The role played by the lands and forests of the Earth in soaking up carbon has been a critical factor in preventing faster rates of climate change. But the growing impacts of climate change and deforestation are taking their toll on this crucial CO2 sponge.
HOW IS DEFORESTATION AFFECTING OUR PLANET?
Deforestation and forest degradation continue to take place at alarming rates, which contributes significantly to the ongoing loss of biodiversity. Since 1990, it is estimated that 420 million hectares of forest have been lost through conversion to other land uses (United Nations). That’s more than the size of seven United Kingdoms, having a massive effect on the people and planet.
When local environments face damage, it’s tragically always those who live on the margins who end up being the first to deal with the consequences. Time and again, the regions that face the brunt of deforestation’s impact are also those with the highest levels of poverty.
For families in these areas, where every day can be a struggle to survive, opportunities for a regular income stream to support their loved ones prove few and far between. Understandably, many of them end up turning to the resources immediately accessible to them; their local environments. Large swathes of trees are often cut down for fuel, heat, agriculture and construction.
Although that may create immediate benefits, the long term consequences can be truly devastating. Once these forests are demolished, it’s often the case that restoration isn’t possible – there simply isn’t the funding and infrastructure available to support it. As the cycle continues, the impact of deforestation merely escalates and proves cataclysmic for the environment, causing severe flooding, erosion and desertification.
HOW DO WE SOLVE THIS PROBLEM?
Planting new trees allows for animal habitats and local rainfall patterns to be restored, increases the quality of soil, and reduces flooding and soil erosion. Increased crop yields allow more stable farms and local economies to grow, eliminating extreme poverty – helping to create not only a greener world but one that is more empowered, with a positive human impact.
But this new growth requires funding in order to ensure trees can be acquired and planted by local populations.
THAT’S WHERE WE COME IN
For every NEW limited edition festive collection sold, Tropic will fund one tree to be planted around the world with Eden Reforestation Projects, working in eight countries on three continents.
The organisation uses a system it calls Employ to Plant, creating a boom in jobs by hiring residents from the local communities to plant the trees. Through steady employment, necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, and medicine become more accessible to those who are struggling through extreme poverty.
WHICH COUNTRIES ARE WE PLANTING OUR TREES IN?
We’ll be helping to grow new forests in either Nepal, Madagascar, Haiti, Indonesia, Mozambique, Kenya, Honduras, and Nicaragua. These are the countries that Eden Reforestoration Projects operates in.
HOW DO THE TREES HELP BUILD SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES?
A minimum of 10% of the trees to be planted are agroforestry species (fruit, fodder, and construction species which fulfil legitimate human needs and help to provide food security). Over time, these trees grow into sources of sustainable income.
Our planting partners build relationships at all levels of government in the various countries the scheme is active in, making written agreements to guarantee that all of the restoration sites are protected in perpetuity.
By creating a system of fair and consistent employment, the countries and local communities respectively see an economic incentive to ensure the restoration project’s wellbeing. Those who have the responsibility of planting the trees have a sense of ownership and direct investment in the health of the restored forests, taking great pride and care in their continued maintenance.
WHAT IMPACT HAS OUR PARTNERSHIP HAD SO FAR?
We’re proud to say that the first round of 63,471 trees will be planted in Kenya. With our limited edition collections on sale throughout the festive period, there’s still plenty of time to see those numbers get even higher – thank you so much to everybody who’s already bought one! You’re helping to make this world a greener place.