As a human being, I personally think that it is imperative that we give back. Give back to our community, to a charity we believe in, to our planet, in other words, give back any which way we can. I, myself, have had the distinct privilege as a professional nature photographer to travel to some of the most beautiful places on Earth and witness the stunning beauty and fragility of our planet. It is for those reasons and for future generations to experience what I was fortunate enough to witness, that I have created the Give Back to Nature project.
Give Back to Nature‘s first goal will be to help plant One Million Trees in developing countries, thus rebuilding the natural landscapes destroyed by deforestation. By contributing to this project, you will help give back in many exciting ways:
• Help recreate healthy forest systems that will preserve wildlife habitat and endangered species
• Purify water sources
• Control flooding and erosion
• Help replenish the soil with nutrients needed for farming
• Improve air quality
• Stave off climate change
You will directly help the villages and communities which are suffering from extreme poverty by employing villagers to plant these trees. When farmers cannot grow anything, their farms fail and they have no option but to move to the overcrowded cities to look for work. Oftentimes they must resort to selling themselves or their families into slavery just to survive. Let’s make sure this does not happen. We all have the power to give back, empower people, restore hope, reduce poverty and allow them to support their families.
I am extremely happy and honored to have entered into a partnership with Eden Reforestation Projects, one of the top nonprofit organizations that plant millions of trees every year. Over the years, they have quickly become the perfect model for environmental restoration and land management. Eden reduces extreme poverty and restores healthy forests by employing local villagers to plant millions of trees every year. I am eager to join them this year and travel on-site to capture, document their plantations and meet the local communities working on restoring healthy forests where poverty is rampant.
The main goal will always be to reintroduce the native species of trees that belong in the area where the reforestation is taking place. Whether it’s Tibet, Indonesia, Madagascar, Haiti or Ethiopia, no invasive or destructive species that can spread and harm the environment will ever be planted.
Each of us share responsibility. More than half of packaged products on the supermarkets’ shelves we consume daily, all contribute to the deforestation around the world. Global Canopy Programme (GCP) has launched a first-of-its-kind platform that evaluates and ranks 500 organizations around the world who are responsible for the commodities that further deforestation. Together, these 500 organizations control most of the global supply chain of so-called ‘forest risk commodities’, including soya, palm oil, beef, leather, timber, pulp, and paper. More than $100 billion US dollars of these goods are traded every year; and are found in more than half of packaged products on supermarkets’ shelves today. (1)
Many of the products that we consume today include derivatives which promotes deforestation, contributes to climate change, and destroys natural animal habitats. Because these trees are grown in lush tropical regions, it is critical to replant the trees in these regions. By buying products that include these commodities, we greatly contribute to the problem. It’s common sense that if we are one of the main reasons this problem exists, that we also find ways to stop the growth of these industries. We can begin by limiting or stopping the consumptions of products that are derived from soya, palm oil, beef, leather, timber, pulp, and paper. We can make a huge impact by helping to reforest the impoverished countries we help deforest. This allows the environment to be sustainable, it provides a better job for people who would turn to palm plantation work, and it would allow the animals to thrive that would normally be injured, killed or displaces during deforestation.
There are various ways for you and/or your organization to become supporters of the Give Back to Nature project. First, you can head over to the Ways to Contribute page and purchase your favorite item(s). The amount of tree stated on that item will be planted.
Second, you can get implicated on a bigger level by getting your company, organization or event to commit on a larger scale by contributing in various ways. Contact us for more details.
See who’s already committed to the Give Back to Nature movement on our Supporters page.
You can show your support and help us spread awareness about this project by simply taking a picture of the item you have purchased and sending it over to us using the easy to use form on our Giving Community page.