Transparency for Trees
Planting a tree is the first step in a long journey of growing a forest.
It's like when you first bring a child into the world. You can not let it stand on its own. You need to nourish, guide, and protect your child. The same applies to your tree saplings. They can be overgrown by other vegetation, eaten up by leaf-cutting ants, or grazing animals, or be harmed by fire. Further, you have to take care that your tree saplings are sufficiently nourished. As the initial little roots can not tap into the groundwaters, too little rain will hinder growth. In contrast, trees that are planted in shallow areas that are flooded during heavy rains will be prone to drowning.
Only after a good few years of nourishment and active caretaking do planted trees start resembling forests and gain a certain resilience. This is when all the hard work starts to pay off in the form of ecosystem services like:
- Long term carbon sink
- Soil protection
- Water retention
- Habitat for plants and animals
- Sustainable livelihood for generations in flourishing and healthy landscapes
While the number of organizations that offer tree planting opportunities has grown significantly, only a few of these organizations can systematically prove the long-term reforestation success. But how do these projects demonstrate that their efforts, and the financial contributions of others, have led to sustainable reforestation? Where have the trees being planted? How many, when, and by whom? How many survived during the first years? Transparent monitoring, reporting, and verification are mandatory to earn the trust of your supporters.
explorer.land is one tool that helps to create geo-transparency via project maps. High-resolution maps are a tangible way to ground-truth results and demonstrate effective reforestation: before and after.