Planting Trees with Eden Reforestation for Black Friday

by Peter Chiykowski

While we were sad to announce in our latest blog that we can't offer holiday shipping outside of Australia, New Zealand, and Asia, we're happy to announce that instead of a sale, we've cooked up something special for Black Friday.

Starting now until the end of Giving Tuesday (29 November at midnight PST), we are planting trees at critical habitats in Madagascar for every deck, expansion, and booster sold.

Especially with Deck of Worlds starting to ship to Kickstarter backers, I've been thinking about how we can build better worlds through our storytelling while rebuilding the world we live in.

Deck of Worlds surrounded by expansions and boosters.

Why We Chose Eden Reforestation Projects

As someone who worked in the non-profit world for 4 years, I care a lot about the integrity, efficiency, and transparency of my charitable partners.

In particular, some tree-planting charities will focus on bulk-planting without long-term plans for biodiversity, fire prevention and forest maintenance. Trees planted without adequate planning can actually contribute to deforestation.
That's why we've chosen Eden Reforestation Projects as our nonprofit of choice to plant through.

Photo of a Story Engine story prompt spread reading A CURATOR / WANTS TO PROTECT / A FOREST

We went into our partner search using with some specific criteria in mind:

  1. Partner must specify tree-planting location. Eden works in 10 countries, but I was particularly impressed by their work in Madagascar.
  2. Partner must specify primary tree-planting objective and provide justification. Eden is focusing on restoring mangroves, an essential and endangered part of Madagascar's coastal ecosystems and economies.
  3. Partner must specify planting technique and provide justification. Eden uses assisted-natural regeneration and seedling planting.
  4. Partner must release public reports. Eden offers extensive reporting on their projects via annual reports and other project-specific reporting. See this 2019 report detailing their work in Madgascar.
  5. Partner must provide evidence of fire prevention practices and other known ecological threats. Eden practices fire and forest management through watch towers and training local staff in fire prevention and firefighting. More details in their annual reports linked above.
  6. Partner must specify tree species planted and provide justification. See the 2019 report for more details!
  7. Partner must provide follow-up plan for maintaining seedlings. Eden focuses on long-term forest maintenance.
  8. Partner must identify deforestation drivers. Nonprofits that don't address or anticipate the causes of deforestation are unlikely to make a long-term impact. See the 2019 report for details!
  9. Partner must consider impact on local economy. Eden provides local training and job adapted to the needs and resources of local communities, and works to ensure their forests support local economic acitivites.
  10. Partner must use local seedling nurseries. Transporting non-native seedlings long distances can lead to seedling failure and additional carbon emissions.
  11. Partner provide scientific research associated with project. Data-driven methodology and reporting helps ensure the project is providing a measurable impact.
  12. Partner must work with local community or government. Eden uses a community-first model and partners with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Regional Directorate in Boeny, and the Regional Directorate for Agriculture-Livestock-Fisheries.

There are other valuable criteria that Eden Reforestation meets, but these were the most important to me. See also their 4/4 Charity Navigator rating.

For full transparency, we will be basing our donation from this initiative on Eden Reforestation's estimate of $US 0.15 as the cost to plant one tree in their Madagascar Projects. Note that these figures are usually an average estimate and may not take into account the larger program overheads involved in planting and maintaining trees.

Thanks to everyone who participates in this year's Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Giving Tuesday initiative, and please feel free to ask questions or share the news on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

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