As an organization operating in the international context, we at Winclove Probiotics travel many miles and cross many borders. We are doing everything we can to minimize our ecological footprint, but sometimes we cannot avoid a face-to-face meeting with our business partners abroad. We are currently being compelled to visit them much less often, and we intend to maintain a lower frequency of foreign travel going forward. Personal contact with our business partners remains crucial, and digital encounters are not always a suitable alternative. One of our core values is to do everything we can to ensure a healthy planet, which is why we see it as our responsibility to offset the CO2 emissions for our business flights. To make this a reality, we have entered into a wonderful partnership with Justdiggit.
Justdiggit, for cooling down the earth
Justdiggit is a non-profit organization whose objective is to ensure that the earth remains inhabitable. Under the motto ‘If we can warm up the earth, we can also cool it down’, they are building an international movement to inspire and activate people around the world to restore the earth. Degraded landscapes are restored by combining traditional regreening techniques, new technology, and a strong communicative approach. The projects that Justdiggit initiates in various African countries have beneficial effects on water conservation, nutrition, biodiversity, migration, and the climate.
Winclove Probiotics investing in ‘Re-growing trees’
Winclove Probiotics is investing specifically in the ‘Re-growing trees’ project in Tanzania’s Dodoma region. Working together with Justdiggit, we have calculated our total CO2 emissions from international flights over the past three years. To offset more than just our own emissions, we have entered into a contractual commitment to replace 84,000 trees in an area of more than 5,000 acres. Nearly half the size of our home base in the north of Amsterdam.
Maarten Pekelharing, CEO of Winclove Probiotics, comments: "Winclove Probiotics is an organization with a strong international orientation. The collaboration with Justdiggit primarily stems from our desire to offset the emissions from the international flights we must take. As far as I am concerned, however, we will intensify the partnership going forward. We not only wish to offset, but also to proactively contribute to a better world by working with Justdiggit.”
Reforestation of Tanzania’s Dodoma region
Ninety percent of the population in the Dodoma region depends on the land for their livelihood. While local communities have shown tremendous resilience in difficult environmental conditions and a harsh climate, the complexities of deforestation, land degradation, and climate change have compounded problems at a worrying pace. It has become more difficult for local ecosystems to sustain biodiversity and for the population to conserve natural sources of water and fertile soils.
Using the Kisiki Hai method
A total of no less than 8 million mature trees or ‘living stumps’ are being replanted as part of the Re-growing trees project through the ‘Kisiki Hai’ Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) method. Kisiki Hai, which means ‘living stump’ in Swahili, uses stumps that already have strong roots deep in the ground. Reforestation with this method is much faster than when planting a new forest, because the roots of mature trees can reach deeper groundwater, often need less water to survive and grow, and are more resistant to external influences. This method is also cheap and sustainable, and it contributes to increased soil fertility and the supply of firewood.
Support base of African farmers
The success of the Re-growing trees project depends on the support of local farmers. Just like Winclove Probiotics, they are keenly interested in maintaining a healthy planet. The project’s reach is evidence of the population of Dodoma’s heartfelt motivation to work together. Working with the LEAD Foundation, Justdiggit organized a five-week Kisiki Hai training program for 1,324 Champion Farmers. These farmers each then train at least 180 other farmers on their own land. They have already shared their knowledge with more than 200,000 African farmers. A special text message service provides the farmers with tips, tricks, weather forecasts, and motivational words.
The part of the Re-growing trees project financed by Winclove Probiotics is currently in the implementation phase. Activities are taking place in the Mpwapwa district, home of the LEAD Foundation and the area where the MetaMeta organization is mapping the effects of regreening projects. This means that Justdiggit can regularly provide us with impact reports consisting of figures, photos, video footage, and feedback from the local population. The original idea was to initiate the project in March 2020, but the training program was postponed due to the coronavirus crisis. The project was finally launched in June, and the training program is taking place with appropriate social distancing.