The Nakd Forest
Here at Natural Balance Foods, we think it's so important to look after Mother Nature. Looking after the environment means a happier world for all, and ultimately even yummier, natural wholefoods for us to snack on!
Since 2014, we've been working with the lovely guys at WeForest to offset our carbon emissions. WeForest are an international non-profit association raising awareness around biodiverse tree planting and their great work relies on the donations of donors and sponsors.
To begin with we were keen to learn how we could offset our carbon emissions, but after spending time with the team at WeForest we learnt that we could take it one step further and could do a lot more for the environment than just taking carbon out of the atmosphere.
Since joining the reforestation movement we have funded the creation of a Nakd Forest and TREK Landscape in both Burkina Faso and Brazil where local villagers have planted over 9,500 trees. These new trees will absorb carbon as they grow but they’ll also do a lot lot more …
Why should we regenerate our forests?
Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in our atmosphere are higher than at any time during the last 800,000 years & average temperatures are rising. Forests are our natural insurance against climate change and have an ability to stabilise the climate and make the Earth cooler by releasing water vapor and microscopic nuclei needed for cloud formation. Clouds have a high albedo effect, reflecting the incident solar radiation back into space (a bit like the polar ice caps do!)
The Nakd Forest
How has our Carbon Offsetting project helped?
We’ve planted 4,645 trees in WeForest's Burkina Faso project. The project's aim is to 'Green the Desert' by replanting the native forest and reversing the decline in biodiversity affecting the local area, whilst promoting a sustainable local economy. The project engages the neighbouring villages to transform the bare land into a fertile, biologically diverse and productive forest that brings livelihood to the region, empowers women and brings education to children.
How is the Nakd forest positively impacting the world's forests?
Alongside the Burkino Faso project, we have also planted 3000 trees in Brazil in the hope to connect isolated, and often small, forest patches to the remaining protected forested areas in Western Sao Paulo State. The project seeks to engage local communities, in particular women are given opportunities to learn skills and grow their income. They collect seeds, care for the growing of seedlings and prepare these for transplanting into the restoration sites.
The project makes use of saplings from ten nurseries and this is where local women are having a big impact. The project is helping to keep those involved financially independent and helps them provide for their families.
The TREK Landscape
Restoring the landscape for tomorrow’s trails
“Forest landscape restoration”, a term frequently used in restoration projects puts particular focus on the word ‘landscape’. It places greater importance on the project delivering a ‘sustainable restoration’ approach that is a bigger picture than just planting trees. This message really struck a chord with us for TREK, as it’s the exhilaration of the great outdoors, the scenery, the ‘landscape’ that gets us going. The landscape is the place we go for adventure, for fitness, for fun. Landscapes, mountains, fields & forests. Your playground.
We’ve planted a further 2000 trees in the region of the western Sao Paulo State, in Brazil. This project is a key biodiversity conservation project where 115 species of trees have been planted so far. The project seeks to reconnect isolated patches of forest allowing endangered species assess to new habitats and to breed with different populations.
How developing the TREK Landscape is more than just planting trees
It is well known that forests purify water and overall are essential for water availability and global cooling at multiple scales: at watershed, regional and continental levels. With increasing water scarcity, climate change, and growing demands on forest resources, it is vital that we gain greater understanding of fundamental forest-water-climate relationships.
Climate change is altering forests’ role in regulating water flows and influencing the availability of water resources. Forests are at the forefront of reducing the effects of climate change. One benefit is forests’ cooling effect on the environment produced through evapotranspiration and the provision of shade.
Moreover, large-scale deforestation can have an impact on precipitation patterns. Trees play a significant role in cloud formation and precipitation. Trees produce tiny biological particles into the atmosphere upon which water vapour condenses, forming clouds.
Is reforestation recognised as a effective method of climate control? Why working with WeForest is so important to us:
Forests have never had as much recognition as they have recently in Climate Summits. There was an emphasis on restoration with reforestations prominent on the agenda, whereas the previous emphasis was on preventing deforestation. At the UN Climate Summit New York Declaration on Forests said that collectively we need to be dong our part for the world's forests. it states the need to "restore 150 million hectares of degraded landscapes and forestlands by 2020 and significantly increase the rate of global restoration thereafter, which would restore at least an additional 200 million hectares by 2030." That's 24 trees per person on the planet. We should all try to do our bit.
Victoria Gutierrez, Director of Planting at WeForest:
"Forests have historically provided insurance against natural hazards, and help stabilise the Climate. Alongside the prevention of further deforestation and the curbing of CO2 emissions, there is an urgent need to restore degraded forest habitats. Landscape reforestation is one of the obvious strategies – it will not only contribute to climate change mitigation but also address food security and health in the developing world."
If you're interested in learning more about just visit www.weforest.org