On this page we have tried to gather the answers to all the questions we receive concerning GROW|FOR|IT’s work. If you wish to contact us, don’t hesitate to send us an e-mail using firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do I get for my 7,500 DKK (1000 Euros)?
A donation of 7,500 DKK enables GROW|FOR|IT to plant for you the number of trees which CO₂ capture matches you CO₂ emission – at least 10 tons of CO₂ per year for an average person in Denmark. In Denmark it is a general view that the polluter pays for the compensation of the pollution. By planting trees you make sure that the CO₂ emission you cause is balanced in the future. That way you have made your contribution – you have cleaned up after your CO₂ footprint.
- You will achieve the following, when you balance your O₂ emission:
For every hectare of new forest you sponsor, you will receive a certificate of having balanced one person’s yearly CO₂ emission – once and for all!
- Clean conscience – you have now sponsored lifelong CO₂ balancing!
- Photo documentation with GPS coordinates.
Who are our collaboration partners, TroFaCo?
TroFaCo (www.trofaco.com), the association, was established in 2014. The founders, Steffen Johnsen and Thomas O’Brian Kirk, have both been working with international development projects for many years, Thomas in Africa, Steffen mostly in Asia.
TroFaCo cooperate with several Danish associations, among those Folkekirkens Nødhjælp (DanChurchAid). TroFaCo’s partners in charge of the practicalities are CAFACA in Cambodia, ActionAid in Vietnam (Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke is the Danish member of ActionAid), and in Uganda it is CIDI along with other partners cooperating with Caritas Danmark and Danida. GROW|FOR|IT have chosen TroFaCo as partner in reforestation,as TroFaCo fulfill the relevant requirements for transparency and reliability.
One of the preconditions for our cooperation is that it shall be possible to go and pat the trees on site. TroFaCo can offer that opportunity through their unique registration of the location of the trees on Google Maps and via GPS coordinates. So, if you would like to see the trees you sponsored, it is in fact an option. TroFaCo and GROW|FOR|IT offer to provide some practical support in case you want to go there!
Questions often posed to TroFaCo
What happens if some trees die?
If some of your new trees die within the first year, the local people will plant new trees on the same spot. That is in accordance with the contract between our partner and the local citizens.
Which sorts of trees do TroFaCo and your partners plant?
TroFaCo and our partners leave it to the locals to determine which trees they wish to plant. Often they will select a mix of species. Some trees, like mango or tamarind, will give fruit that can be eaten by the locals or sold at the local market. We support the planting of such trees close to schools, temples, or churches, where the fruit will be shared by many. Some species, like neem and moringa, produce free medicine. Here you can see a more detailed description of the 20 species that the locals in Cambodia usually choose. When we get started in Uganda, a corresponding description will be made. If we are asked for donations for commercial orchards or coffee plantations, we reject politely.
Why do the locals want to cooperate with TroFaCo?
The locals cooperate with TroFaCo because of the evident benefits:
The obvious gains are the money salaried to the people planting and nursing the trees the first two years – usually the poorest women from the area. The indirect gains come from:
- Fruit sales. When the locals are the ones choosing the plants, there will be a good deal of fruit trees like mango among them. When the trees are fruiting, the income may be 70 to 150 DKKper tree per year.
- Reduced expenses for roads and irrigation canals or houses:
Trees reduce the erosion, so they will prevent brink sliding, washing away of dirt roads, or filling of the irrigation canals with soil from the brinks.
How will TroFaCo and your partners plant the trees?
In general we are convinced that the local communities are the experts in taking care of their resources. Therefore we, or our collaboration partners, ask them to select people who have knowledge about and experience with working with trees. You will find such people in most villages, or at least in the vicinity. The skilled person will get a contract with TroFaCo’s local partner. The contract commits the person to collect seeds from the sort of trees the local community wants, make seed plants, and assist at the planting of the young trees. A local association (farmer’s association, school, or similar) will organize the planting.
TroFaCo and our partners will ensure that local women get most of the paid jobs entailing planting and weeding around the trees the first years. Our partners pay for the seed plants, for the planting, and for the weeding around the trees. So the local people obtain a number of useful trees for free. Why do we choose this procedure?
There are more reasons: Experience has shown that local species are most suitable for the local conditions; the local people are familiar with the trees and know how to use them. They also know how to find the best seeds. We buy from local plant nurseries. That creates local employment, and when you produce for your neighbors, you act with greater responsibility.
TroFaCo and partners pay for the young trees to demonstrate that we take it seriously, but we only pay for trees surviving the first year. The contract with the local people requires that trees that die within the first year shall be replaced by new, young trees. That clause motivates the planters to do their work well from the beginning. If the local people need technical support or training, TroFaCo’s partners can arrange it. The best education happens through working together with a person from the neighborhood having the necessary knowledge and experience.
Does TroFaCo apply a standard system for verification?
TroFaCo has its own documentation. That allows us to pay the local people more, since the documentation is less expensive and at the same time more accessible, which ensures it is easily useable.
You can see your trees on a website or at the location if you bother to travel to the site. Everybody is welcome. The map on the website tells you exactly where you can find your trees. The certificate, which every donor gets, also shows the location of your trees. If you wish to travel out and see for yourself, we can offer you to assist with the practicalities. You can always ask for more information about how we do or talk to the locals about the
Our documentation shows photos with GPS coordinates and time stamps. This information is shown on a map on a website, so every sponsor can see the sponsored trees with the sponsor’s own name on it (or logo, if the sponsor is a company or an association). This also means that it is impossible to sell the same climate trees more than once, which might otherwise happen. The local people decide where the trees should be planted. We only accept areas lacking trees at the time of planning. The location is photo documented before the planting.
How does TroFaCo measure the carbon dioxide in the trees to document the CO 2 capture?
We visit all planted areas once a year. (In GROW|FOR|IT’s models this guarantee is chosen as an additional purchase to maintain our standard price of 7,500 DKK for the balancing of 10 tons of CO₂ .)
Our monitoring and registration specialist works together with a team from the local partner and with involved locals, like a teacher, farmers, a priest, or a monk. The monitoring happens like this: First we count the trees that have survived. Next, we measure the diameter of the trunks and the heights of one tree out of ten or twenty depending on the size of the planting. Based on these measurements “above ground (dry) biomass” (AGB) is calculated using this formula: AGB = d * DBH2 * H, where DBH is trunk diameter at breast height, H is the height of the tree, and d is the density of the wood. The level of the latter depends on the species – some wood is heavier than other. DBH is calculated by measuring the circumference of the tree at breast (man’s) height and then converting the circumference to the diameter. Now the carbon dioxide can be calculated using the rule of thumb that 1 ton of dry biomass = ½ ton of carbon.
This figure shows the next steps in the measurement. The measurements can only be made on trees already growing and a few years old.
So how can we know in advance how many trees we need foroffsetting a given amount of CO₂?
The short answer is that youestimate an average of 20 years’ growth. This assumption is based on very conservative approximations from two experts in tropical forestry; one is from Danish Forestry Extension (Skovdyrkerne) and the other is a Dutch expert. If you wish to know more about the calculation methods, do not hesitate to ask!
How does TroFaCo’s smart phone reporting work?
First the basics: We cooperate with locale people serving as data collectors from the plantings and from the local communities. These people are often persons with much experience from local work and possessing a certain respect from the community. We lend them a smart phone and teach them how to take photos documenting the results. An App enables the servers to read the information from the photos and the filled-in questionnaires and upload all of it to Google Maps. By means of a plugin to WordPress, the map will soon be available on the GROW|FOR|IT website.
Is there a risk that the land will be taken by others?
Land theft can be a problem, especially in Cambodia. We strive to avoid it by working with partners, who are powerful enough to resist attempts of land theft, and by planting on land that is of no interest to land thieves (land alongside a road or along irrigation canals) or belong to a public institution like a school. In Uganda our partners have the option to plant next to schools and alongside roads in accordance with the local authorities. They may also have the opportunity to plant trees on land belonging to traditional structures
like kingdoms. Finally, church communities own a good deal of land. Kingdoms and church communities sometimes possess so large areas of land that they suggest recreating a proper jungle. (For Uganda, GROW|FOR|IT has chosen only to plant trees on areas belonging to public institutions.)