2020 was a tough year for everyone, and especially for rural communities that depend on tourism income, and conservationists blocked from traveling to develop critical projects around the world. However, it is still possible to make a difference for communities and conservation while locked down at home: offset your carbon emissions for this year!
In early 2020, Opwall’s sister charity, the Wallacea Trust, funded the collection of 30,000 native saplings to be collected and planted in degraded forest by local communities to provide income and restore biodiversity. These trees have now reached 1-1.5m in height and are ready to plant. You are the key to making this happen!
Ready to take the Carbon Neutral 2021 Challenge? Here’s how:
1. Calculate your Carbon Footprint here. Even without travel, our showers, electricity, imported food, and local transport can take a toll.
2. Once you have your footprint, visit our reforestation page and donate $10 (£7.70) for each tonne you want to offset. You don’t have to go completely neutral today to make a difference – anything you provide will help the project!
3. Local farmers in Sulawesi plant two trees for every $10 donated. As they grow they will offset your carbon carbon for this year, over the next 20+ years!
With Indonesia still closed to foreign visitors and their Covid vaccination programme only just starting, it is looking likely that for a second year running the village communities with which Opwall have worked for the last 25 years will again not have the volume of employment they would usually receive from the annual survey programmes. In 2020, to get some much-needed money into the communities and as part of our long-term carbon offsetting efforts, Opwall funded the development of tree nurseries where local people collected seeds and seedlings from the adjacent forests. These 30,000 seedlings, in three separate nurseries, have now reached 1 – 1.5m in height and are due to be planted in an area of conservation forest that has been severely damaged by illegal logging.
We are now looking for urgent help to fund the next phase of this forest restoration project which will employ a large number of people from the villages concerned. Planting trees at this height during the wet season means they have a much greater chance of survival than for normal tree planting schemes. In ordinary tree planting schemes, the trees are often planted very close together when they are just tiny seedlings, which means they need thinning out as they grow.
Transparency is important to us – this is not a scheme where you don’t know where the trees you funded are being planted. The volunteers on our expeditions in 2022 and beyond will see the trees that have been planted under this scheme for themselves.
Most importantly, the funds for this scheme will be used to support wages for village communities in rural Sulawesi during these difficult times caused by the pandemic.
By donating to this project, you can offset your personal carbon footprint. You can calculate Carbon Footprint from travel, food, power usage, and heating by going to the WWF carbon footprint calculator. Once you have an estimate for your annual carbon footprint in tonnes, if you donate US$10 (£7.70) for each tonne you wish to offset, we will plant two trees. Over the next 20 years these trees will offset your emissions for the year! You don’t have to offset all your emissions – any help you can give will be useful for these communities.
We hope you will be able to help and thank you for your support. If you would like to, visit our reforestation page to donate via Virgin Money.
Our reforestation project is special because we use native species, support local families, and provide transparency about where your trees are planted. Learn more in the infographic below!
This infographic explains what happens to your funds when you donate to our reforestation project in Sulawesi to offset your individual carbon footprint. We break from traditional reforestation projects by showing you exactly where the trees are being planted, and by whom, as well as ensuring we are planting native species and giving them the best possible chance for survival.