Why do trees matter?
The trees we plant with Eden Reforestation Projects support wild life diversity, improve coastlines, provided meaningful wages to indigenous population and grow Mangrove trees which are an incredible carbon sink.
Impact of Mangrove planting
Mangroves are unique ecosystems found throughout a wide range in the tropics and occupying the intertidal areas of more than 120 countries. Mangroves, and coastal wetlands in general, are globally important for the many services they provide to humans and the planet. These services include protection against storm surges, sheltering nurseries for fish and other marine life, providing building materials, firewood, and providing critically important services to stabilizing the global climate as an important store of carbon.
Mangroves, an incredible carbon sink:With the rapid increase in greenhouse gas emissions over the last century, the need for enduring carbon sinks has grown. The latest models suggest that to remain within“acceptable” global temperature increase, it is no longer enough to simply reduce emissions, and protect existing forests, but rather that we need to rapidly increase the ability to sequester carbon. Globally, mangrove systems are estimated to hold an astounding 20 petagrams of carbon. For a biome representing less than 5% of the world’s terrestrial area, this makes mangroves one of the most important carbon stocks, even more than many rainforests like the Amazon. Equally, as a relatively fast-growing group of species, mangroves sequester carbon at a very fast rate.
Help support wildlife and diversity:As forests are destroyed, wildlife species lose their natural habitat, forcing them to relocate, limiting their ability to survive. Madagascar is one of the world’s greatest conservation priorities, with over 200 species of mammals, 100 species of lemurs, 300 species of birds, and almost 300 species of amphibians. Around ninety percent of all wildlife in Madagascar is endemic. Our work with Eden protects these wildlife species in Madagascar by restoring their natural habitats.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can you possibly plant a tree for so little?
We work with Eden Reforestation to plant our mangrove species. Their cost per tree is inexpensive because most of the resources they need to plant a tree are either free or extremely affordable.
A large majority of the trees we plant are mangrove species, and at 3-5 years of age, this species begins to produce and drop its own propagules, which can be used to give rise to a new tree. In the beginning, our partners collected resources from existing forests, and now they are producing an abundance of resources from their own forests.
When the need arises, they purchase seeds in bulk and at a low cost from local sources.
Many of the trees we plant are mangroves that only grow along coastlines creating "coastal forests," if you will. This provides the trees with an irrigation system that is largely self-sufficient and reduces the costs associated with irrigation.
All of Eden’s International Employees are paid fair wages that have been transformational for their quality of life. Because our projects are in developing nations, this cost, combined with the speed and efficiency of the planting processes, allows eden to plant a large volume of trees at a very low price.
How can you ensure trees survive and don't die quickly after planting?
This is a fair concern and here is what we are doing to alleviate it:
- Our partners work carefully with all levels of government to secure written agreements designating the restoration sites as protected in perpetuity.
- They hire people from local communities to plant trees. In this way, we alleviate extreme poverty within the impacted community. Fair and consistent employment provides an economic incentive to ensure the well-being of the restoration project. Additionally, those who plant the trees have a sense of “ownership” over the restored forests, so they protect them with great care.
- A percentage of the trees planted are agroforestry species (fruit, fodder species designed to provide food security and benefit legitimate human needs). Over time these trees become a source of sustainable income.
- They do everything possible to supply the local communities with alternative fuel sources (e.g., fuel-efficient dry wood stoves and solar parabolic stoves), reducing and or eliminating the dependence on charcoal.
- They hire forest guards as part of the labor force to protect the forests. Forest guards are part of the overall budget.
- Most significantly, we have seen the local communities fall in love with their forest. They benefit from the restored forest through an increase in fisheries, improved farming, cleaner water, and the formation of micro-enterprises. As the employees work to restore their land, their lives are transformed as well.
- Eden has also created a Forest Guard Endowment Fund, whereby one cent of the price of each tree is put into a fund for the long-term guarding and protection of our sites.