Livelihoods & Poverty
Livelihoods & Poverty
WHEN WE STAND FOR TREES, WE STAND FOR EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES
Your purchase enables communities around the globe to create a more sustainable future by protecting their forests for generations to come.
Jobs. Clean water. Economic development. Sustainable livelihoods. Fuel and shelter.
Forests in the developing world are critical to the lives of the communities that call them home. For many, losing forests means losing a vital resource for their daily lives. For others, who may be forced to clear their forests for economic reasons, losing forests impacts the overall health, sustainability, and safety of their home areas, even if they are able to improve their incomes in the short term.
Stand For Trees projects give communities a sustainable alternative to clearing their forests. And they also support community development, poverty reduction, and sustainable livelihoods in many, many ways. Here are just a few.
Sustainable economic development and alternative livelihoods
All our projects support community development, poverty reduction, and sustainable livelihoods. Many employ people directly in a variety of roles, like making eco-friendly clothing; patrolling and monitoring the forest; or working in wildlife centres or as wildlife rangers. Most projects also provide a portion of income from carbon (REDD+ payments – in other words, the certificates you buy from us) directly to residents or to landholders.
Others use part of that income to increase funding for local NGOs to create or scale up a range of social development programs, to partner with government agencies, or to expand their operations. This could include providing technical assistance to farmers to help them improve crop yields (meaning they can harvest the same amount from less land, avoiding having to convert forest to farmland). And there is institutional support, like helping locals to set up eco-tourism businesses or to organize themselves into a cooperative, so that they can get better prices for their products. This way, projects support many more jobs than they might directly employ.
All of this helps improve forest communities’ situations. It reduces income uncertainty, and it creates sustainable alternatives to deforestation.
Education and health care
Education and health care services in rural communities are often lacking. Many projects have built or improved schools, hired teachers, and/or expanded access to education. This can happen in multiple ways. Residents can spend incomes from project activities (through jobs, carbon payments, or supported businesses) on building classrooms, school desks, books, or hiring teachers. Or the project may do any or all of these itself, plus award scholarships and bursaries.
Similarly, projects improve access to clean water, whether by providing direct support to households or by improving infrastructure around the community. Of course, this also helps to improve education outcomes, because locals can avoid spending hours every day fetching water.
As for health care, projects have built clinics, hired nurses and medical staff, and brought health care to areas which were previously underserved – or not served at all. Projects also improve health outcomes indirectly, such as providing funds for language support to indigenous communities, who otherwise would be unable to communicate with medical staff.
Cultural value and poverty reduction
Stand For Trees projects protect forests that are critical to the lives of nearby communities. Many have great spiritual and cultural significance to resident indigenous communities; keeping them standing helps to preserve these communities’ livelihoods, culture, and traditions.
The rural poor also rely much more heavily on forests than the urban poor for daily needs. Plants, trees, and forest ecosystems provide food, medicines, fuelwood, building materials, and so forth – resources that rural residents may not be able to get from anywhere else. Being able to rely on these resources also makes these communities more resilient to natural disasters, food shortages, and other challenges. In some cases, the forests even help to protect against disasters like landslides, floods, or water shortages. So, when communities lose forests, they become extra vulnerable to poverty, instability, and food, energy, and water insecurity.
And that’s why saving forests is so important for poverty alleviation and livelihoods.