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Posted on 2022-11-23

PROAmazonia and EcoMatcher Partnership: Progress Report

By Giovanny Romero, PROAmazonia

In March 2021, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and EcoMatcher signed an agreement to plant 83,636 trees in the Amazon province of Zamora Chinchipe in Ecuador and track all trees with EcoMatcher’s Technologies. This initiative has been implemented in the framework of the Amazonian Integral Forest Conservation and Sustainable Production Program (PROAmazonia), which is led by the Ministries of Agriculture and Livestock, and of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition of Ecuador, and implemented by UNDP.

PROAmazonía was established in 2017 in Ecuador and is financed by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Global Environmental Fund (GEF). This initiative, among other actions, promotes the transition to sustainable and deforestation-free agricultural systems, especially in coffee, cocoa, palm oil, and livestock value chains, which are the main drivers of deforestation in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

To achieve such a goal, PROAmazonia has implemented Agricultural Field Schools, in which technical personnel from specialized institutions have supported the strengthening of 8,000 producers’ capacities in good agricultural practices. As a result, over 64,000 productive hectares of the Amazon are currently in transition to sustainability. In addition, farmers have received non-monetary incentives, all along with the successful completion of the training program and their commitment to conserving the Amazon forest. 

PROAmazonia has also worked on the repowering of 13 collection centers from coffee and cocoa-producing associations so that their post-harvesting processes can render high-quality final products. Eventually, the implementation of traceability systems on producer’s farms and the sale of 11 tons of coffee and 17 tons of sustainable cocoa, with a deforestation-free mention, to companies like Lavazza and Silva Cacao, have marked the final step towards fulfilling a successful strategy of intervention.

Within this framework, we are proud to announce that a portion of PROAmazonia’s intervened farmlands – from over 200 families – have benefited from EcoMatcher’s tree species, which have been planted in agroforestry systems, in favour of the transition to sustainable and deforestation-free production. Such species include cocoa, coffee, and other native plants. 

These agroforestry systems provide environmental benefits like soil protection, an increase in water amount, and an improvement in water quality. As a result, the Amazonian ecosystem becomes more resilient. According to the CEO and Founder of EcoMatcher, Bas Fransen, “Proper tree planting is essential to address the climate crisis, and this initiative could not come at a better time. We are grateful to partnering with PROAmazonia and the UNDP”.

Since all these farmlands have been mapped by trained owners and farmers’ associations within the framework of PROAmazonia, EcoMatcher’s sponsors can have great confidence in preserving their adopted plants. Indeed, such activity was carried out by PROAmazonia to implement a forest conservation monitoring process in each farm, and to link the obtained information to a traceability system that provides transparency and guarantees the products’ origin.

You can adopt PROAmazonia trees here: https://www.ecomatcher.com/product/trees-in-ecuador/.

Posted on 2022-07-21

EcoMatcher and Regrow Borneo announce partnership to tackle deforestation in Sabah, Malaysia

Hong Kong, Borneo, 21st of July 2022 – EcoMatcher is thrilled to announce its latest tree-planting partnership with Regrow Borneo, a community-based reforestation project in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.

The biodiversity of Borneo’s rainforests is among the richest in the world, possessing staggeringly high numbers of unique plants and animals. However, as in many tropical areas around the world, Borneo’s rainforests are being cut and degraded for palm oil, timber, pulp, rubber, and minerals.

Regrow Borneo plants trees in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, in Sabah, Malaysia. Since the 1980s, three-quarters of the area’s tropical rainforest has been lost to deforestation, largely from the expansion of palm oil plantations.

For over 20 years, researchers at Cardiff University and the Danau Girang Field Centre in Borneo have worked together closely, collaborating on research encompassing wildlife conservation, biodiversity enhancement, soil erosion, and social science in the Kinabatangan.

Recognizing the devastating impacts on biodiversity of deforestation in the Kinabatangan, a pilot project called ‘Regrow Borneo’ was launched in 2019, to begin restoring these areas.

“At a time when action on the climate crisis is more urgent than ever, we are thrilled to partner with EcoMatcher to reforest Borneo transparently”, said Professor Benoit Goossens, Director of Danau Girang Field Centre. “ Regrow Borneo delivers a model of sustainable and ethical reforestation that goes beyond simple carbon sequestration, planting trees in a way that will also improve lives and livelihoods in local communities, and increase biodiversity and ecosystem resilience in the Lower Kinabatangan, Sabah, Malaysia. We are excited to partner with EcoMatcher to achieve this vision.”

“EcoMatcher is proud to partner with Regrow Borneo to support reforestation efforts in Malaysia”, said Bas Fransen, CEO, and Founder of EcoMatcher. “The forests of Borneo are among the most biologically diverse habitats on Earth, and we look forward to partnering with Regrow Borneo to help preserve the precious lowland tropical forests in Sabah.”

Starting in August, EcoMatcher’s customers will be able to adopt trees in Borneo directly on the EcoMatcher platform.

For more information: www.ecomatcher.com/rbo

Posted on 2022-05-11

EcoMatcher and MyBhutan Partner to Preserve Bhutan’s Forests

Hong Kong, Thimphu Bhutan, May 12th, 2022 – EcoMatcher is proud to announce its latest tree-planting partnership with MyBhutan, a social enterprise co-founded by His Royal Highness Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck and Matthew R. DeSantis with a deep-seated commitment to empowering local communities, conserving the environment and promoting sustainability in the Kingdom of Bhutan.

Conservation of the environment is one of the four pillars of Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness philosophy. Bhutan is the first country in the world with a constitutional obligation on its people to protect the environment. Among its requirements, at least 60% of the nation must remain under forest cover at all times. This has led to Bhutan’s current status as being one of three carbon-neutral countries in the world. However, deforestation through lodging, natural calamities, and man-made forest fires are evident.

One of MyBhutan’s core objectives is to nurture Bhutan’s forests and encourage local businesses to be proactive conservators and ‘regenerators’ of their surroundings.

Through the partnership with EcoMatcher, MyBhutan will plant native Cyprus and Oak trees in the Thimphu and Paro districts in West Bhutan, as well as fruit-bearing trees in the South area of Chukha. Starting this week, EcoMatcher’s customers will be able to adopt these trees in Bhutan directly on the EcoMatcher platform here. The trees will be traceable through EcoMatcher’s digital blockchain-based platform.

”In Bhutan, we live in harmony with our environment. By allowing the environment to grow naturally and wild, it stays pristine and intact, and makes Bhutan one of the world’s most alive biodiversity hotspots. This practice to live in harmony did not come naturally, though. It is the result of an ongoing, multi-decade commitment to protect the people and place that make our home so unique. We are excited and grateful for EcoMatcher to join us in this very important mission to keep Bhutan pristine and intact”, said Matthew R DeSantis, Co-founder of MyBhutan.

“EcoMatcher is thrilled to support MyBhutan’s objective to preserve forests in Bhutan. This program will empower local communities to monitor the impact of the trees they plant in Bhutan, and enable our customers to get involved in this important initiative”, said Bas Fransen, CEO, and Founder of EcoMatcher. “Bhutan’s Philosophy of preserving the environment is aligned with EcoMatcher’s goals, and we couldn’t be prouder about this partnership.”

https://www.mybhutan.com/tree-planting

Posted on 2022-03-17

EcoMatcher and The Haiti Tree Project announce partnership to tackle deforestation in Haiti

Hong Kong, Cavaillon Haiti, March 17, 2022 – We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with The Haiti Tree Project, a non-profit organization supporting Haitian communities to reverse the damage caused by years of deforestation.

The Haiti Tree Project works with Haitian communities to help scale their pre-existing reforestation efforts. Through financial, educational, and technological assistance, their goal is to create self-sustainability and food sovereignty while improving environmental conditions throughout Haiti.

So far, two tree nurseries in Haiti have been established, expanding their capacity to grow and share seedlings year-round. These nurseries employ primarily women who would otherwise have difficulty finding paid work in the community. In ten years, the project has planted over 100,000 trees, a mixture of fruit and native hardwood trees, and provided hundreds of hours of community education about planting and caring for the trees.

Starting this week, our customers will be able to adopt trees in Haiti directly on the EcoMatcher platform. The trees will be available for adoption and traceable through our digital blockchain-based platform.

“Over the last 30 years, deforestation in Haiti has reached a crisis point. With less than 2% of the country’s native forests intact, each rainy season brings monsoons that create devastating impacts for communities”, said Karen Nicolas, founder of The Haiti Project. “We are excited to partner with EcoMatcher to regenerate our forests and help provide ecological balance and resources for communities in Haiti.”

“EcoMatcher is proud to partner with The Haiti Tree Project to support reforestation efforts in Haiti, enabling our customers to get involved in this important initiative,” said Bas Fransen, CEO, and Founder of EcoMatcher. “Tree planting is crucial to address the climate crisis, and we are looking forward to creating long term positive impact with the Haiti Tree Project.

About The Haiti Tree Project

The Haiti Tree Project is a 501c3 non-profit organization supporting Haitian communities to reverse the damage caused by deforestation. Funded by donations and driven by the community, locals restore their forests, local economy, and food sovereignty. The Haiti Tree Project is re-establishing a sustainable, tree-based agricultural economy across the mountainous regions of southern Haiti. These forests reduce erosion and flooding, replenish the water tables, sequester carbon, and create a sheltered environment for cash crops.

http://www.thehaititreeproject.org

Posted on 2022-01-20

Bôndy and EcoMatcher announce partnership to regreen Madagascar

Hong Kong, Antananarivo, January 20, 2022 –  Today, we are thrilled to announce our new partnership with Bôndy, a reforestation social enterprise based in Madagascar. Bôndy was founded with the idea of helping Madagascar change its nickname from ‘red island’ to ‘green island’. Madagascar is known worldwide for having fantastic fauna and flora, but deforestation and climate change have significantly impacted the country.

Starting this week, our customers will be able to adopt trees, mangroves as a start, in Madagascar. The trees will be available for adoption and traceable through EcoMatcher’s digital blockchain-based platform.

“In 2021, the UN declared the first famine in Madagascar impacting millions of lives”, said Gabriel Tasso, Chief Commercial Officer at Bôndy. “At Bôndy, we know that Madagascar will need a lot of help to get back on its feet. We are committed to doing the most we can with a long-term vision by conceiving a concrete plan to plant trees, protect trees and educate communities about the benefits of environmental consciousness. We are excited to partner with EcoMatcher to achieve this vision”.

“EcoMatcher is proud to partner with Bôndy to support reforestation in Madagascar, enabling our customers to get involved in this important initiative,” said Bas Fransen, CEO and Founder of EcoMatcher. “Tree planting is crucial for addressing the climate and humanitarian crisis and this partnership cannot come at a better time.”

About EcoMatcher

EcoMatcher plants trees with foundations specialized in tree planting. Through technologies, EcoMatcher knows everything about every tree, offering full transparency and engagement. Companies can use trees for meaningful corporate gifting, loyalty programs, rewards, employee engagement, events, and transparent carbon offsetting programs.

www.ecomatcher.com

About Bôndy 

Bôndy is a social enterprise that is active in the field of reforestation in Madagascar. At Bôndy, we believe that in order to reforest Madagascar effectively, we must analyze and address the causes of deforestation. Undeniably, the main reason for deforestation in Madagascar is due to human activity. Therefore, Bôndy made a concrete plan where we place the local populations at the center of our projects. We are trying to create substitutes to the remaining primary forests in all regions of Madagascar by planting high valued species that will bring economical and environmental benefits for the local populations. All of our projects are driven by the desire to help Madagascar protect its most unique treasure and help local populations by giving them new alternatives and education related to environmental consciousness.

www.bondy.earth

Posted on 2021-09-14

EcoMatcher and Grab Partner to Reduce Users’ Carbon Footprint by Planting Trees in a Transparent and Engaging Way

We are thrilled to announce that EcoMatcher teamed up with Grab to build a new carbon offset feature as well as “Trees as Rewards” within the Grab App, leveraging EcoMatcher’s transparent and engaging tree-planting technology.

Grab’s new carbon offset feature was launched last month in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. It allows Grab users to reduce their carbon footprint when traveling with Grab, by purchasing carbon offsets at less than US$0.10* per ride.

After a designated number of carbon-neutral rides, users will receive a dedicated tree planted by EcoMatcher’s vetted non-profit foundations specialized in planting trees. In addition, Grab users in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines can now also plant trees with EcoMatcher directly on the Grab App using their GrabRewards points.

Through EcoMatcher’s technologies, Grab users are able to virtually travel to their trees planted in the GrabForGood Forest, name them, view photos of their newly planted trees, and learn more about the farmers who planted their trees.

“EcoMatcher is proud to be working with Grab, bringing transparent tree-planting to Grab’s users and getting them involved and engaged”, said Bas Fransen, CEO and Founder of EcoMatcher. “Together we can make a difference, and our partnership can not come at a better time”.

Carbon offset rates differ across each country

Posted on 2021-06-15

Blockchain will track 50 million trees through Investancia and EcoMatcher partnership

Press Release

Groundbreaking new partnership will use blockchain technology to record, view, and measure the growth of 50 million Pongamia trees to be planted in the Paraguayan Chaco forest over the next decade.

June 15, 2021, Asunción, Paraguay, Hong Kong – Leading agro-research company Investancia has teamed up with EcoMatcher to track a large-scale conservation project using EcoMatcher’s blockchain-enabled digital tree-planting platform.

Over the next ten years, 50 million trees will each receive a unique QR code in Investancia’s tree nursery. Once the trees are planted, each QR code is scanned with EcoMatcher’s TreeCorder app to register the tree’s GPS location and planting date. All data will be saved on EcoMatcher blockchain and will produce a detailed, large-scale visualization of the land Investancia has reforested. Moreover, Investancia will be able to collect data points including the amount of carbon dioxide the trees sequester as well as oilseed yields. The partnership ensures full transparency of the entire supply chain and life cycle of the Pongamia trees, which will be planted in the Paraguayan Chaco – South America’s second largest forest.

Investancia CEO and Founder, Marcel van Heesewijk said: “The Paraguayan Chaco is one of the most rapidly deforested areas in the world. To combat this threat, Investancia is using cutting-edge technology and resources. We are thrilled to partner with EcoMatcher to strengthen our reforestation program and ensure this valuable ecosystem is preserved and protected.” 

Through blockchain technology, Investancia will track the performance of its reforestation projects across 125,000 hectares of degraded cattle land. In 2021 alone, Investancia will reforest more than 2000 hectares of land in the Paraguayan Chaco. 

EcoMatcher CEO and Founder, Bas Fransen said: “The partnership with Investancia is our first licensing program of its kind, mapping large-scale reforestation projects and has resulted in some world-first features, like linking trees’ QR codes to location data. Investancia is a fantastic partner to work with.”

The tropical forest of the Chaco is home to some of the richest and most biodiverse ecology in the world. It is home to endemic and endangered animal species and indigenous communities who heavily rely on the forest for their existence.

Investancia has worked on world-leading research with the Pongamia tree, which is used in their reforestation programs. Native to India and Australia, the trees are adaptive, allowing them to grow on degraded land, flood and drought resilient, yet are non-invasive. The trees also produce pods containing oilseeds that are high in protein and vegetable oil.

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About Investancia

Investancia, founded in 2013, is a leading agro-research company, a pioneer within Pongamia research, development, and tree propagation management. The company has its corporate headquarters in the Netherlands, while its local forestry operations are based in Paraguay. The company’s elite tree propagation and R&D center located in Carmelo Peralta, Alto Paraguay, already represents the world’s largest dedicated elite Pongamia tree production site.

Investancia reforests degraded cattle land to produce Pongamia oil, an advanced and highly scalable renewable feedstock with indirect land-use change (low-ILUC) making it one of the best feedstock choices for Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production also due to its extremely low carbon intensity levels. Unlike most next-generation vegetable and waste oils, Pongamia oil has a positive climate impact resulting from the unique agroforestry practices applied by Investancia based on the principles of reforestation in silvopasture mode. 

To learn more, visit Investancia at www.investancia.com

About EcoMatcher 

EcoMatcher, a certified B corporation, is a green tech company founded in 2017 in Hong Kong by Dutch entrepreneur Bas Fransen.  EcoMatcher plants trees and complete forests with vetted foundations from around the world that are specialized in tree planting. Through technology, EcoMatcher’s clients know everything about every tree planted, offering complete transparency. Clients can virtually travel to every tree and learn more about the tree and the tree’s farmer. 

EcoMatcher has recently launched a technology licensing program for clients that want to map their own mass tree planting projects using EcoMatcher’s technologies. 

For more info, visit EcoMatcher at www.ecomatcher.com.

Posted on 2021-06-03

Menaqua and EcoMatcher teaming up to regreen Jordan

PRESS RELEASE

Hong Kong – Amman – The Hague, June 3, 2021. The Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan represented by the Ministry of Agriculture, EcoMatcher, and Menaqua are pleased to announce a groundbreaking partnership for planting trees in Jordan. Starting in June trees will be planted by Menaqua together with the Forest Department of the Ministry of Agriculture of Jordan using advanced ‘cocoon technology’, a Dutch innovation by Land Life Company. The trees will be available for adoption through EcoMatcher’s digital blockchain-based platform.

Cocoon technology is used in dry and degraded land, supporting a seedling through its critical first year by providing water and shelter while stimulating the seedling to produce a healthy and deep root structure, tapping into the sub-surface water supply.

“The Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan represented by the Ministry of Agriculture is excited to announce that – together with Menaqua and EcoMatcher – it will begin the reforestation of the Al Haysha forest in the Ma’an governorate. By planting native Jordanian trees using novel cocoon technology we will assist in restoring the natural landscape and help Jordan reduce the impact of climate change.”

“We are impressed by the transparency, the digital tools, and the engagement possibilities EcoMatcher’s platform is offering. Furthermore, we are excited to bring Menaqua’s tree planting initiative in Jordan to the world,” said Jeroen Kosterman, head of operations of Menaqua. 

“EcoMatcher is proud to partner with Menaqua to plant trees in Jordan using cocoon technology and to enable our customers to get involved,” said Bas Fransen, CEO and Founder of EcoMatcher. “Tree planting is crucial for addressing the climate crisis and this initiative cannot come at a better time.”

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About Menaqua

Menaqua, the reforestation company in the Middle East and North Africa, restores, in cooperation with local 3rd parties, damaged ecosystems. Please visit Menaqua at https://www.menaqua.com.

About the Ministry of Agriculture of Jordan

The Ministry of Agriculture of Jordan is responsible for the agricultural sector, promoting self-sufficiency and rural development and linking the production to the markets’ requirements inside and outside Jordan. It also aims to promote plant production, control plant pests, preserve forests and pastures, and also regulate the establishment of breeding farms or livestock holdings, poultry farms, fish farms, fishing, beekeeping, animal health, and veterinary quarantine, as well as the role of the Ministry in the protection of wild birds and wild animals. Please visit the Ministry of Agriculture of Jordan at http://moa.gov.jo/Default/Ar

About EcoMatcher

EcoMatcher plants trees and complete forests with vetted foundations from around the world that are specialized in tree planting. Through technology, EcoMatcher’s clients know everything about every tree planted, offering full transparency. Through EcoMatcher’s digital blockchain-based platform, companies can use trees as meaningful corporate gifts, rewards, loyalty and employee engagement, and transparent carbon offsetting. You can virtually travel to every tree and learn more about the tree and the tree’s farmer.

Posted on 2021-04-01

United Nations and EcoMatcher forged an alliance to tackle climate change and preserve the Ecuadorian Amazon

PRESS RELEASE

Hong Kong – New York – Quito, April 1, 2021.

EcoMatcher and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are pleased to announce a partnership for planting trees in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Starting in April, over the next two years, these trees will be monitored with EcoMatcher’s technology and, from May, will be available for adoption through EcoMatcher’s digital blockchain-based platform.

PROAmazonia, an Ecuadorian government project implemented with the support of UNDP, will be in charge of the plantation in coordination with EcoMatcher. 

“We love the transparency, the digital tools, and the engagement possibilities EcoMatcher’s platform is offering. We are excited to bring PROAmazonia’s tree planting initiative in Ecuador to the world,” said Matilde Mordt, Resident Representative from UNDP in Ecuador. 

“EcoMatcher is very proud to partner with the United Nations and its program PROAmazonia to plant trees in the Ecuadorian Amazon and enable our customers to get involved,” said Bas Fransen, CEO and Founder of EcoMatcher. “Proper tree planting is crucial for addressing the climate crisis, and this initiative cannot come at a better time.”

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About PROAmazonia

The Integrated Amazon Program for Forest Conservation and Sustainable Production (PROAmazonia) in Ecuador is an initiative from the country´s Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the Ministry of Environment and Water with the support of UNDP as implementing agency. This program is financed by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Global Environment Facility (GEF). The Program´s objective is to reduce deforestation and promote the sustainable management of natural resources. Please visit PROAmazonia at www.proamazonia.org.

About UNDP

UNDP works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results. Please visit UNDP at www.undp.org.

About EcoMatcher

EcoMatcher plants trees and complete forests with vetted foundations from around the world that are specialized in tree planting. Through technology, EcoMatcher’s clients know everything about every tree planted, offering complete transparency. Through EcoMatcher’s digital blockchain-based platform, companies can use trees as meaningful corporate gifts, as rewards, for loyalty and employee engagement, and transparent carbon offsetting. You can virtually travel to every tree and learn more about the tree and the tree’s farmer. Please visit EcoMatcher at www.ecomatcher.com

Posted on 2020-01-22

EcoMatcher Scales New Heights

January 22, 2020 -EcoMatcher is proud to announce a partnership with New Growth, a foundation with Irish roots planting trees in the Himalayas in Nepal.

After the devastating earthquake in Nepal in April 2015, Simthali, a valley east of Kathmandu and close to the epicenter of the earthquake, was severely damaged in multiple ways. Not only houses were damaged, but also complete forests.

New Growth’s objective is rebuilding Simthali, and reforesting the valley. This massive valley has massive potential indeed.

I was privileged to meet New Growth’s local leader Sitaram and to meet one of the participating farmers named Urmila. Please see below the interviews with both amazing individuals (each video ~ 2 min each).

EcoMatcher will start selling complete forests in Nepal, captured tree-by-tree, starting in February, so stay tuned!

Posted on 2019-12-12

EcoMatcher goes South America!

December 12, 2019 – EcoMatcher is proud to announce a partnership with Plant Your Future, an amazing nonprofit specialized in tree-planting in Peru.

Plant Your Future empowers smallholder farmers in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest to restore their deforested and degraded land with productive agroforestry — planting a mixture of native fruit and timber trees. Improving the income and livelihoods of those at the grassroots increases our chances of fighting climate change effectively, as well as protecting habitats for the incredible biodiversity that calls the Amazon Rainforest home.

“We are excited to partner with EcoMatcher, helping us to scale and get more trees in the ground in Peru “, says Jenny Henman, Founder of Plant Your Future. 

“With Plant Your Future, EcoMatcher is now able to offer its clients trees from South America”, says Bas Fransen, CEO of EcoMatcher. “With our technology, we are making tree planting in Peru transparent and meaningful for companies from around the world.”

The first forests are being planted and can be ordered from EcoMatcher here.

Posted on 2019-08-24

Life of a Tree Planter

[Guest blog by Chime Ngawang, intern EcoMatcher June – August 2019]

Here at EcoMatcher, we provide tree planting as business solutions, connecting trees planted in various communities across the world with corporations that can utilize trees for innovative purposes.

But what is it like, living and planting trees in one such community? Born in the city Singapore with tall buildings, paved streets and a darn good Wi-Fi connection was pretty much all I’ve ever known. Airdropped into the rural village of Duren Sawit, located in central Java, Indonesia, I got to see for myself firsthand what it was like to be at the forefront of one such green initiative.

I was first introduced to Pak Jamasri, the field coordinator in the village. As part of EcoMatcher’s collaboration with Trees4Trees, seedlings and training is provided by Trees4Trees to the farmers of Duren Sawit. Pak Jamasri manages the farmers and handles administrative affairs. After summoning the courage to try out a local delicacy offered to me – a spiny-shelled sweet-tasting fruit called Salak – I set off to explore Duren Sawit’s tree plantations planted with Pak Jamasri, together with a farmer named Pak Parjono.

Pak Jamasri, his family and me

Smack in the middle of the dry season, the summer months of May – August sees tree planting take a backseat for most farmers in Indonesia, who instead focus on tending to the trees and crops that have already been planted. This was no exception for Pak Parjono and the other farmers in Duren Sawit, and for good reason. With each swing of his changkol against the rock hard ground, he painstakingly demonstrated to me the process of planting several Albizia (better known as Sengon in Java) seedlings in dry conditions. Having planted trees since he was in his teens after learning to do so from his parents, it was a task he enjoyed, but definitely more so during the rainy season towards the end of the year, when the soil is a lot kinder for digging and the laying of new seedlings.

Pak Parjono

With the blistering heat of the midday sun soon approaching, Pak Parjono and the rest of the tree planters would retreat to the village, taking part in afternoon prayers before enjoying a well earned lunch and rest back in their abodes. After an hour or two of coffee and chitchat, he would then return to the fields – once again tending to the trees and crops. As evening approached, he would return home, followed by prayers and dinner, socializing with his neighbors before retiring to bed. According to him, the next day followed the same routine. Pak Parjono enjoys planting trees. Just waking up to see the growth of the trees he had planted count among the happiest parts of his life. Moments he relives day after day.

Just like most of us toiling away in our jobs, income and the need to support their families are the main reasons for their careers as tree planters. However, Pak Parjono, Pak Jamasri and the rest of the tree planters are also driven by a sense of duty, and an intrinsic motivation to better the environment around their hometown. Lofty ideals of climate change and environmental preservation on a global scale may not be concepts that they and their fellow villagers entirely grasp, but the localized effects of planting more trees can be thoroughly felt. From enhancing diversity and greenery around the village, to supporting their local economy through the provision of feed for livestock and improvement of soil for agriculture, they see the impact the trees have on their everyday lives, and that is all they need.

We’ve compiled a beautiful three-part video series, each approx. 4 minutes, to share a glimpse into the lives of the tree planters we work with in Indonesia. Take a look at them below and enjoy. We hope you like them.

Part 1: https://youtu.be/O7E7GsZU8C0

Part 2: https://youtu.be/Y_x-L_Bx5xM 

Part 3: https://youtu.be/OPwCdoMwNmU