How do I know the trees I fund with WeForest are really planted?
WeForest’s restoration methodologies aim to ensure a ‘final stand per ha’. Each final stand density per ha differs from project to project. In order to achieve the projected ‘final stand’ WeForest plants additional ‘security’ trees to account for predicted survival rates. Predicted survival rates are usually around 80% so therefore we plant 120% to ensure the 100% final stand per ha. WeForest regularly undertakes field audits to check densities, location of the planted plots and has a monitoring management plan in place to receive regular updates on the growth and survival of the regenerating forest areas.
How do I know the trees survive?
Our survival rates are high and expected density final stand is specified in the contracts with all partners and participants. If they are under a specific target the commitment is to replant.
Is it not more important to stop deforestation?
Each of our projects aims to address the root cause of forest degradation in that specific area (see our Restoration Principles) We do this through integrating sustainable livelihood initiatives to help decouple local communities’ lifestyles from forest degrading activities. We also provide training in various aspects linked to sustainable forest management.
How much of the world’s forests are currently being deforested and how much is reforested?
Have a look at this clock produced by CIFOR and also you can see various real time rates related to forest loss and gain on Global Forest Watch website.
How many trees would be appropriate for a company ‘my’ size?
This is wholly dependent on your ambition and objectives in participating in a restoration campaign. Get in touch to talk this through.
Can I get photos on ‘my trees’?
We do not monitor all trees individually - our monitoring involves measuring a sample and cross section of the forest being generate. We capture the restoration areas in planting polygons which are uploaded to our Forest Information System and are made available to donors and sponsors online. Background satellite images and photos allow for a good overview of current state of the restoration plots (see our project maps)
Is there a risk of being accused of greenwashing by planting trees?
This has been an unfortunate historical issue. Companies could well be accused of greenwash if they claimed to be ‘planting trees to save the planet’ but had not yet made any attempts to address deforestation in their supply chain or assess their own impact on forests from either a product or operations perspective. WeForest continually supports the message to companies to work towards decoupling themselves from deforestation whilst also engaging in reforestation. It is important to do both with the objective to have a net-positive impact on forests.
Can I offset my footprint with trees?
Every company small or large will have a ‘forest footprint’. We do work with companies to help them offset various impacts associated with their business through forest restoration. We suggest you get in touch directly to learn more.
How do you protect against fires or droughts?
This is always a difficult issue for forest projects. In many of our projects implementation of fire breaks are part of the restoration and sustainable forest management plan. As insurance we also have buffer trees across our project portfolio (not assigned to anyone) which can be reallocated to donors and sponsors should some of their trees be lost.
Can I visit my project?
This is dependent on the project country location and the size of the partnership the donor/sponsor has with WeForest (see sponsor/donor T&C’s).
What is the link between bees and reforestation ?
Everyone knows that bees play a vital role in pollination. Indeed, 80 % of flowering plants depend upon bees for pollination. And we all know that bees feed on pollen and nectar from flowers – often prodigious quantities. One honey bee can visit between 50 – 1,000 flowers in one trip. An average honey bee colony, with 25,000 forager bees, each making 10 trips a day, will be able to pollinate 250 million flowers per day ! Do the maths:it’s incredible ! But did you know that pollen and nectar from trees can be a very important part of their diet too, and that trees also depend on pollination from bees ? A study in Ghana and Benin by the NGO ‘Bees for Development’ has showed that the yield of Cashew nuts from the cashew tree were 2 to 3 times higher if honey bees were raised near the trees. Just the presence of bees increased the productivity of the cashew trees. Did you also know that the entire annual production of Brazil nuts from Brazil – 40,000 tonnes per year - is dependent upon a bee, the Euglossa bee ? And that that bee is itself dependent upon a unique orchid species which is only found in the rain forest. Without the bee, and without the orchid, entire village communities whose lives depend on the collection and the sale of the nuts would collapse. In fact the lives of bees and forests are intimately linked. They have evolved together over millennia. Some forest bees don’t like crossing open spaces.
So when an area is deforested, the umbilical cord between bees and forest can be broken. The forest islands lose their pollinators, and are doomed. Thankfully, creation of wildlife corridors and hedgerows can plug the pollination gap and allow the bee to survive. Communities that depend upon forest products for their livelihoods know that bees are important not only for ecological reasons, but they can generate significant resources for the sale of highly nutritious honey. WeForest and other NGOs involved in forest conservation are increasingly looking at honey production as an important income earner.
Some NGOs – such as Bees Abroad – are involved in extensive beekeeper training programmes across Africa and Asia to promote honey production. Schools are often targeted as potential sites for teaching bee-keeping. Look at their website – it’s packed with information on their programmes in Cameroun, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Zimbabwe and many other countries. For those who are fascinated by the life of honeybees and their extraordinary adaptations and communication mechanisms, you should look at an amazing book by Thomas Seeley called Honeybee Democracy. You won’t be able to put it down ! Help WeForest conserve Bees and Trees. It makes perfect sense.