Reforestation is the process of restoring areas of previously destroyed forest. It not only contributes to the fight against climate change, thanks to the carbon stored in the planted trees as they grow, it also provides natural habitat for biodiversity and restores natural ecosystem services such as clean air and water, flood prevention and reduced erosion. Just as importantly, if reforestation projects are designed properly, they can provide an important income source for local communities to address widespread socioeconomic inequalities.
In 2019 the Wallacea Trust launched a community-led reforestation initiative on the remote island of Buton in the Wallacea Region of Indonesia; an area we have worked in for over 20 years. A series of community-run nurseries were created where local people were paid to collect seeds and seedlings from the nearby forest, which the nurseries grew into saplings ready for planting. Approximately 0.5m sapling height was proposed to ensure good survival levels once planted, and at least 30 species of native trees were included to ensure a good representation of a natural forest ecosystem was created.
To date, donations from individuals and organisations wanting to offset their carbon emissions in a way that also benefits nature and people have allowed the nurseries to process 30,000 seeds/seedlings, and successfully plant 6,492 saplings into an area of conservation forest that has been severely damaged by illegal logging. A significant portion of these funds came from those participating in biodiversity research expeditions with our partner Operation Wallacea as a way of offsetting the carbon emissions from their international flights.
If you would like to make a donation towards this project as a way of offsetting your own flight emissions, first use this online calculator to estimate the emissions from your journey. Then use our online donation function at the top of this page and donate £10 (or $12 USD) per ton of carbon you wish to offset. This money will be used to support the ongoing work of the nurseries as well as the costs of planting the saplings.