Our partners: the world's best reforestation organisations
3 min read
The best in the responsible, sustainable reforestation business
Like any long-term relationship, you want to be sure that you and your partner are right for each other before you make a commitment. You could just go for the first option you find but that isn’t likely to end well. To make sure we avoid picking a partner that none of our family likes and a messy break up down the line, we take a lot of care in getting it right from the start.
Ok, this analogy begins to fall apart a little once we tell you we actually have three partners (although there’s no judgement here, you do you) but you get the point: we’ve taken great care to pick the most transparent, effective, and responsible reforestation partners in all of Christendom.
Our partners don’t just plant trees, they grow and protect forests for decades. They don’t just provide jobs, they support and empower entire underprivileged communities to sustainably improve hundreds of thousands of lives. They aren’t just organisations going through the motions, they care deeply about the work that they do and the positive impact that they are having in this world. They are doing amazing things and we are so excited to be supporting them.
Eden Reforestation – Madagascan Mangroves
Since Eden was founded in 2004 with the aim of using reforestation as a tool to help reduce poverty, it has planted over 700 million trees in 8 countries, across 228 sites, providing nearly 5 million days of employment for some of the world poorest people. Not a bad record.
Eden plants all sorts of different trees across the globe (native, non-invasive species of course) but we have opted to channel your contributions specifically to their mangrove reforestation projects in Madagascar. This is because no tree sucks up CO2 quite like a hungry mangrove – in fact, scientific research shows that mangrove forests absorb 3-4x more CO2 than rainforests.
TIST – Community Farmer Forests
Over 100,000 local subsistence farmers across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and India are part of this amazing movement that started over 20 years ago. TIST does amazing work to protect the local and global environment, as well as improving livelihoods of local farmers in some of the world’s poorest regions, by planting and preserving trees on degraded and/or unused land.
Supported and trained by TIST, the local farmers are encouraged to work together in small community groups to grow and maintain their trees. As the trees grow and absorb carbon, the farmers receive income from TIST which sells the Verra certified carbon offsets on behalf of the farmers. This ensures the community is fully incentivised to protect their trees for the long term and plant even more.
Trees for the Future – Forest Garden
Trees for the Future has adopted a unique and innovate approach to climate mitigation and poverty reduction. They call it a Forest Garden. The Forest Garden strategy is simple: local farmers in sub-Saharan Africa are provided with the equipment, mentoring and training to grow a variety of trees, fruits and vegetables on their own land. These “Forest Gardens” provide food for the farmers to reduce food insecurity and boost incomes, while the trees and plants also absorb CO2 to improve the environment.
The method is replicable and scalable with proven success. Trees for the Future has helped create over 29,000 Forest Gardens, planting 200 million trees in the process!
How do we choose our partners?
We have some strict criteria that we use to choose our partners. Maybe you don’t have a type, but we do:
- Experience and passion - Our partners really know their trees and between them they have planted over 900 million. We work with the most experienced, obsessive tree planters in the world who plant all day every day because they love the impact they are having on the environment and on the communities in which they work. We are proud to work with them and share in the common goal of improving this planet for everyone.
- Permanence -The CO2 captured by the projects needs to be kept out of the atmosphere permanently. Through the correct incentives for local communities and careful monitoring, our partners ensure that the trees you plant are not burnt or chopped down. They are there for the long run.
- Affordability - We choose projects that absorb the most CO2 with each $. We love low cost projects and projects where as much money as possible actually ends up planting trees. Reforestation can offset carbon for as little as $1/tCO2e. By comparison, high-tech, man-made carbon capture and storage technology (known as direct air capture) can cost well over $600/tCO2e.
- Verifiable - A trusted third party must be able to look at the project and confirm that the carbon reductions are real and credible. This is either done by specialised organisations such as Gold Standard and Verra, or large corporates that also plant with our partners and who send their own teams to verify the projects. These guys make sure that projects are sticking to robust standards of transparency and effectiveness, and are absorbing the CO2 that they say they are.
- Additionality - Does this project, and the money it receives for carbon offsets, reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared with business as usual? This is one reason we are very cautious about renewable power projects: many would be built anyway, with or without contributions from people like you. With trees, it’s simply a case of more money, more planting, less carbon.
Why don’t I just go straight to them?
Fair point, you could. But this massive planet-preserving effort of ours requires scale. It requires a big, loud, passionate community that can attract more climate optimists into the fold. That community is what we are trying to build. By offsetting through Selva you are not just taking responsibility for your own footprint but also helping to fuel the movement by providing us with the support to bring other individuals and companies into our community. This way our reach can become vast and our impact growth becomes exponential. We’re effectively working on behalf of our planting partners to get out there and find as many climate optimists as we can to help our partners put more trees in the ground.
What we are trying to say is…
Our partners are as reliable and passionate as they come. They are the best reforestation organisations out there. We have no doubt about their excellence and integrity and sleep very well at night knowing they are planting trees for our Selva tribe. We’re lucky to have them, the world is lucky to have them, and it’s our aim to help them do as much of their great work as possible by connecting them with a giant community of our users.