October 13, 2021

Eden Reforestation Projects:
Planting Trees to Grow Forests

Since we launched in 2019, we have partnered with Eden Reforestation Projects, a  non-profit organisation committed to sustainable reforestation efforts. We are currently planting with Eden in Kitiligini, Kenya - working to restore their environment while lifting local communities out of extreme poverty.

Over the last 100 years, deforestation has depleted over 50% of the world's forests. The effects of deforestation stretch further than a sacrificed tree - impacting communities economically and  ecologically. The Eden Reforestation Project is on a mission to support impacted regions. By partnering with local communities to establish sustainable reforestation efforts, Eden is planting seeds that will benefit generations to come. 

What is deforestation and why does it matter?

Deforestation is the mass clearing of forested land. Either by natural occurrence (wildfires, tornadoes, etc) or by human efforts (agricultural expansion, harvesting, settlement). 

Although present worldwide, deforestation is has an even greater presence in impoverished nations, with some regions reaching as much as 90-95% deforestation.

Why is this?

One cause being the large dependence on trees for income. Tree harvesting is present on both individual and corporate scales, as coal is made from the trees and sold for income. 

Without regenerative practices, what was once a viable way of life is no longer, devastating families and communities alike.   

Photo courtesy of the Eden Reforestation Project. 

Essential resources that were once in their backyard are gone, forcing villagers to travel greater lengths to sustain their livelihood. Necessities such as food and water become more distant, putting excessive strain on everyday survival and forcing locals to find refuge in cities. Stephen Fitch, the founder and CEO of Eden Reforestation Projects, refers to locals who leave their village due to environmental destruction as 'environmental refugees'.

This is where The Eden Project steps in. Fitch is passionate about reversing this cycle. By working with local communities to heal their environment, provide fair wages, pull people out of imminent desperation and ultimately keep individuals in their home village. 

Photo courtesy of the Eden Reforestation Project

Hope with Reforestation

Some effects of reforestation are quick. Slowed rates of erosion, minimised flooding, improved soil quality, better fishing and farming, restored rainfall patterns, flowing springs, and habitats reformed. But the Eden Project is not satisfied with short term benefits, as they're committed to practices that will last for generations to come. 
Eden doesn't want to just plant trees, they're committed to growing forests.

"Our goal is to work with nature. To give areas the head start they need for natural regeneration to kick in." 

-Stephen Finch Founder & CEO of Eden Reforestation Projects

In Kenya, Eden is working with the Masai people of the Rift Valley. The trees planted are thoughtfully chosen based on their maturation time and ability to blend in and benefit the existing ecosystem.

The survival rate of seedlings, however, is less than desired. Fitch stresses the difference between merely planting a tree and nurturing it to maturation. Fitch is confident in Eden's method of planting through seedballs and nurseries to increase survival rates.

Fitch stresses the importance of seedlings developing strong root systems during the wet season. Come dry season, if the strength of a seedling's roots waiver, they will struggle to live. Eden has refined their techniques to optimise their time and resources, which shows in their global impact.

An employee planting an Afromontae sapling within the Kijabe Forest.

Where we're headed

Eden began reforestation efforts in Kenya less than two years ago, and expects a flourishing forest around the five year mark.

Eden stays humble with their accomplishments, recognising the incredible ally mother nature is. 

Working towards natural regeneration is Eden's goal, and here at Zorali, we committed to supporting that. 

Photo courtesy of the Eden Reforestation Project. 

To learn more, please visit edenprojects.org or zorali.com/pages/sustainability

Related Posts