It's time to look at out final donatee... at least for the foreseeable future... and I've saved the most cost effective choice for last! I was actually considering for a long time to support a local tree-planting charity here in Western Australia, especially with the recent bushfires, but in the end, the labour costs in Australia mean the cost per tree is much, much higher than The Eden Reforestation Project delivers. And so, from a global perspective, Eden is what I believe to be the best channel for converting the money we raise into actual trees. And to further cement their place as the top three tree-planting charities in the world, Eden is helping local communities reach a sustainable, harmonious future for generations to come — which is a very unique aspect of this non-profit.
There is so much to say about this non-profit, and I'm mindful to keep this article relatively concise, but Eden's own website goes into great detail about the mission, values and achievements.
The most noteworthy quality of The Eden Reforestation Project in my eyes is their low overhead costs and low cost per tree. The non-profit is involved in many different project, and they boast a very low cost of $0.10 to $0.35 USD per tree. The cost covers all of the expenses including nursery costs, transporting the seedlings to the reforestation site, planting them, guarding them, and weeding them a little later in the season to give them a head start on all the vegetation that would be competing. Employment and administration costs are included in the tree price.
Another reason the organisation can keep the cost per tree so low is that they employ local villagers to perform the required labour — or in the word of Eden, by "employing the poorest of the poor." Most forest restoration advocates fail to recognize the fact that extreme poverty is one of the primary causes behind global deforestation. Therefore, Eden’s mission begins with providing fair wage employment to local villagers who live adjacent to the project sites. In this way, the local villagers are provided with an alternative income source and no longer need to rely upon destroying forest resources for survival.
Eden uses this strategy to great effect, and focuses their efforts in five countries which best allow for their low-cost, employing-locals vision:
- Madagascar - where they have planted over 240 million trees. Only 10% of Madagascar's original forests are alive today, and projects such is Eden's are vital in restoring a more healthy balance for the future allowing the many unique species living on the island to flourish into the future.
- Nepal - where Eden has planted over 4 million trees. Nepal is the home to many endangered animals, such as Bengal tigers, clouded leopards, one-horned rhinoceroses and Asiatic elephants, all of which rely on the forests for their survival.
- Indonesia - where over 3 million trees have been planted. Here, Eden is working to plant mangroves on Biak Island to counter the effects of soil erosion.
- Mozambique - where over 2.7 million trees have been planted. Here, Eden is working to restore the vast mangrove forests near the country's capital, which is essential to provide stability against erosion and improve ocean and coral reef health.
- Haiti - where over 750 thousand trees have been planted. Disturbingly, near 98% of the forests have been destroyed in Haiti, and this number is still increasing. Eden is acting to counter this by establishing long-term, sustainable forests in the island country.
Eden is also under way to begin a new project in Kenya, where they will be helping to reforest the Great Rift Valley and the northern coast. Eden has also in the past worked in Ethiopia, with over 12.5 million trees planted in the country. This brings the total amount of a trees planted by Eden to a whopping 265+ million trees at the start of 2020.
With such a great track record of providing low-cost trees to countries in need of help, Eden is a clear and worthy choice for iDonateByShopping.org's donations. Combined with the fact that Eden takes much care to ensuring the survival of the trees they plant and their long-term security - this is my clear and deserving choice as a recipient of the funds we raise.
On Eden's own website, they have a Forest Level Partnership page for organisation that have donated more than $100,000 USD... with some success on our part, I hope that we can see our logo on that page some time soon!