We are proud
to present our planting partners, which assist us in our mission
to balance out books by planting trees. Our three planting partners
are all non-profit organizations working in developing countries
for the benefit of both the environment and local communities
in these countries. They are working in regions where deforestation
is a crucial problem and where the trees planted provide many
local people with opportunities for a better future. All of
our partners are committed to sustainable practices as well
as to working closely with local communities to ensure the success
of planting operations.
We chose our planting partners carefully to ensure maximum transparency
and accountability in our mutual work. Our planting partners
are incorporated either in the USA (SHI and AIR), or in the
UK (RIPPLE Africa), are subject to strict non-profit reporting
standards and their financial statements are audited on regular basis.
We maintain close relationships with our planting partners and
evaluate the planting projects conducted by them on annual
basis. These assessments are reviewed by Eco-Libris' natural
resources experts and are published on our website (links to the first three
years assessments are enclosed below).
America has lost more than half of its rainforests in
the last 50 years, contributing to mass extinctions and
global warming. Rainforest destruction also wreaks havoc
on local populations who depend on the rainforest for
Founded in 1997 by Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Florence
Reed, Sustainable Harvest International addresses the
tropical deforestation crisis in Central America by providing
farmers with sustainable alternatives to slash-and-burn
agriculture. SHI facilitates long-term collaboration among
trained local agricultural staff, farmers and communities
to implement sustainable land-use practices that alleviate
poverty by restoring ecological stability.
With SHI’s integrated approach
to sustainable rural development, poor farmers adopt environmentally,
culturally and economically sustainable land-use techniques
that stop rainforest destruction while improving their
standard of living. Planting trees is an integral part
of the SHI approach.
Since 1997, SHI has established
more than 1,700 nurseries in Central America and has planted
2 million trees. The vast majority of these trees have
been planted on land degraded by slash-and-burn agriculture
and logging. These trees will restore natural water cycles,
stabilize microclimate, produce a variety of crops and
provide habitat for the flora and fauna of the tropical
Charity Navigator has reviewed
and rated SHI in its highest category of non-profit operation
giving it four stars.
RIPPLE Africa was established
in 2003 by Geoff and Liz Furber from the UK. RIPPLE Africa
is a non-profit organization involved with environmental
projects, education and healthcare in Malawi, Africa.
It works in cooperation with local chiefs - traditional
authorities and the local communities, who take a major
part in RIPPLE Africa’s various activities, including
its planting operations.
Malawi is a poor country and 80% of its people live in
rural areas. Wood is a necessary part of everyday life,
and there is also tremendous pressure to clear forests
for agriculture. Hence, trees in Malawi are being cut
down at an alarming rate. An area of forest the size of
a football pitch is cut down every 10 minutes. RIPPLE
Africa’s tree planting project is centered in Nkhata
Bay District, Malawi, Africa, an area of 4,000 square
Ultimately, RIPPLE Africa wants to set up 400 community
tree nurseries growing a total of 4 million trees per
year. In 2006, RIPPLE Africa opened 75 community tree
nurseries and planted out 550,000 trees in January 2007.
In 2008 the organization planted 1,250,000 trees.
The main aims of the project are to provide sustainable
timber in woodlots for firewood, building, etc., to restore
degraded land by planting indigenous trees, and to provide
additional food using fruit trees and nitrogen-fixing
In addition to tree planting, RIPPLE Africa is also involved
in environmental awareness training. Chiefs and communities
applied to RIPPLE Africa to be part of the tree planting
project. The organization works closely with the District
Forestry Office, and together with Forest Guards, it helped
the communities to set up their tree nurseries, and provides
ongoing training and support.
The Alliance for International
Reforestation (AIR) is a non-profit organization working
to make a difference for the people of Guatemala and Nicaragua.
AIR was founded by Political Science Professor Anne
Hallum in 1992 at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. For Hallumís efforts, she has been named one of CNN televisionís 2011 Heroes (see video below).
AIR's objective is to assist local communities in Central
America to conserve their environment through reforestation,
sustainable farming, and education. So far, AIR planted
more than 3 million trees in Guatemala and Nicaragua.
In 2004, AIR was named The Best Environmental NGO in Guatemala
for 2004, by the national government's forestry institute
AIR works to initiate continuous reforestation programs
at the community level. All of AIR's projects are based
on the philosophy that direct community involvement
in all phases of the projects, from their design to
their implementation, is essential for the success and
sustainability of project activities.
The daily destruction of forests that occurs in Guatemala
is a serious problem - each year more than 1620 square
kilometers are deforested. This has already had a severe
negative impact on the environment: water sources are
quickly disappearing, 65% of Guatemalan soil is considered
highly susceptible to erosion and air quality is deteriorating
rapidly. In addition, deforestation leads to the depletion
of essential nutrients in the soils, especially those
used for agricultural activities. As these soils become
drained of nutrients and no longer support agriculture,
populations migrate to virgin areas and conduct slash-and-burn
activities, continuing the cycle of deforestation.
The replanting of trees on community lands, in addition
to otherwise conserving the environment, replenishes soil
nutrients, and therefore decelerates the destruction of
the virgin forests that remain in Guatemala.