There are more and more websites wanting to help the forest, and that’s a good thing. How could we not rejoice in the fact that there is a growing interest, both from people and from companies, in the fate of forests. How could we not be glad that this priceless resource, this indispensable wellspring of life, is gaining support?
The awareness expressed in so many of these offers does however require us to take care. Because marketing should never weigh more heavily than the prime necessity of protecting the forest and helping the environment.
First of all, a tree doesn’t cost one euro, but more than that. A well-bred sprout, raised sustainably, selected to be resilient to climate change, costs about 1.5 Eur. And that is the rightful due of tree-growers who carry out their work with care ; it would be unfair to try and negotiate the price.
Secondly, the tree doesn’t plant itself. It requires the work of men and women who prepare the ground and plant it, following a forestry management plan that has been carefully thought out in advance. That whole human chain, working humbly day to day on the management and restoration of the forest, should also be compensated.
Lastly, planting is not enough! Planting a tree without caring for it afterwards makes no sense. If we were to push the example further, it would be like having kids but not providing for their food or education. In this logic, which we do not subscribe to, why shouldn’t everyone buy cheap seeds to sow them willy nilly. And then everyone could claim to have planted millions of square kilometers of forests. But the claim would have no value.
Forestry management is at the heart of western forests’ needs
The issue nowadays, in France and Northern Europe, is not so much increasing woodland areas, but rather properly taking care of existing forests. France, for instance, has never had as much foodland in the last thousand years. It’s a good thing... as long as these forests are well cared for. For instance in the South East of France, there are wide swathes of forest that have grown unattended over the last century and that go up in smoke with the smallest spark. The gigantic forest fires that ensue bear heavy costs, in terms of the means used to fight them, in terms of human lives, and in terms of biodiversity. And at the same time, other areas in the north of France don’t have enough forests. The goal is to find a balance, more precisely to manage existing forests and to take care of every tree that is planted.
If certain offers promise to plant a tree for just a few euros, it’s worth measuring the reality of what is really done. The company acts as an intermediary, first requesting your generosity and then paying a third party forest owner, while taking a cut. It is of course a welcome help for the forest owner, who is often at pains to fiance the proper management of the forest. But it’s also possible to cut out the middleman and finance the forest directly. And to evaluate something’s value it’s worth knowing its true price.
And why should you not be a stakeholder of the harvest of what nature has produced ? Why, once the trees are planted should you not share in the revenue ? Nature freely produces, and some profit from that, when the time comes. And it is only fair, if you did your part in financing the forest, that you should also have a share in the proceeds.
That is exactly what we’re offering, at EcoTree.
Nature is valuable
Because we believe nature is valuable, we refuse to sell it for cheap. We refuse to take part in the devaluation of forests. No, a tree is not worth 1 euro. The proper price of a tree is closer to 15 €.
Who’d claim to have bought a bottle of good wine for 1 euro? We know that wine costs more than that, because it requires work, and we’re ready to pay for that. If we want resilient, productive, beautiful and healthy forests, we need to pay the price. That’s our mission, at EcoTree.