With the tree, nature has given man a tool that enables him to bind large quantities of CO2 that would otherwise contribute to the greenhouse effect and climate change in the atmosphere. This is exactly the starting point of TreePlantingProjects: Planting trees is meant to mitigate the disastrous effects that our thoughtless treatment of nature, forests and the environment inevitably brings. But there is a catch: as long as more forest area is destroyed than newly created every day worldwide through deforestation, slash-and-burn agriculture and natural disasters, humanity’s carbon footprint will continue to rise (d.h. we release more CO2 than we bind).
Brazilian rainforest. Photo: Rainforest Institute e.V.
The rainforests in South America, which are often referred to as the "green lungs" of the earth, are particularly endangered. They are one of the few ropes that still separate us from the uncontrolled crash into the climate catastrophe – which does not prevent parts of politics and industry from cutting this rope fiber by fiber out of shortsightedness and greed for profit.
At TreePlantingProjects, we understand that reforestation in Europe alone will not solve the problem of the world’s shrinking forest areas. That is why we have teamed up with the Rainforest Institute e.V. We are looking for a partner who protects existing forest areas in the Amazon, while we renaturalize forests and plant new trees in Germany.
The Rainforest Institute e.V. – Environmental protection and science
The Rainforest Institute is particularly distinguished by its scientific approach to the problems of the tropical rainforest. The association’s projects are not only based on the results of years of research, but are all scientifically monitored and evaluated. In this way, not only is the actual project goal being pursued, but a steadily growing body of knowledge is also being accumulated along the way, which can be drawn upon in similar projects.
The logo of the Rainforest Institute.
Picture: Rainforest Institute e.V.
The Rainforest Institute does not see the rainforest as a collection of trees to be fenced off and protected. Instead, people have realized that they are dealing with a complex ecosystem that serves as a source of livelihood for the local population, in addition to countless species of animals. This is why the association pursues a holistic approach: it does not limit itself to protecting the forest itself, but takes into account the interests and needs of its inhabitants and promotes them as far as they contribute to the preservation of the forest.
20 years of forest and climate protection
The Rainforest Institute was founded in 1998 by nine scientists from the research fields of agricultural technology, biology, medicine and computer science, and was thus able to demonstrate a concentrated level of expertise even in its early days. Today, more than 20 years later, the association has achieved a great deal and its members can look back on a number of successful projects in Brazil, Bolivia and Colombia, among other places. In addition to protecting forest areas, the association also aims above all to support the population in dealing responsibly with their own habitat. For example, farmers in Colombia have been trained in the breeding and care of bee colonies, and greenhouses have been built that are used by the locals to grow seedlings and produce seeds.
Photo: Rainforest Institute.V.
But of course, the Rainforest Institute also cares directly for the actual tree populations. For example, in Bolivia’s Tipuani Valley: in the immediate vicinity of this valley, some 25.000 hectares of forest destroyed to provide timber for the region’s gold mines. Quite apart from the climate damage caused by such clearing, the extensive deforested areas around the Tipuani Valley create an increased fire risk, as they are now largely covered by dry, barren grassland.
But fire is not the only catastrophe threatening nature and people where trees are missing: Time and again, dangerous landslides occur on the steep valley slopes, often resulting in fatalities. In 2002, the Rainforest Institute, in cooperation with TROPICO, started a pilot project for the reforestation of the Tipuani Valley: 20 trees were planted on an area of 15 hectares.000 trees planted and raised! Subsequently, the region has continued to receive support, for example, in the form of nurseries, the distribution of seeds and training courses on agroforestry issues.
Rainforest protection on 1.200 hectares
Photo: Rainforest Institute e.V.
But that’s not all: in March 2018, the Rainforest Institute achieved what is probably its most notable success to date. After ten long years of fundraising, the association succeeded in buying a twelve-square-kilometer piece of rainforest in the Brazilian state of Amazonas. This area is now being converted into a private nature reserve, and can thus be placed under permanent protection. As with the other projects of the Rainforest Institute, the local population is to be involved in the use and care of the area: The goal is to create awareness for sustainable uses of the forest area that do not require timber extraction.