INTERVIEW. Trees For The Future. Out on a limb

News | May 19, 2021

In 2021, CREVENTIC continues its brand partnership with Trees for the Future as the pair look to further promote the importance of environmentalism and sustainable practices in the racing industry. 

Ahead of the 2020 24H SERIES power by Hankook, CREVENTIC announced a brand-new partnership with the ‘Trees for the Future’ initiative, promising to plant one tree for every lap completed by a 24H SERIES competitor throughout the course of the year. 

 

For TREES, the mission is simple: to end hunger and poverty by training farmers to regenerate their land. The team is already working with thousands of farming families across five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, with ambitions of similar implementation in Cameroon, Kenya, Senegal, Uganda, and Tanzania. 

 

Though worldwide circumstances led to a truncated six-round calendar, the partnership with CREVENTIC nevertheless resulted in 41,058 trees being planted in 2020. And having confirmed that its partnership with the Dutch promoter will continue into 2021, the team at TREES is confident, as brand partner partnership associate Alec Steffenberg explains, that 2020 was just the start of greater things to come. 

First things first Alec, could you give us an idea of the role Trees for the Future has played, as an organization, across the globe since its official inauguration as a charity in August 1989…

“Trees for the Future (TREES) has been planting trees and changing lives for more than 30 years. In the last three decades, TREES has become a leader in sustainable tree planting and agroforestry. We’ve trained farmers around the globe, creating a better understanding and appreciation of the power of regenerative agriculture and the important role trees play in our food system and our environment.

 

“To-date, we’ve planted over 192 million trees and helped more than 150,000 people.”

A significant part of TREES is the ‘Forest Garden Approach’. What exactly is involved in this four-year training program?

“At Trees for the Future we aren’t just planting trees: we’re teaching farmers how to use trees to improve their land and livelihoods. We do that through the ‘Forest Garden Approach’. 

 

“A Forest Garden is a farm that uses trees, permaculture, and sustainable farming practices to benefit the land and the farmer. The typical one-and-a-half-acre Forest Garden is made up of thousands of trees and produces dozens of food and resource crops throughout the year. A living fence of trees and shrubs surrounds the Forest Garden to protect the soil and crops from wind and grazing animals. Throughout the Forest Garden, fruits, vegetables, grains, and herbs grow in harmony with the trees.

 

“Local staff train farmers in the Forest Garden Approach over a four-year period. Farmers first learn how to protect their land by establishing a living fence. They then learn to diversify what they grow so that they have something to eat and sell all year round. Then they learn how to optimize their space, getting the most out of their land without harming the soil, biodiversity, or the environment. At the end of the four years, we celebrate the farmers’ success with a graduation ceremony.”

CREVENTIC is making a concerted effort to compensate for its environmental footprint. How much of an impact do you think it would make if other international motor racing series adopted this approach as well?

“Trees for the Future relies on the support of our dedicated business partners. By committing to planting trees with us, partners like CREVENTIC are having a lasting impact on people and the planet. The more people and businesses that join us in our mission, the bigger impact we’ll be able to make.”

2020 has not been the easiest of years, to say the least! Were there certain expectations going into this partnership with CREVENTIC, and if so, how have they been adjusted during the course of the year?

“We can’t begin to express how grateful we are for the continued support of CREVENTIC throughout this very challenging year. We knew that the pandemic would have implications for many of our corporate and individual donors, but our community has shown their support in every way possible. It’s in times like these that we’re reminded of the long-term benefits of our work. Our supporters are helping us increase community resilience in the developing world, so that when health and economic crises strike, farming families can weather the storm.”

Even despite the shortened Hankook 24H DUBAI and changes to the 2020 calendar, together, the CREVENTIC/TREES partnership still led to over 41,000 trees being planted. All things considered, does TREES consider that a success?

“Absolutely! 41,000 trees are an invaluable asset to the farmers who plant them as well as to the world at large. 41,000 trees provide food, resources, and resilience for Forest Garden farmers. They also sequester carbon, offer homes to crucial biodiversity, and help put water back in the ground to moderate delicate ecosystems.

 

“So thank you, CREVENTIC for helping us plant so many trees this year. Your support is changing lives and protecting our planet.”

TREES and CREVENTIC have confirmed a second year together for 2021. What do you feel this partnership could produce?

“We’re proud to partner with CREVENTIC and we’re very much looking forward to 2021 and all the good we aim to accomplish together. CREVENTIC’s commitment to TREES will help people and the planet for years to come. Additionally, CREVENTIC’s ongoing support will help spread the word and teach more people in the racing industry about the importance of trees and sustainable practices.”

-       IMAGES – TREES.org

The Forest Garden Approach

Identification

(Before Launch)

 

TREES identifies ~200 farming families in need, select training technicians, and prepare materials for launch.

 

 

Protection

(Years 1-2)

 

Farmers plant ~2,500 fast-growing trees and bushes that create a protective and soil-stabilizing barrier.

 

 

Diversification

(Years 2-3)

 

Farmers learn to diversify their field with a vegetable and fruit tree portfolio to meet the family’s priority nutritional and selling needs.

 

Optimization

(Years 3-4)

 

Farmers learn about advanced Forest Garden management and conservation to optimize the long-term health and productivity of the land.

 

 

Graduation

(End of Year 4)

 

TREES implements a sustainability strategy for the future with each farmer. A graduation ceremony is held to celebrate the farmers’ program completion.

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