In the wake of the UN’s Emissions Gap Report calling for drastic action to slow climate change, and the epidemic of forest fires sweeping across the Amazon, western Australia and California - women-led reforestation charity TreeSisters urges everyone to take a stand for the global forests.
The charity’s new ‘Grow Your Own Forest’ campaign invites each of us to grow our own forest as a simple way we can all help to cool down the planet.
TreeSisters, which funds reforestation projects in Brazil, Kenya, Cameroon, Mozambique, Madagascar, India, Nepal and West Papua, is currently heading for seven million trees planted globally and hoping to reach 10 million before the year end. The charity is aiming to create a new normal: one where giving back to Nature is as normal as it currently is to take. That giving back comes in the form of collective public responsibility for reforesting the world’s tropical rainforests, affirmed by many global scientists as the number-one strategy for stopping global warming.
Clare Dubois, Founding CEO of TreeSisters, says: “Christmas is a terrible time for trees, but it doesn't have to be if we wake up. We can make the choice to shift from an unconscious consumer species to a conscious restorer species, we just need to choose. I’m asking everyone to wake up to the ecological cost of Christmas and start making choices that are kinder to the Earth. It can be fun to get more creative when it comes to greener gifts and wrapping paper that don't result in endless trees being thrown away.
“And what about actually giving the gift of trees? You could give your family the experience of restoring tropical rainforest by funding vital trees for them. For just £20 you’ll plant 66 tropical trees! When you Grow Your Own Forest with TreeSisters, you give back to the Earth in ways that cool her down and restore her. I see this shift back into reciprocity with the natural world as an unavoidable evolution for humanity. Continued unregulated consumption of limited natural resources only has one outcome: an impossible, unthinkable and unacceptable legacy of ecological chaos for today’s children.”
In response to devastating fires and forest destruction, TreeSisters is funding a new food forest project in the Brazilian Amazon to protect the rainforest and the livelihood of the Ashaninka tribe. The Amazon contains at least 10% of the Earth’s biodiversity and is our planet’s biggest terrestrial carbon sink, yet new data from Brazil’s space research agency has revealed deforestation of this rainforest has increased 29.5% in 12 months (August 2018 - July 2019), the highest level in a decade in the Brazilian Amazon. This is largely due to President Bolsonaro’s profit-led roll back on environmental protections, support of loggers and grabbing of lands reserved for indigenous tribes.
Clare Dubois says: “The Amazon’s destruction threatens the lives of indigenous people and ultimately life on Earth. It will do more than accelerate climate change, it will lead to countless extinctions, including languages, cultures and the devastating loss of profoundly valuable knowledge. If the tropical forests are destroyed, we risk losing our temperate climates. The weather we’ve taken for granted for generations will be gone, and all security along with it. We have to stop the mindless destruction of the rainforests and begin vast, conscious restoration. We can collectively take global reforestation into our own hands and start to give back, as much as we all can, right now.”
Eden Reforestation project in Madagascar
Eden Reforestation Project in Mozambique
Donate to TreeSisters and start growing your own forest and you’ll be able to see how many trees you’re planting every time you give. You can log in any time to see how much your forest has grown and the impact you’re having. And when you share your forest fundraiser on social media, your friends can donate too, planting more trees. Just set up your account and watch your forest grow!
As UN Secretary General António Guterres declared on the eve of COP25, “The point of no return is no longer over the horizon.” To answer TreeSisters’ call to help cool our world by Growing Your Own Forest, go to www.TreeSisters.org/give and chose an amount that connects you to how much this matters and give. Every month you will watch your forest grow. To watch a short video about the Grow Your Own Forest campaign, visit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kmdlVnSszA
Join TreeSisters’ ‘Grow Your Own Forest’ campaign and you can fund tree planting across the tropics in diverse forest environments (including mangroves, rainforests, dry deciduous forest, agroforestry and more) in Madagascar, Cameroon, Nepal, India, Kenya, Brazil (in the Amazon and Atlantic rainforests) and Mozambique. To find out how you can contribute to restoring and protecting the global tropical forests, visit: www.treesisters.org
Book: Walking With Trees by Glennie Kindred
Video: Planting trees in India