yrs. Good news for the environment, good news for the farmer! The Vetiver Network International is a low key but high powered global group of several thousand concerned and involved professionals led by a tremendously capable Brit who started the whole process while he was an agriculture Technical Director at the World Bank. He set the NGO corporate culture, which is exemplary. Criss Juliard

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

The Vetiver Network International (TVNI) is a philanthropy that teaches people how to use Vetiver grass to hold their soil in place, clean their water, and decontaminate their soils. Vetiver is a sterile clump grass with dense, fibrous, strong roots 12-15' deep. When grown in a continuous line or row, the grass slows and disperses water that would otherwise dig out gulleys as it speeds from high to low ground. Holding soil on the land where it belongs protects our reefs from silt that suffocates them. This green technology is beautifully simple, economical, and very effective. In addition to anchoring soil, the roots capture heavy metal and other contaminants, including TNT, arsenic, lead, chlordane, and heptachlor. The plant grows in a variety of nasty conditions, and also captures excess herbicides and fertilizers. The founders of TVNI are former World Bank senior agronomists, who served during the period when expertise--not dollars--was exported, realizing the promise "if you give a man a fish, he'll eat a meal; if you teach a man to fish, he'll always eat." One of the early patrons of TVNI was--and remains--the King of Thailand, who recognized Vetiver's utility in the early 1980s. To his credit, he established national nurseries, and planting protocols that preserve Thailand's soils. Rows of Vetiver line Thai freeway cuts. The United States is late to the party, having adopted a "more is better" philosophy that it adapts to remediation. Unlike rigid construction, including cement, rock, reinforced concrete, etc., Vetiver grows stronger with age.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I established the Vetiver Network International in the early 1990s with the objective of sharing a "green" technology with potential users around the world - primarily small and poor farmers in the tropics and semi tropics. We networked information and supported research to expand the technologies application to many new areas. The technology, now known as the "Vetiver System", is based on the use of a unique non invasive long living plant known as Vetiver Grass, that when planted as a thin narrow hedgerow prevents erosion and reduces rainfall runoff. We first used the technology for on farm soil and water conservation, since then the technology has been widely used for slope stabilization, gully control, land reclamation, pollution control, decontamination of polluted land and water, disaster mitigation (landslides, floods, droughts), handicrafts and many other applications. Vetiver with its dense leaf and stems and deep and very strong roots is akin to what engineers call a "Soil Nail". This technology is changing the lives of tens of thousands of small farmers in Africa and Asia in particular. It may turn out to be a key technology for rehabilitating Haiti's ravished soils. The technology is low cost, green and it works. The Vetiver Network International is a knowledge based network - http://www.vetiver.org ; it has a large and comprehensive website that provides detailed technical and other feedback from the field. It is linked to other vetiver networks at regional and country level some of which have very active user forums, that communicate in their local languages. The technology that is scale neutral supports small and large enterprises for example it is impacting on many very small farmers in Ethiopia and Malawi both in protecting their lands and increasing their crop yields and income, The same technology, applied a little differently is protecting some of the largest landfills in China and the USA and is reducing polluting leachates from those landfills. In Brazil it is being used to stabilize land slide areas and beach protection. In Madagascar, China, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and India it is used to stabilize highway, railway and riverbanks. Poor rural people are being taught to use vetiver as a source of material for handicrafts. Communities love the technology because it is low cost and relatively easy to use. Vetiver has changed the lives of many, and will continue doing so for ever.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

AAE in the island of La Gonave is desperately trying to plant vetiver along the old, abandoned terraces and trainign the community in the vetiver many uses, including fuel for stoves, thus stopping tree logging and kerosene consumption. Scarcity of water remains an issue, although water tanks are being installed. Once restored and hedged, the terraces would retain water and allow for other crops. AAE has been trained in digging ditches and shales, and is waiting for a donation of some 6,000 vetiver seedlings to start. They need more and need someone to drill for water, especially community water.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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