Charity environment: Aiming to save trees and stop global warming


Together talks to a charity environment group that is combating climate change with tree planting.

Achieving a world where communities and nature thrive together to stop global warming. That is the vision of WeForest – an organisation that aims to conserve and restore “the ecological integrity of forests and landscapes, engaging communities to implement and deliver lasting solutions for climate, nature and people”.

“WeForest was created to address one of the biggest challenges of our time: climate change,” said Marie-Noëlle Keijzer, co-founder and CEO of the Belgian and international non-profit organisation. In this fight, there are solutions, she said, and “the amazing role of forests is clearly recognised. Forests are our natural climate regulator.” Trees are more than climate barometers too, Keijzer made clear. “They protect wildlife, create jobs for people, and reduce soil erosion for farmers to thrive.” And everyone likes trees.

WeForest is aiming to reach over 100 million trees – equivalent to around 85,000 hectares – restored or conserved by January 2025. “We need to add 25% more forests to our existing global forest cover or restore and protect 10 million km2 of forests,” she explained. How to help There are many ways to help – individually or via your company. More than 500 corporates have already signed up to WeForest’s ‘Make Earth Cooler’ project – by for example offering to plant a set number of trees for every product sold. Examples that work well for companies include planting trees to promote a product or service – such as “buy two, get one tree”; or celebrating milestones (energy reduction or paper saving) and anniversaries with tree planting. Experts are not needed to communicate the value of planting trees. But the science is clear: trees help ensure water quality, expand biodiversity, cool the planet and improve air quality. Restoring forests lifts economies and provides business opportunities for all.

WeForest – that carries out worldwide restoration projects in Brazil, Ethiopia, Zambia, Senegal, Malawi, Tanzania and India – has ambitious goals, but the benefits are clear, Keijzer added, noting donations in most of Europe and the US can be tax deductible (through WeForest partners). For more information: WeForest asbl/vzw, Rue des Colonies 56, 1000 Brussels.

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