As part of our circular thinking, we give back. 5% of SueMe’s profits are donated to our project partners, the International Tree Foundation and Cool Earth. These organisations regenerate and restore forests and woodlands, conserve habitats that are rich in biodiversity, sequester carbon, and help communities who rely upon forests to develop sustainable livelihoods.
SueMe’s current project is to help conserve the Kakamega Forest – Kenya’s final rainforest. We will assist by training the local forest-dependent community to create a nursery comprising of 15,000 trees. In time, these trees will provide forest goods and services to people who currently go to the Kakamega Forest to satisfy their needs, which places excessive pressure on the ecosystem. This scheme will also introduce sustainable agroforestry farming practices, and help to create markets for products the community produces.
The International Tree Foundation
Since its inception in 1922, the International Tree Foundation has been a pioneering environmental organisation. The foundation originated in Kenya with the creation of Watu wa Miti (People of the Trees) by Dr Richard Baker and Chief Josiah Njonjo. Baker and Njonjo were ahead of their time in terms of recognising the importance of trees in sustaining life. They inspired thousands of people across the world to plant and protect trees.
In the 1950s, Baker launched an international ‘Green Front’ to promote reforestation worldwide, with the largest challenge being to reverse desertification and reclaim the Sahara Desert through the strategic planting of trees. Baker led a team on a 25,000 mile ecological assessment throughout the Sahara and Sahel regions. Sahara reclamation and Sahel regreening efforts have remained a central theme for the institution over the past half century, alongside community tree planting projects in more than 30 countries. In the 1990s, People of the Trees became the International Tree Foundation.
Cool Earth works alongside rainforest communities to halt deforestation and its negative impacts on climate change. This international NGO shares effective conservation methods, and invests in projects that show the potential to produce the best outcomes for rainforests and people. The organisation is helping rainforest communities across three continents to protect nearly 100,000 hectares of rainforest – an area more than twice the size of Andorra.
Rainforests have the highest carbon density of all forest types so protecting them is one of the most effective ways to tackle climate breakdown. This is because deforestation releases as much carbon into the atmosphere as the global transport sector, whilst destroying the most effective carbon capture and storage technology on Earth. If keeping rainforests standing tall is the easiest and least expensive way to mitigate climate change, why are we cutting rainforests at a faster rate than ever before?