WeForest is an international non-profit association, creating an unstoppable movement around biodiverse tree planting. Our team of professionals is spread over 3 continents and 12 countries, all our volunteers work for WeForest on top of their 'day-job' and are driven by the same passion and sharing the same commitment for a better world.
WeForest is an apolitical, non-confessional organization.
Our accounts are audited by Deloitte.
Today’s biggest challenges are global warming and poverty: WeForest has a very simple solution for both. We restore our natural resources while providing social justice: planting bio-diverse forests in the poorest countries cools our climate and provides jobs for women and enables them to feed and educate their children.
A cool, bio-diverse and reforested earth for everyone.
Creating and promoting a pioneer movement in large scale sustainable reforestation.
Bill Liao, the founder of WeForest is also "Special Envoy for Sustainable Development and the Environment of St. Kitts & Nevis" and was asked by Prime Minister Denzil Douglas to attend Copenhagen COP15 as an official party. The creation of WeForest in 2008 came out of a thorough search for scientific evidence and provided a feasible, realistic and actually quite simple solution to the urgent issue of global warming, which was first presented at that event.
Please read our Corporate brochure 2013
Our strategic approach
Because poverty in developing countries is inextricably intertwined with environmental degradation, we recognise that these challenges must be addressed using integrated solutions that tackle both reforestation and poverty reduction. In doing so our approach emphasises the need for sustainability, entrepreneurship and social empowerment.
There is opportunity for maximising gains when forests conservation and human livelihoods are addressed together through reforestation. Our aim is to support the local communities in sustainable practices that safeguard the long-term use of their natural landscape, diversifying their incomes and improving their livelihoods.
Our strategy is to tackle the complexity of each project using a systemic landscape approach that acknowledges that forests are part of a matrix of other land uses. We recognise that reforestation is a collaborative effort and that to be successful, projects must result in improved human livelihoods.
All of our projects are endowed with distinct historical and environmental settings that call for unique solutions. WeForest therefore works with a range of reforestation models; from conservation farming, agroforestry, and permaculture to biodiversity restoration and natural regeneration.
Recognising the power of partnership and exchange at various levels and across research institutions, interdisciplinary fields and other key players is crucial to effect positive change. We are therefore members of a number of global networks - including initiatives that confront key environmental, social and ethical challenges . Bringing in multiple stakeholders at the project level encourages and promotes local resilience. For example, local nurseries once established are available to multiple buyers and a wider market.
How do we ensure that trees are planted for long-term benefits?
Planting trees alone will not be enough. It is important to build a context that maximises the tree’s growth, function and long-term benefits.
In all our projects we work with local planting partners who have extensive knowledge of the planting region as well as prior reforestation experience. They work with key stakeholders such as the local authorities, government agencies, farmer’s unions, and research units.
Since people lacking resources cannot wait what might often be years for newly-planted trees to mature and be able to offer returns, it is important to stage multiple forest services at different timescales. We do this by supporting social-economic entrepreneurship, such as creating tree nurseries run by local groups, and by planting forests that provide immediate raw materials (including herb fibres that can be used to weave baskets, medicinal herbs etc.) or food (e.g. by allowing food crops to be planted between trees). In some projects this is also accompanied by direct employment. Offering salaries can make an initial difference but only as part of a wider strategy that looks to empower local communities in sustaining their own income stream.
To be successful in the long-term, planting activities must increase the resilience of communities by offering multiple-sources of income and benefits, and they must do this from an inclusive approach. Resulting benefits should directly or indirectly apply to a wide range of stakeholders.
Awareness raising is key to long-term success and must be part of a holistic strategy. By addressing the benefits of reforestation and the impact of harmful practices, it is possible to change people’s attitudes towards their forest. By enabling alternative practices, it is possible to change behaviour. We do this by engaging schools in tree ‘growing’ activities, directly through the training of farmers, and by supporting the formation of self-help groups that can address alternative practices.
In sum, we aim to ensure a strong combination of factors at the level of project design, strategy and monitoring that can maximise our chances of success. Auditing and transparency of actions are necessary partners in ensuring accountability and reliability for what we promise to deliver.
In all our projects, we join forces with local planting partners who have extensive knowledge of the planting region, and both full understanding and capacity to tackle reforestation activities with preference for local and indigenous species, and in line with the methodologies of sustainability.
We support a range of reforestation and restoration models. The project selection and engagement criteria are based on a number of factors that ensure a strong combination of project design, strategy and monitoring.
Our selection and engagement criteria:
- Biodiversity conservation is central to our reforestation activities; either directly by addressing species recovery or indirectly, by providing and encouraging growth of alternative sources of fuel wood and timber to remove pressure on native forests.
- While emphasising the need to plant indigenous species, we recognise that agroforestry settings may benefit from incorporating certain exotic species to help strengthen local economy and food security.
- Projects need to build socio-economic capacity while empowering local communities in landscape stewardship.
- Tree planting activities should be linked to diversification of the income base and strengthening of income security.
- We encourage participatory processes and wide stakeholder engagement.
- Land tenure must be ensured and secured for a minimum of 20 years, and be situated where local authorities are committed to supporting sustainable development.
- We stress gender equality and enabling women in leveraging communities to achieve their full potential.
Our strategic approach dictates that we only support a small number of projects. To become WeForest’s local partner, the following application form needs to be submitted for consideration.
Before applying, please ensure that you have fully and clearly addressed all sections.