While I do my best to be patient with the process of fundraising, it’s challenging when I know how many lives – both of trees and people – hang in the balance while doing it. In this case, 25,000 trees sit rootbound in little black plastic sacks that they’ve outgrown, in near 100 degree heat, waiting for someone to buy and plant and maintain them.
And it’s not looking too good for the nurserymen who took the initiative to grow these trees either. Investing their personal resources to meet nature’s call for the forest to be restored, and the call of organizations and even the government for reforestation seedlings, it’s a hard, dry moment.
I learned during my recent trip to Guartingueta and Cunha, that despite the call for these seedlings, no one seems willing or able to buy them – at least not at a price that is realistic for the economy of the area. So they grew from seedlings to saplings that aspire to become rainforests.
The government is slow and chaotic to work with. Maybe that will change someday, but no one is holding their breath.
A huge NGO we all know, and love(d), has a huge campaign for reforestation in the Atlantic Rainforest, with a stated need for billions of seedlings, but is not willing to pay for them. They have a nursery that’s subsidized by a chemical company to supply them. So paying a fair trade price to rural entrepreneurs who put their own ass-ets on the line turned out to be my dream, not theirs. In fact, they told us if I would raise the funds, manage the project and then give them the paperwork, they might include us as one of their projects under their banner that is so attractive, and bring a few cents to the people who planted the trees to maintain them. No. Thank you though.
So here we go, raising funds another way. Why not buy a tree or ten? Offset your carbon footprint? Make a crowd-funding donation? We do have options, and we are motivated. Please check it out and spread the word. www.rainforestecobank.com