26. May 2021

Planting trees where they have the most impact

neon goes green: we have created an everyday, sustainable account to make sure it’s as easy and effective as possible for you to do your bit for climate protection. In other words: with neon green, you’ll be planting a lot of trees and offset 300 kg of CO2 with each tree. All thanks to our tree-planting partner Eden Reforestation Projects – read all about the non-profit and how their work is much more than just planting trees.

Why trees?

Before we get into our partnership with Eden Reforestation Projects and their impact around the globe, you may think: Why trees? We’re glad you asked. First of all: Trees are real all-rounders, since they actively contribute to our well-being, prevent soil erosion, filter our drinking water and contribute to species diversity in the animal and plant world and much more. But most importantly: Nothing can combat climate change as effectively as planting trees. According to researchers at ETH Zurich, planting trees and reforestation has the potential to absorb two thirds of the climate-damaging CO2 emissions caused by humans.

We calculate this figure using a conversion factor of 300 kg of neutralised CO2 per tree. This calculation is based on the total amount of CO2 neutralised by an average mangrove tree during an average life span of 25 years. Why mangroves? The mangrove absorbs a particularly large amount of CO2, making it one of the tree species preferred by our tree planting partner Eden Reforestation Projects.

Eden Reforestation Projects – effective and sustainable reforestation

The non-profit Eden Reforestation Projects is contributing to the fight against climate change by restoring and planting trees all around the world. Conceptualized in 2005 in Ethiopia, the non-profit has expanded over the years and is now planting trees in eight countries and over 200 project sites. Since its establishment, Eden has planted almost 1 billion trees across project sites in Madagascar, Haiti, Nepal, Indonesia, Mozambique, Kenya, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

However, Eden Reforestation Projects is doing much more than just planting trees: With their work, they provide sustainable, durable support to local people since they are employed to plant and look after the trees. In other words: Eden’s global restoration network is creating livelihoods for people living in extreme poverty by empowering them to restore and protect forests on a massive scale. Thus, by addressing the link between deforestation and extreme poverty, Eden has developed an effective and sustainable model for reforestation.

From Mahajanga to 1 billion trees

Famous for its unique biodiversity and lush forests, Madagascar has some of the rarest animal and plant species - seventy-five percent of species found on the island do not exist anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, more than 90% of Madagascar’s original forests have been destroyed, impacting not only the plant and animal life, but also the local communities’ ability to live sustainably off the land and sea.

In 2007, Eden formed a local workforce that began to restore mangrove forests in the Mahajanga area, a province West of Madagascar. What started with 200’000 planted trees in the first year of the project, Madagascar has become Eden’s most prolific tree-planting site with more than 407 million trees planted by the end of 2020. Thousands of Madagascans now have consistent employment and can send their children to school, provide food and clothing for dependent family members, and launch innovative microenterprises.

In the Mahajanga region, we have been planting trees in our very own neon forest since May 2022, the planting area is called «Ankarafantsika 3». We are doing the same in the so-called «La Vallee DP» planting site in southern Haiti. Here you can find more information and photos of our neon forests.

Of rising suns and bizarre-nosed chameleons

Take Justin, an Eden-employee living in Adrohibe, Madagascar: As a former rice farmer and charcoal maker, Justin was required to cut down approximately 100 trees per month to make ten gunny sacks of charcoal - but that still wasn’t enough to get through. That changed when Eden opened a new site in Androhibe near the end of 2019, where Justin allowed Eden to build a 100’000-pot nursery on his property. Having taken on a lead role on the project, he is now able to provide for himself and his family consistently: «I feel happy. It is like the sun is rising on my life. My heart is lit up as I am old, and I can make a living», reflects the father of seven and grandfather of many more grandchildren on Eden’s impact on his life.

Eden’s Employ-to-Plant methodology not only restores Madagascan forests and improves local people’s lives, but their partnership with two National Park systems also protects endangered species by rebuilding their natural habitat. Take the chameleon: There are 150 species of chameleons world-wide – of the two-thirds that are endemic to Madagascar, over fifty percent are endangered due to deforestation and pet trade. That is why, next to their reforestation efforts, Eden has created the Eden Nature Center, where endangered chameleons such as the Belalanda chameleon, bizarre-nosed chameleon, and Namoroka leaf chameleon are nursed back to health.

To read more about Eden Reforestation Projects’ work and impact, head over to their website.

For more information about other advantages your neon green account offers, head over here.

And here you can find the certificates for the trees planted.

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