The Hamburg-based co-operative “Waldmenschen” has taken up the battle against the flooding of tropical rainforests and assarting methods that turn vast areas into monoculture plantations and pastureland. If no seeds are sown, such vegetation turns into deserts. The practice has affected more than half of all tropical rainforests over the past 50 years. Millions of people have lost their homes and animals are endangered and risk becoming extinct. The co-operative is now helping to replant forests and promotes them as sustainable investments. Social Impact gGmbH and former grant holders at Waldmenschen eG’s offices in Hamburg and Berlin help replant urgently needed forests in tropical countries, for instance, in Panama.
Protecting rainforests and economic value
Waldmenschen eG buys deserted pastures or monoculture plantations in Panama, which have been almost entirely deforested. The team turns the areas into woods creating habitats for plants, animals and human beings. Tropical wood is also produced and the sales benefit members of the co-operative. Arne Knöchel, 36, a Social Impact grant holder and co-founder of Waldmenschen, said: “We have put the first ever economic value on protecting the rainforest.” Yet the project is not limited to Panama and is set to expand to other countries in Latin America.
Profits fund other social projects
Commenting on the recent reforestation of 1,000 square metres of forest, Norbert Kunz, Managing Director of Social Impact, said: “We are proud of the direct impact in Latin America and our efforts to improve the global climate.” Social Impact will decide whether to put the profits towards other social projects or to donate the money to reforestation efforts and more new woods. This would be a small, but important towards cleansing and protecting Earth.