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Protect, Conserve, Prevent and Reverse: A Timely Refresher

When we talk about taking action against the environmental disasters caused by global warming and human activities, conversations mainly focus on either conservation, restoration, or protection. Sustainability, though, needs all three concepts to work hand in hand to be effective in any capacity. 

As a refresher, let’s look into what each of these concepts means and how, in the end, they can interact to make more robust and more adaptable climate change solutions.

Conservation and Preservation (i.e., Protect and Prevent)

Conservation is essential to ensure that we do not lose what is here with us. It focuses on protecting biodiversity, which is seriously threatened. The two main goals of conservationists are to safeguard an already diminishing population of species from further decline (i.e., protection) and to increase the number of an already declining population (i.e., preservation). 

It’s rather easy to confuse ‘preservation’ and ‘conservation,’ as there’s very little difference between the two when you read them. But as concepts and in practice, they’re distinctly different. Conservation safeguards the ecosystem by using natural resources sensibly. Preservation shields the environment from destructive human activity. If we take a forest as an example, conserving it would mean enforcing sustainable logging practices. Preservation would mean designating the entire forest, or parts of it, as no-human zones, like in a Nature Reserve. 

Put simply, conservation seeks the proper use of nature, while preservation seeks protection of nature from use. Conservation is often done for one species at a time and tends to focus on the population levels of that species more than anything else. With preservation, human involvement is mostly always restricted to shielding the place from human development so that nature’s rhythms are free to take the wheel without human interference.

The Indigenous Land Back movement is a prime example of interconnected conservation that benefits not just the planet, but also the people that nurture and nourish it. The movement emphasizes rebuilding a relationship with the planet that is just, symbiotic, and sustainable.

Restoration (i.e., Reverse)

If conservation and preservation focus on preventing and protecting from ongoing degradation, then restoration seeks to reverse the damage caused. The goal of ecological restoration is to restore, start, or hasten the recovery of a disturbed ecosystem. The “disturbances” can be due to logging, intense grazing, hurricanes, deforestation, land abuse, or fires. The goal of restoration activities is to either replicate the ecosystem before it was disturbed or to create a new ecosystem where there wasn’t one. If we were to go back to the example of the forest we talked about earlier, restoring it would mean planting more trees of the same species to restore balance. 

How these concepts interact in the real world

Restoration and conservation offer complimentary advantages despite having different histories and methods. Depending on the project, one can happen before the other. For instance, in the case of wetlands, restoration may be necessary to cover the environmental costs associated with building water-diversion infrastructure. Then, what is left should be conserved.

That said, it’s easier said than done because quite a few challenges need to be overcome before these concepts can interact to have a positive effect. 

For example, as we saw previously, conservation and restoration often have different goals and processes. Where conservation might seek to establish protected areas with minimal human intervention, restoration usually requires human intervention in planting and sustaining species within a selected area.

Naturally, the success criteria also differ. In the case of wetlands, conservation efforts might be considered successful when the biodiversity value and population of the area increase. On the other hand, restoration of wetlands might be deemed successful if water quality is enhanced or erosion is prevented. While these success criteria are complementary and not in contrast, they need to be expressly stated and mapped out right at the start of the conservation-restoration project. 

The final word

The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed the current decade, which runs from 2021 to 2030, as the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. However, conservation, preservation, and protection continue to be just as important. After all, it is only when these concepts interact in the real world that we can create large-scale change on a global level. 

Restoration is at the heart of EcoMatcher’s business. While we started with a simple vision—to bring about better, more ecologically-friendly corporate gifting—our project grew to immense proportions. By focusing on restoration, we also pave the way for the conservation of forested areas across the world, not to mention provide livelihoods for local and indigenous communities. 

How to Turn Climate Anxiety into Action

It is deeply painful to see and experience what is happening on the planet right now. Pakistan, for example, has been bearing the brunt of the global climate crisis this month, experiencing devastating floods that have destroyed a whopping 1.2 million homes.

In the face of this and other similar news over the past year, it is easy, even expected to feel anger, grief, anxiety, and disconnection, maybe all at once. It is an existential issue that pushes us past our window of tolerance.

And yet, there is the possibility to turn this anxiety into the one thing that might get us out of this situation: action. But before that, we need to talk about climate anxiety.

What is climate anxiety?

It is the widespread perception that the ecological underpinnings of existence are disintegrating, along with concern about our reliance on these crumbling environments. This anxiety about the future results in a persistently depressed mood, a sense of powerlessness, and hopelessness. Your body could also exhibit signs of anxiousness, such as trouble falling asleep, difficulty unwinding, tense muscles, and appetite loss.

Researchers have identified two major drivers of climate anxiety. The first is the depletion of nature itself. When there is a chance of a catastrophic disaster, people who are deeply connected to nature might get anxious about the climate because their connection to nature may be broken. Events that cause damage to the environment, such as floods, fires, and deforestation, may trigger climate anxiety in such people.

The second major driver is the methods used to convey climate change. Every day, we doomscroll on social media and are treated to images and news of climate horrors from remote corners of the world. It is often a lot more information than we can handle, which triggers climate anxiety. It doesn't help that while reporting on climate change, mainstream and social media tend to adopt an "alarmist" and apocalyptic tone. 

Climate anxiety has been a top concern for many psychologists, especially when dealing with young adults, teens, and children. This becomes more concerning when coupled with the fact that the responsibility for climate action— or cleaning up— is always made to fall on the shoulders o the younger generations. Climate anxiety needs to be taken seriously because the socio-economic effects can add considerably to the global costs of dealing with the climate crisis.

How to turn anxiety into action

To begin converting climate anxiety into meaningful action, researcher and educator Dr. Renée Lertzman recommends starting with 'attunement'. It means feeling in sync with ourselves and understanding exactly what we're feeling and how much we can tolerate. When we're wholly attuned to our window of tolerance, we are so much more capable of being creative and adaptive and turning anxiety into action. 

Find your community

Climate anxiety can generate a very overwhelming "me against the world" feeling. The first way to combat that sense of isolation is to find like minds who share the same feelings and also want to spark action. It's helpful to surround yourself with people from outside your immediate echo chamber, which means you can hear diverse voices and get to more creative solutions, together. Being grounded and maintaining the awareness that you are not alone is critical to lessening the hold of some of these negative feelings on you. 

Develop more connections to what does exist

Nature can exacerbate our feelings of anxiety, but it can also heal them. It's important to remind ourselves that while we have lost quite a bit, we have a lot more waiting for us to find them patiently. Take a day to explore your neighborhood parks and national forests. Consider exploring an ecosystem you don't know much about, like forests if you live in cities or the sea if you live in farmlands. It's a simple yet profound way to re-accustom ourselves to the world outside our bubble. 

Lead with attunement

Once again, borrowing from Dr. Lertzman, to lead with attunement is to be honest about fear and anxiety around climate and to use those to build solidarity and move towards collective action. It may seem counterintuitive — who wants to see a shaken leader, right? — but, doing so shows that climate anxiety is a human condition and one that can be channeled positively with a few steps.

Engage with books and media that revive your hope

Looking up anything related to climate on the internet can lead to a torrent of information that does more harm than good. Instead, I've created this list of media and books that fills you with hope and can energize you towards climate action. 

These resources aim to help people transform helplessness into hopefulness. 

Understand that the future is not yet written

In the face of all the doomsaying, it can be easy to write off the future and assume everything is doomed. But to quote writer Rebecca Solnit

"People who proclaim with authority what is or is not going to happen just bolster their own sense of self and sabotage your belief in what is possible."

It's happened time and time again: things that the naysayers said will never happen, have come to pass. Costa Rica is close to 100% clean energy. Gay marriage is not only accepted but legal in many countries all over the world. A whopping 192 countries came together to sign a climate treaty in Paris, a feat that even the leader of the cause, Christiana Figueres, once considered impossible. If we make the changes we want to see right now, the future won't be set in stone at all. 

Remember our ancestors and our history

To repeat a cliche, 'history repeats itself.' And while our ancestors may not have gone through an existential threat of such a global magnitude, they have repeatedly undergone life-threatening situations throughout their lives. And yet, their successors (us!) continue to walk the planet today. It is important to learn about and understand how they overcame their battles and stood their ground so we might be inspired, too.

Today, we sit on a goldmine of millennia-old knowledge — about living in symbiosis with nature and striking a balance between growth and harmony. When we look back to see how the people before us have adapted flexibly, we open the doors to more creative solutions, the awareness that we're not resigned to our fates, and a way of life that isn't anxiety-inducing, but life-affirming. 

The final word

It is possible to transform the suffering we feel inside ourselves into a powerful force of action — which is consistent with the adage that you should never waste a crisis.

To do that, we must strengthen our "moral nerve," a phrase writer Joan Didion coined to describe the non-negotiable virtue we can still display even as we stand on the precipice of fear. It does not mean seeing things through rose-tinted glasses or shutting our eyes to climate catastrophe. It means acknowledging all of this while still holding on to the hope and belief that we have what it takes to change our world for the better.

It's the first step towards rebuilding a thriving future for ourselves and our planet! 

How did EcoMatcher all started?

Several years ago, I was at the Hong Kong Premium Corporate Gift Fair, a massive fair where thousands of companies were offering plastic pens and USB sticks for corporate gifting purposes. A market worth US 40B (pre-COVID)!

Realizing that many corporate gifts are thrown away probably the same day they are gifted and end up finally in landfills, I thought we needed to develop a better value proposition, that also helps Mother Nature.

Corporate gifting is essential and should create a lasting bond between company and customer, but the plastic pen and USB stick are not the answer anymore; customers are becoming more critical of a company's sustainability journey.

After a good bottle of wine, maybe two, I came up with the idea to enable companies to gift trees. But how to do that? With my background in technology, though being a lousy engineer, I thought technology should be the answer.

After we built our first Minimum Viable Product (MVP), we got some interest and traction from customers. Compared to what we offer now, our MVP was very minimal indeed! 

Believing in the cause, keeping operating costs low, and diligently working with the technology team in Bandung, we have not only built a world-class technology platform; we now partner with 15 foundations planting trees, have 40,000 active users on our platform, and are privileged to be working with amazing customers like Etihad Airways, Procter and Gamble, S&P Global, and many more. And our customers not only use trees for corporate gifting, they also use trees for loyalty, rewards, employee engagement, and transparent carbon offsetting programs.

And this is only the beginning. EcoMatcher is accelerating on all fronts. Our technology platform gets better, more feature-rich, more secure and robust, and faster; we are adding more tree planting foundations to our platform, offering our customers more choice, and having some fantastic new customer partnerships in the pipeline, besides the amazing ones we already have.

Combating the climate crisis is a collective effort. EcoMatcher wants and will be part of this!

How Tree Planting Engages and Empowers Women

There is a growing understanding that the issue of climate change cannot be handled in a vacuum while the world strives to solve it. For long, there wasn't much noise about the socio-political dimensions of climate change, because its interpretation focused only on biophysical aspects. Issues like gender norms, gender pay gaps, and power imbalances were overlooked, which only served to accentuate them and exclude groups of the population even more. 

Vulnerable communities, in particular, are disproportionately affected by climate change. Women happen to be one of those vulnerable groups. Even if they contribute extraordinarily to restoration initiatives, existing social norms and secondary treatment ensure they don't get the benefits of their labor.

Today's discourse on restoration needs a reorientation of perspective. How might we put social equity, especially that of women, squarely in the center of discourse instead of on the fringes like in the past few decades? If 17 studies from around the world that dove into this subject are anything to go by, then we'd see massive improvements in conservation and natural resource governance at local, national, and global scales. 

Tree planting can empower women

Tree planting has long been hailed as one of the tried-and-tested fail-safes for averting climate change. When planted with care, they can contribute to bettering women's rights and gender equality in both overt and covert ways.

1.    Tree planting brings women's voices into the discussion

According to statistics, males are more likely to be interested in tree species that generate cash than women, who veer towards food- and medicine-producing species. They usually have ingrained expert knowledge about these trees, but are often silenced where it matters most. By attempting to strike a balance between the two, we'll naturally be able to bring women to the table, and involve them in deciding which trees to plant, where, and at what frequency. 

2.    Tree planting gives women ownership over land 

Women do not inherit or own land in several nations across the world. Traditionally, males receive land inheritances. Planting trees gives women the ability to break the domination of male landowners and take an active role in caring for their families' and communities' property. For instance, women leaders in Papua New Guinea form organizations in their communities and receive practical training from forestry officials as well as instruction in conservation from the Papua New Guinea Research and Conservation Foundation. After that, the women construct their own nurseries, distribute trees, and/or plant them. Additionally, they present community education sessions on tree planting and native plant and animal protection.

3.    Tree planting provides jobs, income, and education opportunities

Reforestation can increase women's income both directly and indirectly. Through collaboration with organizations like EcoMatcher, they have direct access to the revenue they generate and need to survive. Reforestation of their immediate region indirectly promotes higher biodiversity, which has long-term advantages for survival and subsistence (especially for foraging communities).

To be able to participate in reforestation activities, women often have to undergo training and environmental education, covering long-term tree care, sustainable farming and foraging practices, and the basics of running a business of their own. It's also an excellent opportunity for youth because they can start early and become experts much sooner than their previous generations. This way, they increase their skillset and can contribute much more to the family income, and this happy cycle continues. 

4.    Tree planting can reduce forced migration into urban areas

The lack of jobs in rural areas can lead men to go searching for better opportunities in urban areas. Sometimes, they may go with families in tow, but in many communities around the world, the women stay back to look after the household and take over agricultural labor. This widens the gender gap and leaves women still vulnerable. It has been demonstrated that reforestation, especially sustainable agroforestry, lessens the need for rural residents to leave their homes in pursuit of opportunities in metropolitan areas. Women's lives are immediately enhanced by reducing the amount of work they are forced to do. 

5.    Tree planting raises the collective sensibilities of the community

Wangari Maathai, a well-known social, environmental, and political activist and the first African to earn the Nobel Peace Prize, believed education was crucial to empower women and society. Raising internal hurdles to take part in tree planting and defending one's rights requires education. Information is vital for women to understand their rights to take action since it gives them the capacity to demand what is rightfully theirs and avoid being exploited. 

When just a handful of women receive this education, they can pass it on to others in the community. This raises the resilience and independence of the community as a whole, which makes them less vulnerable to climate change and more hands-on in asking for what they need from the world. As Wangari Maathai said to British officers in the Kenyan forestry service, "We need millions of trees, and you foresters are too few; you'll never produce them. So you need to make everyone foresters." She added, "I call the women of the Green Belt Movement foresters without diplomas."

Bonus: What women can bring to the tree planting initiative

When women are involved in conservation techniques and are given the knowledge and training to guide their efforts, they tend to make better judgments about managing natural resources. Men only reinvest 30–40% of their money back into their families and communities; women put a whopping 90% of it back. Additionally, research demonstrates that women are more likely to make judgments that advance the welfare of others and the public good since communal needs rather than individual wants typically drive their activities. Numerous on-the-ground restoration projects have demonstrated that including women in conservation efforts not only tackles gender inequity but also strengthens, sustains, and improves the projects' quality. All this makes women empowerment a powerful socio-political initiative to support — one that saves people and the planet. It's a sure win-win.

Reducing barriers to entry

The route to using tree planting to empower women is not an easy one. A report from the World Bank's Program on Forests (PROFOR) provides insights into gender-responsive actions that forest projects, programs, and policies can consider. These include:

  • Developing performance-based agreements for the planting and upkeep of trees on farms with shared spouse signatures.
  • Enabling registration for initiatives relating to the forest in conveniently accessible locations where women already go, like schools, health centers, community centers
  • Giving direct payments to women (for instance, by cellphone) for initiatives like agroforestry and forest restoration

The final word

Women are disproportionately affected by climate change, but there is strong evidence that educating girls and empowering women is essential to influence climate action significantly. You can support a future that is fairer to vulnerable communities and rural parts of the world by becoming an EcoMatcher partner. When you plant a tree or adopt a forest with us, you support the livelihood of women farmers in Indonesia, Uganda, Guatemala, Thailand, Nepal, India, Ecuador, Kenya, Madagascar, Haiti, and more. You can help reverse climate change and, at the same time, combat gender imbalances so we may all advance towards a greener future, together!

Mental Models to Surpass While Investing in ESG

There's a pervasive notion that small steps toward sustainability are good enough. But when they don't add up to meaningful large-scale outcomes, frustration ensues. Effort without returns makes people think that maybe there's really no meaning to fighting for sustainability in the workplace.

Because of this, many people continue to believe that selecting a more sustainable future requires sacrificing economic development and profit. It's only natural that we get stuck in this vicious cycle and start to deprioritize ESG investments, like capital costs for reducing energy use and paying livable wages, because they seem more like expenses than investments.

But what if we told you that ESG does pay off, and what it takes to unlock that is a shift in mentality? That's easier said than done, but it can be done. It starts with recognizing inherent biases and beliefs about sustainability and reframing current mental models, i.e., the explanation of how we think something works in the real world. But before we get into that:

What is ESG investing?

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investments are for businesses that seek to improve the world in any large-scale way. The process is based on unbiased ratings and assessments that help us evaluate how well an organization performs on ESG performance and support them with our funding. Some categories to look out for when assessing an ESG investment include:

  • Sustainability efforts and environmental impact
  • Impact on everything related to society, including LGBTQIA+ equality, racial diversity, and inclusivity at senior levels, livable wages, effect on vulnerable communities
  • Standard of governance, from diversity in leadership to strength of relationships and trust with stakeholders

Broadly, ESG focuses on how a business treats its stakeholders, including the environment, consumers, workers, and communities. Investing in ESG, in essence, means influencing positive changes in society by putting our money where our mouth is. 

Biases and incorrect mental models affecting ESG investing

ESG investments are picking up speed but are still relatively new to large swathes of the population. That means many of us are susceptible to biases and incorrect mental models that lead us in the wrong direction. We've identified some of these mental models, so you can introspect, correct and invest sensibly in a better future for all. 

Falling for perceived costs when we should look for the real costs

Let's think small, for starters. When we buy a car, we think about how much it costs, the road tax, how expensive fuel is, and how much annual maintenance costs might be. These are tangible costs that we can calculate in a matter of minutes. However, there's a real cost hiding behind all those numbers: the cost of all this plus what we're getting for free from the environment, like air and water.

It's the same for large-scale organizations, who can see the costs of setting up offices and factories, but often forget about the real cost of emitting carbon and pollutants into the air and water. So, when investors make decisions about ESG investments, it's only natural that the returns aren't impressive: they never factored in all the costs involved in the first place.

One way to do this is to impose shadow prices on these "externalities" so they can be added to measurement metrics. When investors get correct pricing signals on everything that is going to be affected by their decisions, they will have much more accurate data to use while planning ESG investments.

Relying on limited perspectives

A problem that arises from treating sustainability as one department's responsibility instead of the whole organization is that it leads to limited perspectives. It's human to have biases and be susceptible to groupthink; however, this can have dangerous repercussions when it comes to ESG investing. It makes it easier to fall back on tried-and-tested initiatives, like swapping paper cups for reusable mugs, when there is no healthy conflict in decision-making.

According to former CEO of Unilever Paul Polman and leading sustainability thinker Andrew Winston, the way to break this mental model is to flush out old and stale thinking. This can be done by inviting a diversity of voices into the boardroom: representatives from vulnerable groups, NGOs who have been critical of the organization's past ESG work, and younger employees who have much more at stake.

By inviting this sort of friction, organizations can bring forth new and counter-perspectives that, in turn, lead to potential solutions.

Sustaining focus only on short-term benefits

It can be tempting to focus on low efforts that bring the highest returns in the shortest possible time. This is especially so because clean technology and sustainable practices are expensive to install, and which almost always is given up in favor of a cheaper option. However, the case with any new technology is that it starts expensive but becomes more normalized as more and more people subscribe to it. That's the case with sustainable practices, too. 

To reap the true benefits of ESG investing, organizations should broaden their view to include the long term. A few ways to stop being tempted by sticking with the short-term run are:

Misunderstanding ESG factors that are critical to the local area

Surface-level research has many problems — one of them being data from one country or region that is mistakenly applied to another. Areas of the world that will increase in economic power warrant a different kind of investment than those that will be flooded if climate change goes unchecked, like Miami, FL, and Bangladesh. Using data from America to make European decisions is a sure-fire way to tank investments and nip any idea of profits in the bud.

Therefore, it is worth putting in the extra effort to find localized data in order to make more effective decisions. This is especially true if the organization is based only in one country or in different countries.

To combat investment losses to the potential tune of millions of dollars, it's always best to research the major, nonlinear themes that are affecting society today in both a global and localized fashion.

Concentrating only on one or two industries in one's portfolio

Here again, there's the temptation to play it safe by investing in limited industries or sectors. However, it's important to note that different industries weather economic, social, and climate change differently, so putting all your eggs in one basket won't do.

To lessen the chance that bad performance in one area may wipe out your investment funds, it is crucial to have a variety of industries represented in your investments. 

ESG investing is the way to go

Today's investors are very much involved in building a future they would want to experience and would like to create for their children. As a result, they prefer to invest in companies that are leaders in advancing ESG initiatives rather than those that worsen or contribute to these issues. ESG assets are set to hit $53 trillion by 2025, which means it's a great time to add each of our power to the mix and be the change we want to see!

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

6 Ways to Plant More Trees This Year

In maintaining the environment's critical balance, trees perform a unique function. As the longest-living plant species in the world, they are not only crucial for survival but also act as a bridge between the past, present, and future. 

Tree planting was once upon a time something that only farmers, gardeners, and people with green thumbs would do. We relied heavily on these people (and nature) to keep our planet green. Today, however, tree planting is something everyone can partake in, regardless of age, geography, or gender. It's a good thing, too, considering that deforestation and land abuse have made us need green cover more than ever before.

That said, it can be hard to figure out where to start. Can one plant a tree right in our garden? How do we choose the right tree for the right climate? How many trees can one person plant on their own? There are plenty of questions once you dive into the process of tree planting. We want to help you add the most value!

Ways to plant more trees this year

To help you get started, we're recommending some excellent ways to embark on your tree planting journey! 

1.    Join an urban tree planting session

If you look outside your window and all you see is a concrete jungle, chances are you would love some trees to invite nature back into the city and make the air a little less polluted. It's a fact that the city of the future (and the future of the city) is one that co-exists with forests. That involves trees planted in predominantly urban areas and thick forest cover surrounding them.

However, you can't just go outside and plant any old tree, so we recommend joining an urban tree planting session. The NGOs and groups that organize these sessions usually evaluate when and where to plant the trees—and what trees to plant—so all you have to do to make a difference is show up. 

2.    Support businesses that plant and conserve trees

It's common knowledge now that today's consumers are eco-conscious and can make or break a brand. Although it may seem like a small action, supporting brands that actively conserve forests and populate deforested areas with more trees is a great way to get involved in the activity yourself. Many drops make an ocean, and so many actions send a signal to other companies that prioritize profit over the environment. A word to the wise: we recommend doing your due diligence, so you aren't greenwashed. If you're looking at supporting a company purely because they plant trees, it is worth doing your research and asking them questions, including where do they plant trees? Are they native species? Is the company supporting local communities through this? After all, "more trees" isn't always the correct answer — but when done correctly, tree planting can make a massive difference.

3.    Use your political rights to lobby for tree planting

No matter how many trees we plant on our own, people who have the power to change laws and policies also need to understand how urgent it is to increase the amount of forest cover. In addition to individual tree planting activities, systematic governmental power is essential for conserving the environment. You can start at the grassroots level by speaking to your local council and attending Town Hall meetings. You might find others of a like mind who are willing to add their voice to yours and make much louder noise. We'd also recommend looking at party manifestos and historical records to see which political parties have promised assistance for the environment and acted on it. Many NGOs put out petitions that you can sign to express your support. In a world where climate change is highly politicized, your voice, vote, and money count!

4.    Adopt trees from a tree-planting organization

One way to bypass the confusion of where to plant and what trees to plant is to partner up with an existing tree-planting organization. These global organizations have spent years researching what areas of the world are in desperate need of forest cover and how their support can uplift local communities. You can start by reading their documentation which should ideally answer all the questions we addressed in point #2. Start small by adopting one or two trees.

EcoMatcher allows you to do so for a minimal price and gives you complete access to information about the tree, including species, where it's planted, who the farmer is, and how well it's growing year on year. You can even visit the tree at its location if you want to see it yourself!

This is a great way to do many good deeds at once: green the earth, reforest an area that needs it, uplift a local community, and signal to the world that you're using your purchasing power on companies that benefit the planet. All without actually needing to plant the tree yourself!

5.    Plant trees with every internet search

8.5 billion — that's the number of searches Google processes in a single day. And each of these searches emits about 7 grams of carbon dioxide into the environment. If you do the math, you'll see an alarming amount of CO2 being sent into the atmosphere from something we do almost without thinking. But today, you can offset your carbon emissions with each search by simply switching your search engine from Google to one like Ecosia. According to the company, every 45 searches on Ecosia generates enough profit to plant one tree. They focus on tree planting initiatives in areas with high biodiversity to preserve the greatest number of plant and animal species. 

6.    Donate to a tree-planting charity

Many local communities already have decades of expertise in planting trees, but often don't have the funds for upkeep and maintenance. As a result, their well-meaning interest is of little value — but you can help. Donating to a local community that plants trees, or a tree-planting charity if you're in the city, is a great way to give funds to those who need them and indirectly plant trees. If you want to double your contributions, consider asking your employer to match your donation as a CSR initiative. If entire teams do this, you can generate a lot of money to give to vetted charities that increase forest cover on your behalf. 

Bonus: Give as much importance to conservation as to reforestation. We have thick forest cover in many parts of the world today, but they're in immense danger already. Using your political and financial power to protect and preserve existing forests will make your tree planting work all the more potent!

The final word

While "go out and plant a tree in your backyard!" is straightforward advice, it's not valuable because it doesn't consider the nuances of tree planting, one's financial abilities, and where we live. Instead, by following one (or a few) of these steps, you'll be able to plant trees directly or indirectly and help green the planet much more! If done consciously and in the right places with the suitable species, tree planting can help us bring a little more balance back into the world.

Business Schools Can Shape Climate Leadership: Here's How

When fighting climate change at a global level, we often look to institutions that have both human power and the ability to influence and educate. Larger groups of people with more attention on them tend to be able to lead the charge, after all. And so it was at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) held in Glasgow last year. Many scientists and CEOs were there, along with representatives from NGOs and the government. However, the one group missing was a group that could have a massive positive impact on the climate action agenda: business schools.

Why are business schools late to the party?

The fact that climate change falls outside what you'd typically see in a business school's academic curriculum is a major factor. Faculty might feel underqualified to talk about such an all-pervasive issue and might default to domains that are challenging but comfortable enough to explore, such as digital transformation. 

It might also be because climate change is still seen as something you could choose to believe in. This makes it harder to tackle as it involves changing many societal perceptions first.

Why are they critical to the narrative?

The core mission of any business school is to evolve and adapt the practice of management, especially in the face of unprecedented change. Climate change is the cause of much of this "unprecedented change." While business schools aren't experts in climate science, they do have the expertise to address change and access to technology, innovation, and some of the brightest minds in the world who are being primed for leadership roles. They also have the ability to collaborate with field experts, which creates the ideal environment to shape climate leadership.

Business schools also stress keeping the bigger picture in mind, which works marvelously in favor of climate action. Any organization's climate footprint isn't concentrated in one link of the chain. Reducing paper cups in an office doesn't do much if the organization pollutes rivers somewhere down the chain. The opposite applies: reducing the climate footprint in the supply chain isn't going to solve all problems if employees assume that stops at work and continue leaving a huge footprint in their personal lives. Working across the value chain to rework processes and reduce climate impact is a skill that business schools are uniquely placed to teach.

Much of the debate on climate action centers around who holds responsibility. Individual action doesn't amount to much if change isn't made at a leadership level. Leaders can't make much change if individuals don't listen to them. Since leadership and organizational change are at the core of any business school's curriculum, their graduates can be made capable of influencing climate-friendly decisions and fostering collaboration across the board.

Business school students actively study governance and control, which is a facet of climate action that we can't ignore. Business school graduates have worked with top leaders for decades to move the needle on shareholder value and incentivization. What if we were to add climate-related topics to the mix, such as speeding up decarbonization and regulating corporate activity to suit the climate agenda? We'd be able to create change more effectively and quickly.

How some B-schools are leading the charge

It isn't fair to say that all business schools aren't talking about how they can influence climate action. For example, the Climate Change and Business Program at Columbia Business School, features a 10-year-old curriculum that includes classes like The Business of Climate Change: Investing and Managing in a Changing Environment and New Development in Energy Markets. It focuses on relating theory and practice, which is one of the most important contributions B-school graduates can make to existing discourse.

Another example is the Leeds School of Business, whose Renewable Energy MBA Pathway prepares students to lead the transition to clean energy. Environmental entrepreneurship is a focus area, as are energy policies in the 21st century and sustainable energy in practice. 

Steps B-schools can take to tackle climate change

Business schools can cooperate to create a network of ethical and knowledgeable business executives. Here are a few suggestions on how to get started:

Re-evaluate the principles of capitalism taught at B-schools

With its emphasis on shareholder interests and profit, modern capitalism appears to be fundamentally in conflict with sustainability. When the narrative at schools also focuses on profit, sustainability becomes a lower-order priority. This is a fallacy because conscious and regenerative capitalism is still a viable route to take. We don't need to give up growth and innovation to achieve sustainability — the two are more interlinked than we can currently see. This isn't a departure from tradition. If anything, it's a return to what many business schools were founded to do: educating the human first, then the business person. 

Integrate sustainability across the curriculum

While most courses on sustainability are well-intentioned, they're fundamentally flawed because right from the get-go, they're separated from other classes in the curriculum. This leads students to see sustainability as a separate entity, one that they only need to take up if they're interested or need more credits. In reality, sustainability needs to be integrated into all courses, including marketing, operations, finance and accounting, as a unifying theme. This is a much more accurate picture of how critical sustainable leadership is while training to graduate from B-schools. 

Collaborate with other B-schools to fight a common enemy

Given that many business schools are keen competitors, this might sound challenging, if not possible. But it's already happening, in the form of the Business Schools for Climate Leadership (BS4CL). Eight of Europe's top business schools have formed this unique alliance to assist business leaders in posing essential questions and evaluating their capacity to respond appropriately to this global disaster. Their toolkit explains where there are chances to make a difference and where there are weaknesses that climate change will further reveal. Since they collectively teach over 55,000 students a year and have a collective alumni body of over 400,000 people, this collaboration can positively impact climate action. Colin Mayer of Oxford University's Saïd Business School added:

"Not all schools have the expertise it takes to design courses, and some are better placed to draw on expertise from outside business school, so there's a great deal that can be done working across institutions."

Introduce sustainable case studies into course material

A lot of courses in business schools are taught using real-life case studies. This is a safe but exciting way to introduce climate leadership examples — giving students the opportunity to evaluate real-world successes while also understanding the complex ecosystems within which these companies have to operate. For example, the MBA program at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology features a case study on EcoMatcher as a business. Other universities can create similar sessions and even invite business owners to share their perspectives and introduce future leaders to the potential that waits in the sustainability sector.

Create momentum at the grassroots level

In many business schools, the course options are greatly influenced by students, and donors also have some sway. Grassroots student activism and continuous demand can provide the momentum that "new" concepts such as sustainability in business need to enter the core curriculum. 

The final word

Our work on climate change and leadership needs to become increasingly granular to have some impact, and focusing on climate leadership at business schools is one way to do that. As Colin Mayer said, "Business schools should be at the vanguard of the changes taking place, not at the rearguard."

Introducing PeopleForest

June 16, 2022, Hong Kong - EcoMatcher proudly introduces the concept of PeopleForest, whereby people can map and track their own planted trees anywhere in the world and see those trees as part of a forest.

Trees can already be mapped and tracked with EcoMatcher's App, using the Own Tree feature. Once the user enters a unique forest campaign code, the trees will now be stored in the cloud as part of a PeopleForest. The forest name can be customized. 

"We got a lot of requests from companies that want to engage employees and customers in local tree planting activities," said Bas Fransen, CEO, and Founder of EcoMatcher. 

"With the PeopleForest concept, companies can enable anyone to map and track locally planted trees as part of a forest, anywhere in the world. We hope PeopleForest will further encourage people to plant trees themselves, track them on the EcoMatcher App, and enjoy the fact that all trees end up in one forest, creating a sense of belonging."

10 Principles of Ecosystem Restoration

The decade we’re currently in — from 2021 to 2030 — was recently declared the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration by the United Nations General Assembly. This decision was made in response to the urgent need to stop and reverse ecological degradation. It also deals with the critical need to restore damaged terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems worldwide.

While this looks straightforward, it’s hard to do in reality. This is because a project of this scale needs buy-in from dozens of world leaders and investments in the billions. It also needs thorough research and dedicated teams. But before all that, it needs to have a shared vision between everyone supporting this project. This vision becomes the North Star for all activities and a guardrail to ensure everyone is going about ecosystem restoration correctly. 

The United Nations laid out principles that function as a touchstone for all ecological restoration-related activities. 

1.    Ecosystem restoration contributes to global sustainable goals

We all live on this planet, so ensuring our work contributes to sustainable goals is crucial. Our mission is to save life on Earth, and the Earth itself, so the goals are naturally lofty. This principle states that all restoration efforts, programs, and initiatives, no matter the scale, will help meet global goals for preserving life on Earth. These goals—called the UN Sustainable Development Goals—seek to improve livelihoods for everyone worldwide by ending poverty, protecting biodiversity, providing clean water, and more. Ecosystem restoration is one of the ways we can achieve many of these goals on a global scale. 

2.    Ecosystem restoration promotes broad engagement and social equity

Once again, building on the fact that we all share this planet, this principle dictates that all stakeholders, especially under-represented groups, should be given equal and inclusive opportunities to engage in “meaningful, free and active ways.” Ecological restoration is a long-term project that will take decades longer if we limit ourselves to exclusive participants. To get everyone to participate, equal and regular access to information is critical, as is ensuring a pivotal role for local communities in decision-making processes. The principle calls for building trust and respect through ground-level and inclusive governance. 

3.    Ecosystem restoration calls for a diversity of restorative activities

Almost any nature-friendly activity might be called ecological restorative, so this principle sets a definition that participants follow. In the proposal’s own words: “the activity must result in a net gain for biodiversity, ecosystem health and integrity, and human well-being, including sustainable production of goods and services.” Whether done singly or collectively, restoration activities can be implemented in degraded ecosystems of any kind, including cultural, semi-natural, natural, and urban landscapes and seascapes. The UN has also helpfully defined categories of activities, which include:

  • reducing negative socio-environmental impacts
  • recovering ecosystems to where they would have been had the degradation not occurred
  • Reducing threats like pollution and contamination

4.    Ecosystem restoration benefits nature and people

This principle clarifies that restoration isn’t an end-all or a substitute for nature conservation. Restoration should support natural recovery processes and not cause more degradation. To truly halt degradation, we must pay equal importance to conserving existing ecosystems and protecting them from harm. This is what it means to achieve the highest level of recovery.

5.    Ecosystem restoration should acknowledge and address what went wrong

Restoring ecosystems doesn’t mean papering over the cracks and pretending degradation never happened. This principle clearly states that all restorative activities should directly address the causes of degradation and biodiversity loss. If they aren’t, any action that looks good in the short term may fail in the long run because the root cause wasn’t addressed. One way to do this is to adopt sustainable practices that enhance biodiversity conservation while reducing the environmental impacts of our cities and other urban infrastructure. An example of this is agroforestry, which acknowledges that agriculture is essential for survival, but how it’s being carried out is unsustainable. It then provides an alternative that moves away from destructive practices to regenerative ones without endangering life and livelihood. 

6.    Ecosystem restoration encourages and asks for all kinds of knowledge

For ecosystem restoration to work at its highest, it needs the support of all kinds of intelligence, including Indigenous, local, and scientific ways of working. Integrating everyone’s know-how establishes a close connection with nature and between stakeholders and creates a productive decision-making environment. Knowledge about effective practices shouldn’t just be passed along through word of mouth, but documented, shared, and replicated to avoid mistakes and reach successes each time. Doing so will also help the world identify gaps in knowledge and reach out to the right communities to fill those gaps. A critical point to note is that information collection should be consensual, and sharing should keep in mind the diversity of cultures and levels of language and literacy globally. Only when we consider all our differences will we be able to build a wall to climb over them.

7.    Ecosystem restoration is based on achievable and realistic goals

A crucial key to achieving positive long-term impact is planning. This principle calls for establishing realistic and achievable goals of short, medium, and long-term lengths right in the planning phase of any restoration project. To be realistic, it should include targets and indicators that specify the direction of change needed and whether there are any deadlines. To be achievable, this plan needs to clearly communicate expected results and enable monitoring and adaptive management. It also needs to make room for trade-offs and compromises in a way that is transparent and won’t derail ecosystem recovery.

8.    Ecosystem restoration is tailored to global and local contexts

Restorative activities can happen at any scale but have ripple effects on both the local and larger landscapes. Therefore, this principle says it’s essential to consider the multiple contexts while defining project objectives and aligning with local needs. Doing this requires a thorough understanding of land- and seascape-level factors such as threats, ecological networks, boundaries, and energy exchanges. It also recommends using spatial planning processes to tailor projects to the larger landscape while respecting and focusing on the local landscape. When we achieve restoration at both the grassroots and eagle-eye levels, we can maximize our net gain from these activities. 

9.    Ecosystem restoration needs monitoring beyond a project’s lifetime

To understand whether we’re meeting objectives and goals, monitoring biodiversity and ecosystem health regularly is important. These pulse checks are invaluable for understanding the processes of change and the patterns that form over time. It’s an iterative process that can help identify unexpected results and use them to improve future actions. It’s important to note that this principle calls for monitoring not just during the project, but beyond it. This is to ensure medium and long-term impacts are also correctly recorded. 

10. Ecosystem restoration is enabled by policies

An enabling policy environment is necessary to achieve restoration objectives in the long term. This environment should ideally span multiple industries, sections of society, and networks. Promoting successful ecosystem restoration activities at local, national, and global scales can, in turn, facilitate how these laws and policies are designed, adding more to our arsenal in the fight against ecosystem degradation.

The final word

Ecological restoration is at the heart of what we do at EcoMatcher. We partner with local communities worldwide to plant trees in areas that need them. Doing so helps us achieve sustainable goals fairly and inclusively. By playing the role of a mediator, we put the power of transformation in the hands of everyone, including local organizations and the youth. After all, that’s the best way forward!

Everything about World Ocean Day 2022

One Ocean, One Climate, One Future — Together. That's the tagline for World Ocean Day 2022, which is celebrated (as always) on the 8th of June. This year's celebrations and campaigns are shaping up to be the most impactful ones yet. The United Nation's official theme is Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean, a nod to the fact that all our natural resources are interconnected. 

But before we dive into how we might achieve that, we must answer the question: What is World Ocean Day?

While originally an annual event, World Ocean Day also serves as a call to action for ocean conservation throughout the year. It is "a celebration of our one shared ocean that brings together organizations and individuals" who rely on the oceans directly or indirectly. That means it's for everyone!

A brief history of World Ocean Day

World Ocean Day is a particularly special day to recognize and respect oceans and take collective action to protect and preserve our water bodies. 

At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Canada first proposed the concept. Fast forward to 2002, and The Ocean Project began to collaborate with global partners to make this vision into reality through worldwide promotion and coordination. The following year, the official website was launched, and 25 events to spread the word about protecting oceans were held across 15 countries. These events engaged all sorts of sectors, industries, and sections of society, with one aim: "to celebrate and take action for our shared blue planet."

However, it was only in December 2008, after years of petitioning and rallying, that the United Nations officially named 8th June World Ocean Day. Having their backing meant rallies became truly global and started growing in strength.

To streamline these efforts and produce maximum impact, the World Ocean Day Youth Advisory Council was formed in 2016. They created a Multi-year Conservation Action Focus that prioritized preventing plastic pollution and supporting innovation that restored oceans. 

2019 was a huge milestone, as the number of events crossed 2000 and in more than 140 countries. Eighty-seven million people engaged with the social media hashtag #TogetherWeCan, enabling the Youth Council to promote World Ocean Day 365 days a year, instead of only on one day. 

In 2020, a new Multi-year Conservation Action Focus was launched — focusing on protecting 30% of our lands and oceans by 2030 in partnership with Campaign for Nature. This is also what 2022's theme is building on.

On 2022's Multi-year Conservation Focus

Currently, only around 17% of land and 8% of water worldwide are protected, and scientists have determined that a healthy ocean is a key to solving the climate crises that the world is going through. Therefore, this year's conservation focus is #30x30: to conserve 30% of lands and oceans by 2030. 

The organizers expect to see thousands of youth-led events across 150 countries. Nathany Herrera, a World Ocean Day Youth Advisory Council member from Brazil, captured the ethos of the day thus:

"The words that guide us are collaboration and resilience; collaboration because we should not rely on a few people acting perfectly, but millions of people acting imperfectly with a commitment to real change and being resilient in the face of countless problems that we are yet to face."

How to take action for World Ocean Day

Here's how you can participate in this global movement as an individual and as an organization.

Sign letters to your political leaders

Leaders of over 90 countries have already committed to the #30x30 pledge — however, more need to join for the movement to pick up speed. Signing the official Conservation Focus letter to your national leaders is an effective way to add your voice to the call for action and only takes a few minutes. 

Attend or host a community cleanup

If you live near the ocean, consider hosting a cleanup event with your friends, family, and neighbors. Doing this at rivers, lakes, ponds, and other natural water bodies is also helpful because all oceans are downstream, and you'll keep their source of water clean. Partnering with local outdoor or water sports businesses can help you spread the word, find volunteers, and make a day out of it!

Educate yourself and others about oceans

We've done our fair share of reading at school, but a lot has changed since many graduated. World Ocean Day is the perfect excuse to find some resources on what's been happening in the marine world. Ocean Todayis a fantastic website for immersing yourself in the beauty and mystery of oceans. If you have burning questions that you want experts to answer, Skype a Scientist is your best bet. It has a database of thousands of scientists ready to come on a video call and give you answers straight from the source. This platform is a wonderful option if you're planning a neighborhood-wide session or are a teacher of young minds in any capacity.

Plant a tree… or ten

93% of the heat trapped in the atmosphere is absorbed by the ocean. This increase in temperature damages marine and terrestrial ecosystems by killing coral reefs and melting glaciers. Planting trees can help take the pressure off oceans because trees sequester carbon dioxide and slow the process of global warming. Trees in urban areas are beneficial in reducing waste and soil run-off into rivers, which in turn reduces the garbage flowing into oceans. However, take care to plant trees only in places that can support them and need them. Your safest bet is to partner with a local tree-planting organization or a global one like EcoMatcher.

Join Friends of World Ocean Day

Friends of the United Nations World Ocean Day (FOWOD) is an informal group of people and organizations involved in ocean issues. Joining this group means participating in the community that promotes World Ocean Day and meets up to carry out conservation tasks. It's a great way to expand your network, educate your organization, and even tick off a few CSR goals! 

Sponsor events as an organization

When you work in an organization, you have access to thousands of people who can make a difference in any climate campaign. A fun way to engage these people is to sponsor a sustainable seafood event and invite local chefs to organize food tastings and provide insights. If your offices are near the ocean, consider hosting sustainable fishing tours or marine walks to familiarize your teams with this natural wonder and give them a memorable day. You can also empower action through art by hosting painting events and inviting the community to participate. 

The final word

2022's World Ocean Day celebrations are historic because they're the first-ever hybrid sessions. The UN headquarters in New York City will play host to in-person events, while the global public will get access to hundreds of virtual talks and screenings to participate in. The day's schedule is available on the UN's official website. Have fun participating in the day that humanity celebrates the ocean! 

Sometimes, “More Trees” Isn’t the Answer

Tree planting is one of the most widely proposed solutions to climate change, and for a good reason. Just one mature tree can absorb 25 kilograms of CO2 in a year. Another study found that forests act as a “carbon sink” capable of absorbing 7.6 billion metric tonnes of CO2 per year, more than they release when degraded or cleared.

Given those staggering statistics, world leaders have pledged to restore 350 million hectares of forests by 2030. On paper, it might be tempting to plant trees everywhere there’s empty space. Indeed, savannahs and grasslands have hectares of land covered mostly by a grassy layer and sporadically growing trees. They total 20% of the Earth’s land surface and are home to a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna and a billion humans. Yet in places like this, climate change and habitat loss aren’t the only threat — tree planting is, too!

Where we shouldn’t plant more trees (and why)

Unlike forests, grass-dominated ecosystems in the tropics can be degraded not just by losing trees, but also by increasing them. Studies conducted in South Africa, Brazil, and Australia show that tree planting can actually increase biodiversity loss in grasslands and savannahs. Why is that the case?

More trees can upset the food chain

Trees can reduce the chances of wildfires, given that the grass in these regions is often dry and arid. However, those fires actually serve a purpose: they remove vegetation covering the ground-layer plants that zebra and antelope feed on. More trees also provide extra cover to predators, which means herbivores are more likely to be eaten. That, again, can upset the food chain and the larger ecosystem.

Trees can reduce water supply

In grassy ecosystems, streams and rivers are critical for both animals and humans (who might also depend on these for their livelihood and transport). Increasing tree cover can actually reduce the amount of water in these watering holes, as seen in Brazil, where humans suppressing wildfires led to a decrease in rainwater reaching the ground. According to another study, creating forests in grasslands and shrublands can cause 13% of streams to dry up completely.

Grasslands are often naturally unforested, not degraded

Grasslands and savannas have trees, but they’re either sporadically present or clumped together. The WRI Atlas considered all areas with over 10% tree cover as a form of forest. This means that clumped trees in grasslands are often misclassified as forests, which categorizes the surrounding areas as degraded by default. The plants and shrubs that grow in these regions need both sunlight and fire, which trees can reduce access to. Therefore, empty land isn’t always meant to be forested — it’s important to look into the existing ecosystem before making changes.

Not all trees grow everywhere

Once again, on paper, it’s easy to imagine planting a single species of trees all over the world to increase forest cover. However, this is considered bad science and can do more harm than good.

When we talk about reforestation, we tend to envision a particular kind of forest, often involving thick trunks and green leaves like we’d see in the Amazon. Planting non-native species, for example, can upset an ecosystem. Planting any tree with dense foliage can, as we’ve mentioned, prevent rain and sunlight from reaching ground-level plants that are essential to the ecosystem, however small and stick-like they may look. 

Even the location of the tree matters. A row of trees along the edge or middle of a prairie can damage the ecosystem considering flora and fauna in these regions are attuned to wide-open habitats and ancient routes. Just like a sudden building in the middle of a highway can cause massive damage, so too can one tree wrongly placed affect the ecosystem of a traditionally non-forested area.

The road to planting trees wisely

All of these points indicate that there’s something fundamentally wrong with how we’re approaching reforestation and tree planting. What can we do to more deeply understand how, where, and when to plant trees?

Redefine forests and ecosystems

There’s a prevailing assumption that forests are more important than grasslands, shrublands, and prairies, simply because they have more trees and look more “lush.” As we mentioned before, any area with more than 10% trees is considered a forest, which pushes all other land types into the “empty land” area — but they aren’t empty land. We need to redefine “ecosystems” to include not just forests, but also grasslands and savannas, which are essential in their own right. 

We also need to understand what “degradation” means. It is defined as occurring “when ecosystems lose their capacity to provide important goods and services to people and nature.” In the case of savannas and grasslands, a lack of trees doesn’t equal degradation — the ecosystem is probably thriving because of a lack of trees. Instead, it is often caused by encroachment, logging, overgrazing, and the introduction of invasive plant species (like trees, in this case).

Demand transparency from tree-planting organizations

You’ve probably come across quite a few mass tree-planting projects before. While these look impactful and send a message to an audience, more often than not, they’re poorly executed and not well-thought-out. Plant for the Planet, for example, got into hot soup for their Trillion Tree Campaign: it was revealed that their website was littered with untruths and exaggerations, the most notable one being that one Valf F. from France reportedly planted 682 million trees single-handedly. In other cases, organizations may not reveal what species they plant, may be planting invasive species, or may plant monocultures that are more vulnerable than regular trees. These are plantations, and plantations are not forests. 

This is troublesome because tree planting organizations actually have the farthest reach and the highest potential to make a difference. There are some parts of the world—mostly those affected by land abuse and predatory logging—that can benefit from their large-scale involvement. This can be done by investing in research not just about tree species, but ecosystems and off-limits areas. Partnering with on-the-ground organizations (like EcoMatcher does) can help prioritize native species, provide a livelihood for the locals, and tap into their inherent knowledge about the ecosystem they live in. 

Do your research

When you come across any seemingly climate-friendly initiative, we’d urge you to dig deeper. What seems like a good idea may actually do more harm than good. Take, for example, the biodegradable, reusable coffee mugs that were recently the craze. If planted in one’s balcony pots, they may not make much of a difference. However, if thrown and littered, they could encourage the wrong species to grow in the wrong area. If you’re planning to invest in a tree-planting initiative, ask for every single detail — from what tree is being planted, to where it will be located, to if that region was naturally deforested or previously forested then degraded. 

The final word

Any call for fighting against climate change—especially with trees—needs to look carefully into how they will affect all of Earth’s ecosystems. We might be far removed from most, but there’s no denying that all ecosystems are linked. Domino effects go both ways, so let’s do things wisely!

The Art of Forest Bathing

Imagine walking into a lush green forest, silent except for the sounds of nature. You can see birds flitting from one branch to another, feel a cool breeze on your face, and hear leaves crunching underneath your feet. As you spend more and more time here, you start to feel relaxed and at peace and feel like you can think more clearly. As you return home, you feel rejuvenated and ready to take on whatever challenge comes next. 

What you just imagined is called shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing — and it has incredible effects on your physical and mental health!

What is shinrin-yoku?

Shinrin means "forest" in Japanese, while yoku means "bath." Shinrin-yoku literally means "to bathe in the forest environment" or "to take in the forest via our senses." Forest bathing is an age-old practice in many cultures around the world. However, 1980s Japan used the official term as we know it for a physiological and psychological activity recommended to many. It was intended to provide a nature-centric antidote to fatigue caused by the tech boom. It was also meant to encourage inhabitants to reconnect with and maintain the country's woods. In 1982, this form of mobile meditation in living forests became an official part of Japan's national health program.

The premise of forest bathing is more relevant today than ever before. Cities are expected to house 66 percent of the world's population by 2050. The average American spends 93 percent of his or her time indoors, according to research funded by the Environmental Protection Agency. 

How does forest bathing help?

Even a short period of time spent in nature can improve our health. But why is that? It's because humans are, according to American biologist E.O. Wilson, "hardwired" to connect with nature. On that note, here's how forest bathing can help.

Physical health benefits

Forest bathing has been shown to decrease blood pressure and heart rate. It also reduces dangerous hormone levels such as cortisol which your body creates when you're stressed. Therefore, forest bathing can directly lead to you feeling calmer and more relaxed. Other studies have found that spending just 10 to 20 minutes a day outside can improve your well-being and happiness while also lowering your stress levels. The air we breathe in while walking through a forest also has incredible benefits. Researchers have found that an essential oil that trees emit called phytoncide increases the level of natural killer (NK) cells present in our blood. NK cells combat infections and cancers as well as boost creativity and increase attention and better mood.

Mental health benefits

According to Dr. Qing Li, the president of the Society for Forest Medicine in Japan, spending time in the forest can help you feel better by reducing stress, anger, anxiety, and depression. In his book Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness, Dr. Li also adds, "You sleep better when you spend time in a forest, even when you don't increase the amount of physical activity you do." Walking through a forest, as compared to walking in the woods or in an urban environment, has much more of a positive impact on vigor and reduces fatigue. 

Other benefits

Stepping away from the urban sprawl to spend time in forests can help us reconnect with nature. We often forget that we live as part of a massive ecosystem, one that is constantly in danger from human activities. Reconnecting with our forests can help us truly understand how vital they are to the planet and flora and fauna other than humans. That leads us to realize better how critical the regeneration and conservation of forests is. 

How to perform forest bathing

The first thing to note here is that despite being named "forest" bathing, shinrin-yoku can be performed in any green space in the city or a nature reserve near you. However, we'd still recommend doing this in a real forest at least once. Here's how Dr. Li himself describes the process of forest bathing in his book: 

"Make sure you have left your phone and camera behind… The key to unlocking the power of the forest is in the five senses."

Find a spot

Once you've reached your local park or nature reserve, find a good spot under a tree away from crowds and comfortable to sit at for a while. Take a few deep breaths and tune in to what is happening around you. It helps to focus on one thing at a time at first, like the sounds of birds chirping, or the sound of wind rustling the leaves. You can also look around where you are, again paying careful attention to details like the sunlight filtering through the canopy or the bark of the tree. Here are some prompts to help you along:

  • What do you see?
  • What sounds can you hear all around you?
  • Can you inhale and exhale deeply?
  • When you reach your hand out, what can you touch, and how does it feel?

Walk around

At this point, you can decide to start walking, but do so aimlessly and without a destination in mind. Wander around the forest or the park, stopping here and there to pay attention to something that has caught your eye. Reduce your pace consciously so that you're able to engage all your senses. 

Try different activities

Once you've gotten used to forest bathing, consider trying out related mindfulness practices such as yoga or meditation. Consider working with a trained forest therapist if you would like a more structured program. You can easily find something else to do in a green space, like creating art, reading a book, hosting a picnic, foraging where it's legal, and making scrapbooks. Keep in mind that phones and cameras traditionally aren't carried along when you're forest bathing!

Spend at least 20 minutes but stay safe

Ideally, you should have spent at least 20 minutes on forest bathing because that's when the benefits start to kick in. 10 hours in a month is the ideal amount of time, according to some scientists.  While forest bathing, it's important to look after your safety as well, and avoid trespassing into areas that are protected or too wild. Stay on marked trails, wear appropriate clothing, and carry water, sunscreen, and bug repellant if you're going into a forest or nature reserve. 

The final word

Forest bathing is ideal for people of all ages who are looking for a break from city life and stress or merely want some time to themselves. It requires a different mindset and can take a while to get used to, especially if you have a busy life lived entirely on calendars. But it is worth the effort, because the process of returning to nature is calming and fulfilling and has long-standing positive effects. If you start forest bathing and see the benefits in store for you, consider supporting reforestation, conservation, and tree planting efforts in in-need areas across the world. We have one of the most incredible natural healing methods on the planet, and we need to take extensive steps to make sure we get to enjoy it for a longer time!

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

Making Ecocide an International Crime

Throughout the years, human activities have harmed ecological resources in the name of “development.” Ecological deterioration was long observed as a mere side effect of progressing in other walks of life. However, we’re all aware that, now, the issue of environmental destruction is increasingly gaining attention. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this decade will determine whether we’ll be able to save the planet, or it will be increasingly burdened by severe climate change and a rise in world temperatures. 

Therefore, the talk about making environmental degradation an international crime has been around for a while. According to the Rome Statute, the crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court include Genocide, War Crimes, Crimes due to Aggression, and Crimes against Humanity. Many environmentalists are rallying to make Ecocide the fifth international crime.

What is Ecocide?

Ecocide refers to mass environmental destruction, both widespread and long-term, caused while knowing the long-term effects and risks of doing so. The term, coined by US biologist Arthur Galston, derives from the Greek “oikos,” which means home, and “caedere,” which means demolish or kill. In the 1950s, Galston was horrified by how a chemical component his team created was used in the Vietnam war to poison human health and destroy the environment on a fearsome scale. 

Despite the support for Galston’s anti-war declarations, Ecocide was never added to any international crime statute. However, in 2008, lawyer Polly Higgins embarked on a mission to develop a bulletproof legal framework that protects the natural world. She uncovered the term Ecocide during her research. In 2010, she made the first proposal that the International Law Commission modify the Rome Statute to include Ecocide, which she described as:

extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of ecosystem(s) to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory is severely diminished.”

Ecocide causes some of the world’s “worst climate abuse,” and various activities fall under this term. To be included in the Rome Statute, a two-thirds majority (equal to 82 heads of state) need to vote in favor of amending the treaty.

What activities can fall under Ecocide?

The term encompasses all sorts of activities that can harm the global commons as they belong to no one and therefore should not be exploited or polluted as freely as they are today. Wars, deforestation, air pollution, ocean damage, and mining, fall under Ecocide.

Underground accidents that cause mine and pipeline explosions also count as they further harm the environment. Air pollution consists of nuclear testing, chemical weapons, and major industrial emissions. Industrial emissions caused by cement, agricultural, and fossil fuel industries also contribute to poor air quality and Ecocide. Ocean damage consists of plastic pollution, oil spills, and industrial fishing. 

Deforestation is caused by mineral extraction, oil drilling, industrial livestock farming, and wood production. Other miscellaneous issues include textile chemicals, river systems, and agricultural pollution through soil quality and erosion.

Some of the major activities that took place in the past were the Vietnam War, the use of Agent Orange, the Chernobyl nuclear accident, Alberta Tar Sands, and the Ajka alumina sludge spill (2010). 

What is the amendment proposal?

In 2020, environmental scientists and international lawyers came together to develop an updated, transparent, and completely legal definition of Ecocide. This definition would then be submitted for review to a head of state who is willing to propose the amendment to the ICC. The next ideal step would be to garner the two-thirds majority needed for it to be added to the Rome Statute. The proposed definition was considered to be a step forward in turning Ecocide into an international crime. It is posited as a crime both towards nature and humans. 

To make Ecocide a part of the ICC, certain steps are to be followed. The proposed definition of Ecocide is the first step, followed by the following:

  1. A member country of the ICC (excluding India, China, and the US) will have to submit the proposed definition of Ecocide to the UN secretary-general. 
  2. Voting will take place during the annual assembly. Only if the majority votes in favor of the proposal will the rest of the steps be carried out. 
  3. When the law is in place, member countries must enforce it one year later. Under universal jurisdiction principles, any ratifying nation may also arrest a non-national on their soil for a crime committed elsewhere. 

Despite the simple-looking three steps on paper, the process is time-consuming and labor-intensive.

Will the amendment gather enough support?

It is against the law to hurt or kill people. However, it is not a crime to knowingly harm the environment for personal gain. To date, environmental laws charge corporations and other perpetrators with financial compensation for environmental damage. It will likely take enormous pressure to go one step further and make Ecocide a crime. This is especially so because the fossil fuel and extractive industries have a powerful chokehold on corporations and economies today, and they happen to be one of the most significant drivers of ecological damage.

However, there have been developments that paint a positive picture: one that shows society’s support for criminalizing Ecocide might continue to grow over the years. For starters, there are the People’s Tribunals, whose aim is to educate the public about Ecocide and develop strong arguments that can hold up once the proposal for the amendment is made. Another major show of support came from Pope Francis in 2019, who urged that Ecocide be recognized as the “fifth category of crime against peace.” 

If Ecocide were made a crime, then it would be quite unlike the hours of talks at global scales that often lead to empty promises and no resolution. Instead of getting away with a fine, perpetrators will be liable to prosecution and imprisonment. Naturally, this sparked contrary arguments that such an action would mean tipping the scales a bit too far away from catering to human needs.

There are other drawbacks to consider. One flaw in the ICC is that many countries, including three of the top five world economies—India, China, and the US—aren’t members. They aren’t exempt from universal jurisdiction principles but can only be investigated with the permission of the United Nations Security Council. 

The chair of the Stop Ecocide Foundation, Jojo Mehta, has acknowledged that going the ICC route is a challenging choice. However, Mehta added that the ICC is “the only global mechanism that directly accesses the criminal justice systems of all its member states.” 

Although this process could take years or decades to implement, the environmentalists working on this amendment are confident that the ICC will respond positively to it. It may not stop Ecocide entirely but will up the ante on repercussions and hold more systems and corporations accountable in their own time. 

The final word

It is common knowledge that today, humanity stands at crossroads. We’ve left a trail of destruction behind us while achieving progress that was once unimaginable. Our next steps will determine whether we’ll be able to salvage and nourish what’s left of the environment or continue down the same destructive path.

International law has a critical role to play in what choice we end up making. Environment-centric political initiatives can fill holes in the current legislature and turn our relationship with the natural world from one of harm to one of harmony.

Who is EcoMatcher?
How does EcoMatcher work?
How do these trees help our planet?
Who owns the trees?
Will there be long-term care of the trees planted?

Who is EcoMatcher?

EcoMatcher is a B-Corp Certified Social Enterprise that serves as a platform that allows companies to improve their businesses while helping to tackle the climate crisis in a clear, transparent, and accountable way.

Through EcoMatcher, companies can plant trees and utilize trees in innovative ways, from gifting trees as part of customer loyalty programs, to providing them as employee perks for engagement or even as a reward for completing market surveys. The possibilities are endless.

How does EcoMatcher work?

EcoMatcher adopts a three-pronged approach to help facilitate a transparent tree planting process - with the TreeCorder, TreeManager, and TreeTracker applications each assisting different stakeholders, from the farmers of partnering tree planting foundations to the end-user clients and employees receiving the trees.

Firstly, TreeCorder provides foundations and farmers with an easy-to-use mobile application to capture information about each tree they plant, from the precise location of the tree, date of planting, a photo of the tree, the species, and even the farmer.

Businesses or individuals can purchase these trees through EcoMatcher's website, adding them to their accounts. Through TreeManager, a suite of online digital gifting tools is made available, including APIs.

Finally, tree recipients can utilize TreeTracker, a web application using satellite maps, to monitor their trees, and read up on details about each tree, from information about the species, its growth potential, who planted it, and when it was planted. Tree recipients also can download an iOS/Android app for this purpose.

How do these trees help our planet?

Whether it is the global rise in temperature, the shrinking of ice sheets, or the rise in sea levels around the world, there is plenty of evidence that climate change is well and truly upon us. As the lungs of the planet, the planting of trees can be beneficial to both people and the environment.

Trees breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen, making them one of the best ways to slow or even reverse the greenhouse effect. Forests also provide a habitat for biodiversity, serving as a home for birds and other wildlife.

At EcoMatcher, there is also an emphasis on the social and economic impact tree planting can have on societies, partnering with foundations with a focus on long-term and sustainable empowerment and development of local communities. Trees can also provide erosion control, watershed retention, soil fertility, and shade.

Who owns the trees?

EcoMatcher works with foundations specialized in tree planting, ensuring trees are planted. Those foundations provide farmers with high-quality seedlings; farmers plant the seedlings on their land. Your donation finances the growth of the seedlings, the transportation of the seedlings to the farmers, and the livelihood and education of the farmers. The farmers who take care of the trees will own the trees, and your funding will also allow them to reap the benefits that the trees may offer to their community.

Will there be long-term care of the trees planted?

Farmers are carefully selected by the foundations with whom we partner. Like the foundations that sign a contractual agreement with EcoMatcher, the farmers also sign an agreement with the foundations promising they will take good care of the trees. This will also be in their best interest as the trees will help improve the condition of their soil, which can be used to grow other crops they can sell. Also, in some locations, fruit trees are planted that bear fruits already in their 3-year. Foundations will make it a point to check up on the trees regularly and will use EcoMatcher's digital tree planting maps.

WHY TREES?

Your go-to page for tree facts & resources

As the lungs of our planet, tree-planting is one of the most impactful ways to protect the environment and communities

Tree facts you should know about

How does a tree sequester carbon?

 

Forests sequester carbon by capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and transforming it into biomass through photosynthesis. Sequestered carbon is then accumulated in the form of biomass, deadwood, litter, and forest soils. The contribution of forests to carbon cycles has to be evaluated taking also into account the use of harvested wood, e.g. wood products storing carbon for a certain period of time, or energy generation releasing carbon in the atmosphere.

Why is transparency in tree-planting important?

 

Transparent tree-planting offers consumers and companies insights into where their contribution is going. It prevents greenwashing, ensuring you support organizations who plant every tree they commit to, and look after them. Transparency holds every player in the supply chain accountable, ensuring the most ethical practices, and real impact on the planet. At EcoMatcher, we are committed to investing in leading technologies that ensure the next level of transparency: we leverage advanced Blockchain technology for complete Supply Chain traceability and built TreeTracker for visibility of every tree. No secrets! We tell you everything about your trees.

How does a tree sequester carbon?

Forests sequester carbon by capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and transforming it into biomass through photosynthesis. Sequestered carbon is then accumulated in the form of biomass, deadwood, litter, and forest soils. The contribution of forests to carbon cycles has to be evaluated taking also into account the use of harvested wood, e.g. wood products storing carbon for a certain period of time, or energy generation releasing carbon in the atmosphere.

Why is transparency in tree-planting important?

Transparent tree-planting offers consumers and companies insights into where their contribution is going. It prevents greenwashing, ensuring you support organizations who plant every tree they commit to, and look after them. Transparency holds every player in the supply chain accountable, ensuring the most ethical practices, and real impact on the planet. At EcoMatcher, we are committed to investing in leading technologies that ensure the next level of transparency: we leverage advanced Blockchain technology for complete Supply Chain traceability and built TreeTracker for visibility of every tree. No secrets! We tell you everything about your trees.

Tree resources

Video

What happens if you cut down all of city’s trees?

Video by: TED

This video by Ted-Ed explores what makes trees a vital part of cities, and how urban spaces throughout history have embraced the importance of trees.

Video

What if there were 1 trillion more trees?

Video by: TED

This video by Ted-Ed explains how trees help in the fight against climate change.

Video

How trees talk to each other?

Video by: National Geographic

This video by National Geographic explains how trees talk to each other by forming an underground symbiotic relationship with fungi to relay stress signals and share resources with one another.

Video

A love letter trees | the benefits of trees for our physical and mental health

Video by: BBC

This video by BBC Ideas explains the wonder of trees and why it can be so beneficial for our physical and mental health to go out into nature.

Book

Ideas to fight the climate crisis. Sustainable resolutions for a business.

Book by: Bas Fransen

This book by the Founder and CEO of EcoMatcher explains how to address the climate crisis with technologies and innovative business models. It provides practical learnings, insights, and processes on how to implement sustainability both on a strategic and operational level into your business.

Book

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate

Book by: Peter Wohlleben

NEW YORK TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, and WALL STREET JOURNAL bestseller • One of the most beloved books of our time: an illuminating account of the forest, and the science that shows us how trees communicate, feel, and live in social networks. After reading this book, a walk in the woods will never be the same again. A must-read!

Book

Climate Action Challenge: A Proven Plan for Launching Your Eco-Initiative in 90 Days

Book by: Joan Gregerson

Recognized as a top book for climate change by NBC news. This book helps you step by step on how to combat climate change. This book also has tons of advice by leading climate activists with key solutions, and on how to fight the climate crisis on an individual level.

Article

The Value of Trees

Article by: EcoMatcher

Trees play a unique role in helping maintain much-needed homeostasis in our environments such as improving our water quality, minimizing the disastrous effects of carbon dioxide emissions, enhancing soil health, and even the medical sector. Trees are the bottom line for so much of our lives, they hold immense cultural and spiritual value.

Article

Why city trees can be good for kids’ brains

Article by: National Geographic

The London research is part of a growing body of evidence suggesting that spending time in nature can boost kids’ brainpower. In other words, trees and the amazing array of things in, on, and around them could help with sensory integration, which is how the brain takes in, organizes, and responds to information from the senses.

EcoMatcher Academy

Welcome to the EcoMatcher Academy, your one-stop shop to kick start your EcoMatcher journey. You’ll find short explainer videos / tutorials that should help you understand how to best leverage the EcoMatcher platform and solutions. Moreover, you also can find videos that hopefully inspire, such as ideas on how to leverage transparent tree-planting in your business, and last but not least, some interviews with some amazing farmers. We hope you enjoy the Academy. Happy learning!

  • Tutorials
  • Ideas
  • Partners

videos

Video 1: EcoMatcher, an Overview

July, 2021

New to EcoMatcher? This is your video! Learn what EcoMatcher can do for you. Ready to make a difference? [2 minutes]

Video 2: Create an EcoMatcher Account

March, 2021

To track all your trees or make use of all tree gifting tools, you need an EcoMatcher account. Learn how to create one! [2 minutes]

Video 3: Send trees to your customers or employees

March, 2021

Explore all online and integration tools EcoMatcher offers to send trees, including EcoMatchers API, WooCommerce and Shopify plugins. [3 minutes]

Video 4: See how your recipients receive trees

March, 2021

Watch what the tree recipient will experience once she/he gets a tree, but also learn more about the customization possibilities. [2 minutes]

Video 5: Learn how to send emails linked to trees

May, 2021

Learn how to send fully customised emails each linked to unique trees to your employees or customers. [3 minutes]

Video 6: How to download an Excel with tree links

June, 2021

Learn how to download an Excel spreadsheet with tree links that you can use in your own marketing email system. [2 minutes]

Video 7: An Example of a Redeem Page

June, 2021

This video shows you an example of how the redeem page feature of EcoMatcher works, both for desktop and mobile. [2 minutes]

Video 8: How to Name a Tree

June, 2021

Every tree can be named. This video shows you how to do that. Be creative! [1 minutes]

Video 9: View Your trees, ESG Report, and more

June, 2021

Explore “My Account” where you can find all your trees, your forests, ESG, and insights report [2 minutes]

Video 10: Customize your profile

June, 2021

Learn how to upload your logo, customize the tree marker, set your color, and enter your website and social media details. [2 minutes]

Video 11: EcoMatcher’s Mobile App

February, 2022

Plant, track, gift, and learn everything about trees and sustainability on the go with the EcoMatcher app. [1 minute]

Video 12: Learn How to Design and Download TreeCards

June, 2022

Learn how to design and download TreeCards, each linked via a unique QR code to one or more trees. [1 Minute]

Video 13: Learn How to Generate QR Codes Linked to Trees

June, 2022

Learn how to generate unique QR codes each linked to one or more trees. Add such QR codes to your product or service! [1 Minute]

Video 14: Register Your Trees

July, 2022

Learn how easy it is to register your tree(s), and what the benefits are of registering tree(s). [1 Minute]

Video 15: Customize Your Giftbox

July, 2022

Learn what EcoMatcher’s giftbox is, how to select from various templates, and how to customize the giftbox. [1 Minute]

Video 16: Explore EcoMatcher’s TreeTracker!

August, 2022

Learn all the cool features of TreeTracker, including how to name a tree, how to send a message to your planter, TreeChat, and ForestSounds. [2 minutes]

Introduction to EcoMatcher

June, 2021

Watch EcoMatcher’s “corporate trailer,” and learn everything about EcoMatcher [2 minutes].

I Have a Dream, by Elodie and Jack

December, 2021

Elodie and Jack expressing how young people and animals have a dream about a brighter and greener future.

[1.5 minute].

Why does transparency in the tree-planting matter?

August, 2021

Tree planting is not new, but transparent tree planting is; why does it matter [1 minute].

How your company can leverage tree-planting?

August, 2021

Learn how you can leverage and implement transparent tree planting in your business [1 minute].

4 reasons why tree-planting is important

August, 2021

Learn why tree planting is important. You may be surprised about the benefits [1 minute].

It’s time to turn the IPCC warnings into actions

September, 2021

4 actions we can take to help fight the climate crisis [1 minute].

What is a B Corporation?

August, 2021

EcoMatcher proudly is a Certified B Corporation. What does that mean [1 minute].

Meet the Heroes of EcoMatcher!

August, 2021

This video is a tribute to EcoMatcher’s Heroes: our tree planters; must watch! [1 minute].

How tree-planting empowers women | SDG 5

November, 2021

Learn how tree-planting helps provide economic opportunities to women around the world. [1 minute].

Agroforestry, farmers and the planet

December, 2021

What is agroforestry, and how does it help farmers and the planet. [1 minute].

Tree-planting and corporate gifting

January, 2022

4 Reasons why tree-planting is the best corporate gift. [1 minute].

What are the risks of planting non-native trees?

April, 2022

Not all #TreePlanting efforts have equal benefits to the environment. Make sure you invest in initiatives that plant native trees, at the right place and the right time. Here is why. [1 minute].

Interview with Jesse!

December, 2019

Meet Jesse (and his amazing kids!), tree planter and partner of Tree Adoption Uganda [3 minutes].

Interview with Ruth!

December, 2019

Meet Ruth, an amazing mother, and active tree planter, like Jesse, also part of the Tree Adoption Uganda program [2 minutes].

Interview with Ngor!

September, 2019

Meet Ngor, an active partner of the Conserve Natural Forest program in beautiful Pai, Northern Thailand [2 minutes].

Interview with Sitaram!

January, 2020

Meet Sitiram, the man leading New Growth’s tree planting activities in the amazing Himalayas of Nepal [2 minutes].

Interview with Urmila!

January, 2020

Meet Urmila, tree planter and farmer in the Himalayas. Learn from her why tree planting is so important [2 minutes].

Interview with Rey!

October, 2019

Meet forester Rey, the man leading in the Philippines the tree planting activities of FEED [2 minutes].

Interview with Pak Sri!

October, 2016

Meet Pak Sri, partner of the Trees4Trees program in Indonesia [2 minutes].

A day with a tree planter – Part 1

July, 2019

Mini-Series on tree planter Pak Parjono, where you can learn everything about his family, life, and his amazing work.

A day with a tree planter – Part 2

July, 2019

Mini-Series on tree planter Pak Parjono, where you can learn everything about his family, life, and his amazing work.

A day with a tree planter – Part 3

July, 2019

Mini-Series on tree planter Pak Parjono, where you can learn everything about his family, life, and his amazing work.

Ready to Become More Sustainable?