Why is deforestation a critical problem for the Environment?

Deforestation is the second source of greenhouse gases emissions, which are partly responsible for the glowal warming we observe these days. Consequences of climate change are impacting every day millions of small farmers who are producing all around the world the raw material we use in most of the products we consume on a daily basis. At the same time, agriculture is the first factor of deforestation, contributing to 80% of yearly deforestation. This is the reason why it is crucial to work hand in hand with cooperatives of producers to restore and preserve ecosystems we all depend upon so as to limit the negative effects of deforestation while adopting more sustainable production methods for the Environmnent and for communities.

A few trees benefits at the parcel level

Trees strengthen the capacity of an ecosystem to adapt to direct consequences of climate change, for example by protecting parcels from bad weather (wind, rain) or by offering shade for smaller plants in case of high temperatures. Trees roots also enable to decompress soils and facilitate soil breathing and water retention (thus reducing drought risks). Other advantages for soils: trees reduce the risk of erosion and enrich soils while improving water quality by filtration. Finally, varied tree species preserve or restore biodiversity, which leads to a better resilience of crops against diseases and parasites.

What is an ecosystem restauration project managed by PUR Projet?

PUR Projet manages today more than forty ecosystems restoration and preservation projects on almost every continents. These projects are designed and implemented in partnership with cooperatives of farmers owning really small agricultural parcels (in most cases) and sometimes in direct partnership with producers or through local NGOs. Such projects are run over the long term: to be sure of the permanence of the activities and their positive impacts on the environment, numerous steps of implementation, monitoring and valorization of the project must be done throughout several years. A project includes several stages: first it starts with conceiving the project with local communities, then comes the tree planting in agroforestry models (in most cases) within and around parcels to restore degraded lands, then we monitor plantations over the long term and corrective actions if needed, and finally we assure the valorization of the project and strengthening of local communities through collective trainings for example. By financing a tree, you contribute to all these project steps!

Who owns the land on which projects are run?

None of the lands of planted trees in the projects are owned by PUR Projet, everything is the property of the farmers. Seedlings are distributed at the beginning of the project by PUR Projet and the partner cooperative.

What is the role of PUR Projet in the projects we develop?

As a project operator, PUR Projet manages the projects over the long term from the designing phase to the implementation and then the monitoring, being at the same time a project coordinator, a technical assistance provider and a key expert in agroforestry and community-led projects for our local partners (cooperatives, NGOs, etc.). Whether we start a new project or join an exisiting initiative, we always start by auditing the projects in the field to assess the relevance of the project according to different criteria (sustainability, social and environmental impacts, project costs, local partners, etc.). Then, we design the project with our local partners and technicians hired by PUR Projet or by the local partner are coordinating the actions in the field. We set up seedling nurseries and train the participating farmers to tree planting and maintenance. We are coordinating seedlings distribution and then collecting the very precise GPS data of the area to be restored and the tree species planted. All this information is stored in our information system, which enable us to follow precisely the project evolution over the time: we regularly visit and monitor the projects to check the plantations and make sure of their permanence. New training sessions or technical assistance for the farmers or the cooperatives are organised over time, in order for the project to be sustainable. When it comes to certification, PUR Projet also makes the connection with the auditors who visit the project. Finally, we send regular progress reports to our partners.

Who is financing the projects run by PUR Projet?

Besides the fact that private individuals are financing trees through this shop, PUR Projet is mainly working with companies of different sizes and sectors who wish to better understand, reduce and offset their environmental footprint, as well as contribute positively to the conservation and the restauration of natural ecosystems. The projects where you are financing trees are co-financed by some of our partners. If you are - or are part of - a company and want to know more about our approach, please contact us!

Why should I offer a tree to a friend or finance a tree for myself?

Depending on times, cultures or rituals, trees are full of symbols. To plant a tree in your name is then something special! But it is also an ecological and sustainable action to take: there are several trees benefits for the environment and our planet. Specialists counted more than hundred of these benefits. Planting a tree for you or for a friend or a member of your family is something that makes sense, which raises awareness about environmental problems, contributes to reducing environmental footprint while restoring ecosystems, and which is a milestone for important stages of life (for a birth, a birthday, a wedding, etc.) lasting for long: your tree will keep on growing over the years!

How can I offer a tree to a friend or a member of my family?

Once you are on the map will all projects, choose for who you want to plant by writing the name in the right frame and then select the desired projects and the number of trees on the map. You can then personnalize a gift card that will be sent with the tree planting certificate or have the possibility to print it and offer it in person.

Who owns the tree I financed?

The trees you finance belong to the farmer who plant them. Within our partnerships, we supply seedlings to the farmers who will then plant it on their lands. They enjoy the economic benefits of the trees (wood, fruits etc.) and the environmental impacts (soil fertility, water retention, reduction of erosion, etc.).

What makes the price for a planted tree and what is the cost structure?

Our projects are monitored in the long term (up to 30 years) to assure the permanence of social and environmental benefits generated by trees. This long term follow-up involves many activities: seedling preparation, farmers awareness, tree planting, technical assistance, training for the farmers and cooperatives, GPD tracking of each parcel, monitoring over several years, local empowerment of the projects, audits and certifications, PUR Projet running costs, etc. All these activities are included in the displayed price of the trees.

By financing a tree, which kind of information about the project can I have?

On top of all the information displayed on the tree planting certificate, you can access to your personnal space named "My Forest" and discover photos and videos of the project (if available), GPS localization of your parcel, and more information about the context and long term objectives of the project. We also regularly publish some news about the projects on www.purprojet.info.

What is "My Forest" personal account and how can I access to it?

"My Forest" is a personal account where you can find the trees you financed for you or for a loved one. There you can download the tree planting certificates, the gift cards, find pieces of information about agroforestry and projects you're engaged in, and also your invoices. Share your Forest on social networks and motivate your friends to plant their own Forest!

When and how will I receive my planting certificates if I finance a tree?

After finalizing your purchase, our information system assign to you a tree in our database and send you automatically the associated tree planting certificate by email. You can also find it on your personal account "My Forest", where you can dowload it whenever you want. If your tree has not been planted yet, do not worry! It will be planted some months later according to the seasonal calendar. Until then, you have access to information about the project and will receive automatically an updated certificate on your personal account as soon as we know the species, the localization and the name of the farmer who planted your tree.

How can I engage further for ecosystem regeneration?

Our consumption choices have a direct impact on the natural ecosystems worldwide because most of the raw materials used for the goods we consume everyday proceed from these ecosystems. Thus, besides planting trees, you can also be part of a safe and sustainable environment by adopting a responsible consumption and by sorting your waste for example. If you are a company or an employee in a company, and if you would like that your firm gets more involved in the initiatives we are working on, do not hesitate to contact us!

What's the mission of PUR Projet?

PUR Projet is a social enterprise that regenerates ecosystems alongside smallholder farmers throughout the entire world and helps businesses improve the farming supply chains on which we all depend in our everyday lives by making them more responsible. To do so, we initiate and manage long term projects with strong socio-environmental impacts through through agroforestry, land restoration and sustainable agricultural practices. Today, we operate more than 40 projects all around the world and we have planted more than 8 million trees!

Does financing trees give right to tax deduction?

Our business legal status does not give right to any tax deduction.

What is the program Plant for the Planet by AccorHotels?

Plant for the Planet is a key program supported by AccorHotels group. Since 2009, it bets for the interaction between employees, customers and local communities to create a positive economy for both the People and the Planet. In concrete terms, when a host spends more than a night in a hotel owned by the group, the customer is invited to reuse his or her towel, which leads to laundry savings. 50% of these savings are invested in planting trees in the countries where the hotels of the group are located. The objective of this is to develop agroforestry projects, which means planting trees within and around cultivated parcels or pasture.

How can agroforestry give an answer to these problems?

Agroforestry consists in planting trees within and around agricultural parcels so as to regenerate ecosystems and to have a direct positive impact on water resources, soil quality, biodiversity, and with a view to helping small producers to adapt better to climate change (drying seasons, storms...) and to diversifying their revenues, for example. Benefits for the ecosystems given by trees are several, we counted at least hundred of them. Agroforestry principles are to dynamize relationships of interdependence between trees and plants, with animals (sylvo-pastoralism) to come to a natural balance and to raise productivity, resilience, and sustainability of agricultural lands.

A few trees benefits at the ecosystem level

During their growth, trees capture CO2 from the atmosphere, thus contributing directly to reduction of greenhouse gases. Trees also emit CO2 during their breathing cycles, but the global balance is largely in favor of carbon sequestration.

How do we engage farmers in such projects and what are the benefits for them?

In the areas where we work, farmers are invited to join the project on a voluntary basis, they take part by planting trees within and around their own parcels and commit to take care of trees, as an exchange they get incentives and technical assistance (trainings). Participants benefit from the project in many ways: first they diversify their revenues in the short term (through selling fruits for example) and in the mid term (through selling wood cut in a sustainable way to preserve forestry resources), then because agroforestry improves the productivity of their agricultural lands. Beyond these direct benefits, preserved ecosystems induce the strengthening of local communities and their resilience in the long term: trees are a capital for the future!

How do we select the tree species to be planted on a project?

Several factors are taken into account with the local communities to define the tree species to be planted on a specific project: first of all we consider the local climate conditions and the exposure of the parcel, then we choose mostly native species in association with the current crops on the land, historical data and future crops planned to be grown, we check soil properties (PH, ground thickness) and finally we take into account the growth speedth (with diverse growth models to spread over time the revenues linked to trees products and wood).

How can I trust that the tree I financed will grow and not be cut by anybody?

We regularly check the permanence and sustainablity of our projects by being constantly in contact with participating farmers to be sure that plantations do have long lasting positive impacts. To monitor this, we regularly go to te field (especially in the first years after planting) to control that no disease or mistreatment led to a unusual mortality rate of trees, and if it is the case we bring technical assistance to farmers and replant if necessary. Nevertheless, it is important to note that our action is about restoring degraded area at an ecosystem level, and not only about tree planting. This means that by regenerating itself, the trees diversity of an ecosystem will evolve naturally: some of the trees will die, others will multiply before the whole ecosystem reaches a balance, and this is normal. Therefore, we always plant more trees on a parcel than what will be the final number of trees at maturity (after several years). We also teach farmers about maintaining sustainably the plantations. It sometimes involves to cut or prune some trees after a period of 5 to 10 years, in such case respecting a sustanaible management of forestry resources so as to not jeopardize the restored ecosystem (here the restored parcel), and this enables the farmer to improve and diversify his/her revenues.

Why only 5 projects are available on the website?

The projects available on this shop are representative of the 40 projects managed all around the world by PUR Projet. We have selected these 5 projects for their diverse locations but also because of their current need and capacity for planting. The projects available on this shop may thus change, depending on the needs on the field and their capacity to absorb new plantations thanks to your commitment.

How can I finance a tree?

Via the map with all projects or project description pages, choose one or several countries and select the number of trees you want to finance in each country.  You can buy it for yourself or offer it to a loved one. You can also create several batches of trees (one or more trees in one or more countries), and attricute each batch to one person of your choice.

What use is done of my personal data?

We are asking for an email address in order to send you your tree planting certificates and as a login to access your personnal space named "My Forest". We are asking also your name and postal address for the generation of your order invoice (which is sent by email after your payment confirmation). We won't use your personal data for any other use.

If I plant a tree in a project I selected, is it really planted?

Yes, each tree that you finance on the shop has been planted or will be planted in a 18-month period before or after your purchase. Such a timing is the result of the field constraints and the planting seasons (only about 2 to 3 months per year). On a yearly basis, we define for each project the number of trees we will pre-finance (and plant). All the trees planted are registered in our information system in charge of attributing automatically the trees to you just after you financed them. If all the planted trees during the previous period are already financed, then you will either finance trees for the next period, or the project will not be available anymore on the shop.

What is the planting certificate and what kind of information does it contain?

The tree planting certificate is a unique document delivered by PUR Projet to any person who finances or receives a tree as a gift. It reports the allocation of the trees from the plantation registry to a natural or legal person. The certificate indicates the name of the project, its localization, the tree species, the name of the farmer who has planted it and the number of trees if several trees were financed at the same time on a same project. If the tree is not planted yet, the certificate you receive is a generic one that will be automatically updated after the tree planting.

Can I see pictures of my tree to be sure it is growing?

It is impossible to take pictures of each planted tree and this for many reasons. The best level of monitoring for our projects is at the parcel level, which means that we identify each parcel where trees are planted (GPS tracks), the landowner and the number and species of trees that will be planted on the parcel. Thus we can show you precisely where your tree is planted and the essence. Going beyond this level of precision would be neither recommended nor manageable: storing more than 8 million pictures of trees would be technically difficult and extremely time-consuming for our technicians without any positive impact for the project. We rather prefer to use the time or our technicians to follow-up and control the plantations to make sure the project is successful. Moreover, our action is about restoring degraded area at an ecosystem level, and not only about tree planting. This means that by regenerating itself, the trees diversity of an ecosystem will evolve naturally: some of the trees will die, others will multiply before the whole ecosystem reaches a balance, it would be thus impossible to identify specifically a tree planted at the beginning of the project.

How can I use a tree gift code if I made or received a gift?

Congratulations! You have a gift code to use on our website. It is really simple: if you received this code, you just need to enter your code in order to associate the trees linked to this code to your personal account ("My Forest"). You will then be able to download the tree planting certificates and learn more about the project directly on your personnal account "My Forest". To do this, click on "My Gift Code" and enter your code. If you already have a personal space "My Forest", these new trees will be automatically added, otherwise you will be asked to create your own account (it just takes a few seconds). If you want to offer this code, you just need to send it to the person who will follow these instructions!

Can I offset my carbon footprint by financing trees on the website?

Yes and no. Carbon offsetting implies several regulatory conditions: it is possible to talk about neutral carbon balance provided that a precise calculation of your greenhouse gases emissions was done with the carbon balance calculation methodology, and provided you bought a sufficient amount of carbon credits (equivalent to the tons of greenhouse gases emissions (CO2 equivalent) you emitted). Carbon credits are generated by carbon offsetting projects, like for example agroforestry projects, provided that the project is certified according to an accepted international standard, like the Verified Carbon Standard or the Gold Standard, and regularly audited by an independent third party. PUR Projet is operating 3 certified projects but such carbon credits are not available on this shop yet. However, while it is growing, a tree does store CO2 (carbon certified or not). Thus, by planting trees you do offset a part of your carbon footprint but cannot talk about neutral carbon balance without a precise calculation. To give you a rough estimate, a person in France emits 7,5 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year. 25 to 40 trees per year (depending on projects) would necessery to offset it. For more info: http://www.info-compensation-carbone.com/

PUR Projet: entreprise or NGO?

PUR Projet is a social business. We define a social enterprise as a firm whose mission is to develop or implement social and environmental initiatives that contribute directly to preserving and regenerating the environment and which does not aim for profit maximization but for common good with a strong ambition in terms of quality, sustainability and scale of its positive environmental impact.  As a social business, we reinvest all our profits in the development of our projects or innovative initiatives associated to our projects.

Who are PUR Projet's partners and why do they take part in our projects?

In addition to the individuals financing trees through the shop, PUR Projet mostly works with companies of different sizes and from different industries which want to better understand, reduce and offset their environmental footprint while contributing actively to natural ecosystems preservation and restauration. We help our partners to progressively reintegrate their negative externalities within their own value chain, so as to adopt a transformative approach for more sustainable and responsible companies, for example by implementing projects directly within our partners' supply chains with their suppliers. Some of the projects you finance through the shop are also supported by our clients. If you are a company and are interested in our approach, feel fee to contact us!

Why AccorHotels is now willing to engage its customers in these projects?

To give the opportunity to anybody to engage at his or her own scale, and because we can make a greater impact all together, AccorHotels invites everybody to take action in favor of projects with multiple benefits: agriforestry.