Biodiversity Corridors by Plant Your Tree
Manohar Lal Baharani
Jun 15, 2014
A great amount of work is done and underway by organisations like UNFCCC , IUCN , World Forests and more on Forests as carbon sinks, deforestation and role of forests in carbon cycle. What is required is capacity building of tree planters world over to know and understand the merits of scientific selection of appropriate types of tree plantation in different parts the world, particularly in areas where the deforestation is a regular activity for life support activities of local communities.
Jun 16, 2014
I agree very much with you. Indeed there is a lot of work being done with forestry, a lot of it is very good work. And knowledge transfer and capacity building also need to increase. However there are some paradigms that need to be broken: one of them is that forests should not be treated exclusively as carbon sinks. Thinking in these terms would promote carbon compensation projects in the form of large fast growing eucalyptus or pinus trees, which absorb carbon more efficiently than most other tree species due to their extremely fast growth rate. By planting eucalyptus only forests, one is definitely maximizing the carbon taken from the atmosphere, but one is also creating a 'green desert', on which very few species are able to survive. Sure, you have a great carbon sink, but with very few forms of life. The approach to forestry being suggested here is to use tree species native to whatever region the forests are being planted in. The selection of these species can be done by studying remaining fragments of natural forests, mapping the species, and attempting to recreate the natural forest through plantation of seedlings. In some cases there may not be any surviving natural forests to study, in these cases selecting tree species is more complicated, but can be done through historical research on data collected in the past, by consulting native peoples, etc. Unfortunately deforestation is rampant all around the world. A lot of work is being done to help stop it - however there is an established significant global market for hard wood trees, just as there is a market for exotic animals. So long as there is this market, we can expect local communities to supply this given demand, unless they get more 'gain' by engaging in a different activity. This is usually dictated by economic reasons and market forces. Which brings me to the major paradigm shift that I am suggesting in this contest: simply put it is to put responsibility for ecological forestation projects (those forests planted to foster biodiversity) in the hands of private enterprise. Charities, Non Profits, NGOs, etc, are all less efficient and effective in getting things done than private enterprise. There are definitely very efficient NGOs out there, and I am not discrediting any of them or their work - I am suggesting that in private hands more would get done... For instance, if we manage as a society to prove that there is financial profit to be made from planting native forests, there will be many, many new companies being established worldwide whose aim will be to plant native forests! This will mean that there will be more people planting more forests in more parts of the world. We cannot ignore (most) people's innate selfishness - we have to go along with it and play by its rules. People need to make more money from planting native trees than they get from chopping them down and selling them. When this happens, biodiversity conservation projects (of which carbon sequestration is often a positive externality) will proliferate globally! I also think that organizations planting these ecological forests need to work together (especially when they are nearby geographically) to optimize the projects and get the most benefit possible with smaller amounts of trees. The driver of this is the consumer - tree planters need funding. They currently rely on the most part on donations and tax breaks. This is not enough. Biodiversity needs marketing!
Jun 16, 2014
ricardomachado comments that something like this would help fund biodiversity and tree planting. Perhaps. While offering environmental benefits to a consumption decision has been shown to be effective with a portion of the consuming populace - viz Zappos - I am skeptical that your proposal would actually REDUCE consumption. One way it might is for the environmental benefit to add to the cost of the product - similarly to a tax - but that would only be accepted by industries if every one of a class of products carried the same charge, taking this 'sales tax' out of the decision to purchase. But then it may not reduce consumption as hoped because it would not be included in the comparative cost-benefit analysis a rational consumer is presumed to make . . . unless they rationally compare the purchase cost to the benefits of a range of alternate products/services, as economists usually presume.
Jun 17, 2014
I think it is inadequate if the organization just works with a manufacturer. Obviously, the organization also requires to partner with a local community. Sometimes, it is less meaningful to just plant a tree, which could be easily become a stunt for the manufacturer. The proposal could be refined by helping a manufacturer assist a local community that has rich forest resource.The organization can serve as a bridge as well as forest auditor during the process.
Jun 23, 2014
Perhaps this proposal is in the wrong contest.. Maybe it should be in the 'Shifting behavior for a changing climate'? Consumption reduction at a significant scale requires considerable behavior change on part of the consumers. In practice this is very hard to do. Perhaps a more pragmatic approach is to reduce the negative environmental externalities of products by in some way offsetting the 'harm' caused to the Earth from its production. Rather than imposing the cost of tree planting on the consumer in terms of an 'eco tax', the burden for offsetting emissions and biodiversity loss should be shared by the manufacturer and the consumer. Similar in a way to 'fair trade' coffee. These goods command a higher price, but at the same time have increased appeal to consumers. In PlantYourTree.com's projects, we always involve local communities. The preparation of land (and seedlings), plantation and maintenance of the forests are always carried out locally. We constantly work with community leaders arranging lectures and day trips, always focusing on biodiversity and the environment and how individuals can help. There are also commercial opportunities created as a consequence of PlantYourTree's activities. As an example, we always donate bee hives (and capacity building) to families living around our project areas, this enables them to start producing honey, propolis and many other derivatives from apiculture.
Jul 17, 2014
Thanks very much for your entry! In these last few days, I encourage you to add as much concrete detail as possible and make sure all fields in the form are filled out. Best of luck!
Aug 5, 2014
I like this proposal very much in particular I like the idea of the biodiversity corridor. Makes a great deal of sense and ecological terms and there is no question that uniting fragmented forests is a positive thing to do. However the connection to the consumer side is underdeveloped. Which products will have the linkage to planting trees? All products? Certain kinds of products? Will consumers be educated about this so that they will be willing to pay her these plantings? Why are the tree plantings connected to products? Why not just fundraise for money? These are questions that should be answered. I suggest looking in the literature for studies of these kinds of linked programs. Do they work? Perhaps the literature on carbon offsetting would be a place to start. I suggest that the authors of this proposal flesh it out on the consumer side. It's a great project that deserves attention. This is an original proposal. I like it. But it needs to be worked through much more, with some specific examples and numbers. The argument for protecting the forest and connecting them is interesting and well presented. But the other end of the chain of events: how to affect consumers’ behavior is rather sketchy. The proposal is original, but clearly underdeveloped at this point. It might be worth thinking about applying your ideas to products that have a connection with forests, as that might make more sense to consumers.
Manohar Lal Baharani
Aug 9, 2014
Nice to learn that your proposal is in semi finalist list. It makes good sense for biodiversity conservation projects where carbon sequestration is a positive externality. The idea of biodiversity project linking with market dynamics has to be driven by the "returns on investment" and within the framework of available tools in the market. There are Corporate houses focusing on "Corporate Social Responsibility", in addition World Bank, Asian Development Bank and now Green Climate Fund are focusing on low carbon development and other initiatives that include promoting forestation as well. A good amount of deforestation is regular activity in many parts of the world mainly for earning livelihood by economically deprived ignoring / obviating the legal regulations. I believe that your proposal needs enrichment on the aspects of (i)quantified emission reduction proposals - say per ha for average number of trees plantation (ii) key benefits - directly linked with the forest produce based products and indirect benefits for animals / wild life / others areas of biodiversity (iii) submission of a typical proposal covering an example that promised returns on investment, in quantifiable, verifiable and open to assessment manner. You have stated that proposal can be contributed by any one. It is good global thought for local actions and worthy of pursuing further. Bests.
Huynh Phu Dat
Aug 9, 2014
Dear laxmimanohar , I try to message you but a technical problem happen so I can't . Do you have twitter acc ? https://twitter.com/HuynhPhuDat
Aug 23, 2014
Hi, I like your proposal and linked it to mine: https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1300701/planId/1308202 I have two worries though: 1) How do you avoid green-wash? For example, an producer of a harmful product could give a sense of environmental friendliness to his product by announcing that buying this product would plant a tree. 2) How do you make sure that the planted trees brings additionality, that they would not have been planted anyway. And how do you assure that the trees will provide a long term solution, and will not be cut down in the near future?
Sep 3, 2014
The judges thought this was a very good proposal, deserving of support. However, they questioned how it would reduce consumption rather than shift it toward products linked with ecological improvements. In addition, they recommend you work on the details of your consumption metrics.
Mar 7, 2015
Welcome back to Climate CoLab, @ricardomachado! I would encourage you to keep in mind the judges' and members' feedback from last year. This is a well-thought out proposal, but in its present form does not address the theme of this contest, which is to shift the *values and attitudes* of individuals and institutions rather than their consumption habits.
Mar 18, 2015
Hello 'Plant Your Tree', Your attempts to link to market the efforts to increase the forest cover are nice. You find seeking the funds to support your activities rather unattractive. I request you to go through a proposal that avoids both and yet is workable in every country & every region. The link is below-- https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1300103/planId/1310401 Kindly try to integrate this with your own proposal and oblige, thanks.
Mar 18, 2015
Above one is a rather non-capitalistic or uncapitalistic approach to increasing the green cover; nevertheless it's a very much human approach.
Mar 19, 2015
This was just brought up and I see that the creator is also Brazilian... so as a Brazilian farmer who lives in a 'small' city and tend to observe how our environment behave, "Biodiversity Corridors" are a small but effective solution to some of our problems and I do think they involve a CHANGE in attitudes and behavior, since it's hard to explain how a 'corridor of trees' would affect an entire place, specially among farmers who own, at least around here, most of the lands around streets and highways. It needs partnerships with many governmental institutions worldwide but, the idea itself is applicable and interesting.
Mar 24, 2015
Hello 'Plant Your Tree', Thanks for your support. Kindly suggest the name from amongst the Brazilian sages/social reformers whose name could be put together with that of revered Swami Vivekananda to name it for Brazil. Kindly integrate this with your own efforts and oblibe. Thanking in anticipation, With Sincere Regards.
Apr 3, 2015
Two things are of critical importance here. (1) Planting of the trees should be done in communities from where the product is sourced and not somewhere else. (2)The trees planted should be the indigenous varieties which could later benefit the local communities. Also, a question that comes to mind, is what benefit would it do to plant a tree if I buy a product which is made of plastic ?
Apr 3, 2015
agreed on points 1 and 2. With regards to your question: it would cause more benefit to buy a plastic product that plants a tree than to buy a plastic product that does not plant a tree.
Apr 5, 2015
If the goal is shifting attitudes and changing behavior..it is imperative that concepts like yours become widespread and that it is easy for a consumer to buy into the replanting of trees as a goal to minimize the isolation of forests caused by reallocation of the forest land. The "forest islands" that we are creating need to be returned to natural forest lands, recombined and reconnected. Can you address the greater need to stop the redevelopment of forests lands as a desired shift in attitude and a desired shift in behavior. The corridors are a necessary goal until we stop the redevelopment of the forest lands for other purposes. The goal would be to develop the forests themselves as the desired commodity and not their alternate uses. I think your goal is important and that it must be done on the local level- with local participation driving the issue. The bigger goal is stop destroying the current forests and to do everything we can to reconstruct their habitats as sustainable and to set them aside as protected lands- to be maintained in their natural states, so as to safeguard the flaura and fauna within.
May 4, 2015
psuchmann, I agree with you. Standing forests need to be commoditised and valued. The areas that have been deforested must be reforested and the connections between habitats reestablished. However the growing demand for food, and the desire to profit from providing it means we are likely to see even more forest reduction in the near future. Unfortunately. I am sure there will be a generalised shift in attitudes, and I believe it will not be long in happening. It just needs to be publicised and 'sold' correctly and to the masses. Human impact on biodiversity can be proven without a shadow of a doubt (just ask the dodos), and I am adamant humanity will rise above and right our wrongs. While the business as usual status quo is maintained, it is very difficult to completely halt deforestation. Not to mention desertification and the gradual thinning of forests (and other habitats like mangroves and savannahs) due to climate change. We need to create in the public a sense of togetherness with the natural world, through publicity and promotion of ecology in general, and especially conservation and restoration. This will be a true paradigm shift, and once this occurs we can be sure that things will improve!
Jun 10, 2015
Hello Ricardo, Thanks for your proposal to the Climate CoLab. I'm one of the catalysts, helping provide comments and feedback, in an effort to help strengthen proposals. Thank you for sharing your proposal and further information on the PlantYourTrees concept, and how it may be applicable in other regions of the globe. A few brief suggestion/questions you could expand on in your proposal: A) It may be helpful to add a few sentences at the outset in the summary that describes PlantYourTrees.com and its work in Brazil, and why you think it may be more broadly applicable. Right now this description is a little too far down in the text. B) Specifically, it would be helpful to link your prior work and/or propose future work to link the project directly to shifting public perceptions. It's valid to consider whether this proposal is in the right contest slot, and/or how you might amend it to ensure it fits the theme. C) Who incurs the price of the tree planting in this model? The manufacturer of the product, or the consumer? Or Both? D) What types of companies/businesses are you targeting, and how do/would you encourage them to participate? E) How would you spread greater awareness of the concept in other regions? Thanks for your contribution.
Jun 12, 2015
Hello from Indonesia, Good luck for your project proposal. Just review and make it completed before meet deadline tomorrow. Thank you,
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