To stay below a temperature rise of 2 degrees, we need to remove the excess carbon from our atmosphere. A simple nature-based solution exists.
WeForest, backed by a scientific network, is growing a movement of responsible companies, large and small, that are committed to having a positive impact for people and our planet. WeForest works with communities, local organizations and NGOs to develop scalable reforestation projects, demonstrating that restoring our degraded landscapes is possible if we all work together.
How much does humanity need to solve climate change?
The world needs to stop deforestation and restore the equivalent of an area the size of India by 2030 (350 m ha) if we want a chance to stay below a 2°C temperature increase.
More than 2 billion hectares of land (the equivalent of 50% of the world’s forests) are degraded and have been identified as having potential for forest restoration.
Building upon corporate and scientific partnerships, WeForest's mission is to empower communities to sustainably advance and implement innovative, high standard, scalable and lasting solutions to restore forests and landscapes.
Collaboration is fundamental to being able to Make Earth Cooler with trees.
"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." - Isaac Newton.
It's not about planting trees. It's about the overall result for the environment and the people who live there. Regaining ecological integrity to enhance human well-being is key to ensure forests will be protected for the long term.
WeForest's restoration principles
- 1. Risk-based
We intervene only in areas where there is a growing threat of further deforestation and degradation.
- 2. Relevant
We focus on the tropics, where forests are more efficient at cooling temperatures through evapotranspiration and cloud reflectivity. Our projects take place in places where the local communities are highly dependent on the forest.
- 3. Impact
We identify the root causes of forest degradation and work towards developing alternatives.
We work with local communities to give them ownership, leverage local knowledge and enhance environmental stewardship capacity.
- 4. Empowering women
Empowering women is central to most of our projects through training, as well as women-led micro-enterprises such as nurseries and other economic opportunities.
- 5. Multiple benefits
Improved ecosystem services are an essential outcome of all our projects and include clean water, reduced erosion, lower landslide risk or flood or drought mitigation.
- 6. Livelihood improvement
We diversify income streams to make communities more resilient. This can involve increasing the supply of forest-related products, training families in animal husbandry or agroforestry, providing jobs in restoration activities or fostering entrepreneurship.
- 7. Collaboration
We advance the FLR agenda by developing collaborations with the scientific community, think-tanks, intergovernmental institutions and not-for-profit organisations in ways that create shared value.
- 8. Context-driven
There is no 'one size fits all': we have a context-driven approach directly linked to the needs of the area and the stakeholders involved.
WeForest's restoration approaches
High-density planting of a large number of tree species based on species specific characteristics – such as growth rate, canopy cover, lifespan and seeding traits – for the purpose of ecological restoration. This approach is used to recover degraded areas and create corridors between forest fragments. It incorporates a variety of planting schemes that take into account the typical changes we observe in forests over time, such as alterations in species composition.
The integration of trees on farms and in the agricultural landscape in ways that sustain productive, profitable and healthy land use systems. The many benefits include increased biodiversity and reduced erosion.
ANR accelerates the natural recovery of degraded forest areas. Sites that show natural regeneration potential are protected, and wild seedlings nurtured. Barriers to natural forest regeneration such as soil degradation, competition with weedy species and disturbances from grazing animals are removed or reduced.
How will we know the forests restored are growing
and having the expected environmental and socio-economic impact?
- First, every hectare restored is mapped with GPS points to generate polygons that are assigned to sponsors.
- Extensive logframes with KPIs - combined with regular internal and third party audits - provide our forestry and science teams with the necessary metrics to evaluate and possibly adjust their approach.
- The main environmental indicators used are biomass growth for carbon measurement, tree density, survival rate, and species diversity index.
- Some of the socio-economic indicators used are the number of direct and indirect beneficiaries, direct and indirect jobs created, the number of people trained, and additional income generated from alternative livelihood activities.
- Our applied science with FAO in India, for example, measures the rate of water movement through soil, collecting soil samples for lab analysis and conducting dye tracer measurements to understand water movement pathways and patterns.
Contribution to SDGs
WeForest's work contributes to the achievement of all the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the following ones in particular:
End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
Sustainable agriculture, combined with forestry, helps people diversify their diet and improve nutrition.
Read a story from the field - SDG2.
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Women are change makers, and we empower them through training and micro-enterprises such as nurseries.
Read a story from the field - SDG5.
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Forests play a key role in soil filtration, cloud formation and precipitation, slowing surface ‘run-off’.
Read a story from the field - SDG6.
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all
Nearly 1 billion people directly rely on forests for their living. In remote rural areas, working in forestry projects is often the only source of cash.
Read a story from the field - SDG8.
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (taking note of agreements made by the UNFCCC forum)
It is too late to just talk about reducing carbon emissions. We need to draw the excess from the atmosphere, and trees are the best technology for that. 50% of a tree’s biomass is carbon, and forests regulate the water cycle and create clouds.
Read a story from the field - SDG13.
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss
Forests are home to 80% of terrestrial biodiversity, including the largest share of threatened species. Healthy forests are also the best barrier against desertification.
Read a story from the field - SDG15.
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development
It takes more than a forester to restore a forest. Together with scientists, governments, cooperatives, universities and other NGOs, we can make it happen.
WeForest’s mission is to build upon corporate and scientific partnerships and provide the vision, the resources and the knowledge to empower communities to restore their forests and scale their impact. Collaboration is fundamental to being able to Make Earth Cooler with trees. WeForest is committed to developing applied research projects that will help understand and improve Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR) practices.
WeForest has a scientific approach to Forest Landscape Restoration and collaborates with universities and research institutes to strengthen our reforestation strategy through applied research. More generally, advancing knowledge on climate mitigation and adaptation with forests is critical: WeForest organises workshops to bring global experts together and contribute regular scientific publications.