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Can I offset my ecological footprint with trees?

Companies and individuals can indeed offset their CO2 footprint with trees. To discuss your needs, please contact us or send a mail to contact@weforest.org.

How many trees would be appropriate for a company of our size?

The amount of trees depends entirely on your ambitions and the CSR vision of your company. We recommend pluri-annual agreements for a stronger communication.

How much carbon is stored in a tree?

The carbon sequestration of a tree depends on the species and the local climate. On average, our trees sequester up to 150 kg over their growth period of 20 years. As a point of reference, the typical European would have to plant 47 trees every year to compensate for their carbon footprint.

What options does WeForest offer for carbon compensation?

1) Plant trees, which will require the trees to have grown to consider an offset.
2) Purchase carbon credits for immediate offset (trees already fully grown).
Contact us for a customised offer.

Why do you plant trees in tropical regions?

Forests affect the climate in 2 different ways: 
1) they absorb the greenhouse gas – carbon dioxide – from the atmosphere and help keep the planet cool; 
2) they evaporate water to the atmosphere and increase cloudiness, which also helps keep the planet cool; 
Scientific studies indicate that forests from tropical regions contribute highest both effects and therefore mitigate climate change significantly more than forests in other ecological zones - Read 2 scientific readings here  and here.

What is the global rate of deforestation and reforestation?

Between 2010 and 2015 there was an annual loss of  7.6 million ha and an annual gain of 4.3 million ha, resulting in a net annual decrease in forest area of 3.3 million ha. This is an area the size of the Netherlands.

How much does a tree cost?

On average the costs of a tree varies between €0.65 and €3, depending on the reforestation technique used and the location (see the question “why does the price per tree differ between countries?”).

Why does the price per tree differ between projects?

The price of the trees depends for a large part on the restoration technique that is used (Forest Landscape Restoration, Assisted Natural Regeneration or Agroforestry) and the country where we operate. Salaries to pay planters are more expensive in some countries than others. 

When are our trees planted?

We plant your trees usually during the rainy season, when the soil provides the best conditions for tree survival. Even if the trees are credited to you right away, this could mean that the time between your sponsorship or donation and the actual tree planting varies according to the region you support and the time of the year.

What is the link between bees and forest restoration?

In some of the locations, beehives are an amazing incentive to provide short-term income to communities as a substitute for illegal logging and charcoal burning. The revenue received via honey can provide significant income for the farmer and his family, sometimes double it.

How do you decide where you start a new project?

We start new projects in regions where the need for reforestation is highest. We analyse our potential impact and we ensure that local population will benefit from our project. Besides, we aim to restore different ecosystems (such as shrubland in Ethiopia and cloud forests in India) to demonstrate best practices and lead to the adoption of an international standard. Finally, we focus on countries with supportive policies and political commitment for long term forest protection.

At what age are the trees planted?

The age of the seedlings depends on the ecosystem and thus on the project’s location. In Ethiopia for example, most seedlings are planted after being taken care of during 9 months in a tree nursery, in Brazil the transplanting can happen already after 4 months.

Do you know in advance when the project will end?

Our objective is to make our projects self-sustainable. When we feel that the local community can manage and protect the forest on their own, we phase- out.

How often are the planting sites monitored?

We are continuously monitoring our planting sites and checking if the trees are thriving. At least once a year a third party evaluates the forest growth.

Who owns the forest?

WeForest never buys land. Many of our forests are on community land, some are on state land and others even on private land. Regardless of the owners, we always sign agreements to secure the long-term protection of the land.

Do local people earn an income?

What matters is the long-term survival of the trees. Therefore, we engage and train local farmers who earn a stable income from the project and make them stewards of their new forest. 

What do you do to stop deforestation in the project areas?

We aim to address the root cause of forest degradation by showing the local communities that standing trees have more value than felled ones. When real alternatives to livestock grazing and illegal logging are available, deforestation stops.

How do we know if our trees will survive?

WeForest’s purpose is not just planting trees. What matters is their long-term survival. Our main focus is to empower communities to become steward of their forest. The livelihood activities that we fund reward local farmers and herders to keep their livestock out of the forest for example.

How does planting trees empower women?

Everywhere women have great potential as change-makers, and whenever possible, we hire women in our projects. Generally, they are in charge of seed collection, nursery work and tree planting.

What happens in case of a fire? 

Our projects are foreseen with firebreaks. However, in case of a natural disaster, we do have a tree guarantee fund which enables us to replant if it was ever needed.

How do you monitor and report on the planting activities?

WeForest is grounded in science and monitoring is an essential aspect of our work. As a partner, you get two reports a year about the ecological and socio-economic impact of the forest.

How do you spend the money from my contribution?

For every euro received we spend on average of 80% on growing the seedlings, planting the trees, training local communities for long term protection and on developing local alternatives to forests and trees as their main income. The remaining 20% are spent on scientific research around forestry and water, on growing our cause and on providing quality communication tools, since our outreach is key.

From which country can I donate?

You can donate from anywhere: your donations will however only be tax-deductible in some countries. Please check our website for further information on donations.

What’s the difference between being a sponsor or a donor?

Donors make a charitable gift and can get tax-deducibility. Sponsors get invoiced (with VAT) for their contribution and can therefore be featured on our website. 

Can we use the photos and videos from your projects?

When you join our programme you do get access to al the pictures, videos and content for your own communication. New material is sent regularly throughout the year while you remain an active partner.

Can we visit our project?

We get a lot of requests for visits and have to limit them in order to stay focussed on our projects, which is planting trees to halt global warming. (See sponsor/donor T&C’s for more info)

Is there a risk of being accused of greenwashing when planting trees?

Coherence and integrity are essential. If you plant trees and don’t look at reducing your energy, water and forest project consumption, then yes you could be accused of greenwashing.

Can we volunteer for WeForest?

Planting trees is a unique opportunity for local men and women to earn an extra source of income to support their families. That’s why we don’t send volunteers to help in our projects. We do not have the bandwidth to coach volunteers in central functions either. However, you are most welcome to share our social media posts and grow our cause!  

Can I plant my trees in memory of someone or send them as a gift?

Trees are unique to celebrate somebody you love. Anyone can donate for trees via Global Giving or contact us via contact#weforest.org. We happily issue a certificate for you, should you need one for a gift.

Besides funding trees, what can I do?

There are several things you can do:

1) Eat consciously
2) Reduce flying
3) reduce your energy consumption  or chose green energy
4) Buy less and more carefully
5) Offset what you cannot reduce