We are living in complex times; rapid urbanisation along with resource scarcity are creating a unique set of global problems. We use our deep expertise to solve these problems with our clients, but we can also use it to support our charity partners.
We are proud to have been supporting TREE AID since 2005. In addition to being TREE AID’s leading corporate sponsor, RPS has been unique among its donors in also providing the charity with extensive pro bona technical expertise in disciplines such as remote sensing and GIS, biodiversity and erosion risk mapping, land surveying, hydrological modelling and with the civil engineering and construction supervision of several community-built weirs.
We chose to work with TREE AID because of their focus on solving the problems that matter and seeking to protect the planet and people.
They have a 5-year strategy to 2022 to:
- Grow over 8 million trees
- Help to lift 2.5 million people out of poverty by growing incomes, creating jobs and diversifying diets
- Restore over 250,000 hectares of degraded land
- Promote people’s rights to trees by working with local and national policy maker
The work they do has wide ranging impacts, these include:
- Helping villagers use trees for nutritious food all year round
- Helping villagers earn an income by using tree products to make money, by providing business skills training
- Valuing trees helps to improve the environment; trees improve soil quality, so there are better harvests, less soil loss through wind or flooding, increase biodiversity and protect ecosystems. The environment is fertile for generations to come.
- Defending people’s rights by working with communities to agree rules for a shared forest, so that the environment is protected and the forest become a group interest.
We have been involved and funded a number of projects, which you can read about here, our most recent project being the Meki river project based in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is one of the world’s poorest countries, with 88.2% of people living in poverty. We have committed to providing funding to a project here from 2017 – 2021. The project we are funding is in the Central Rift Valley, an area where poverty and natural resource degradation are firmly intertwined. Rapid deforestation is occurring, leading exposed soil being eroded, impacting the productivity of farming lands, and leading to soil running down the Meki River, causing Lake Ziway to sit up. This depletion of natural resources has serious consequences because almost all people in the area depend on them directly.
The project combines income generation and land regeneration to benefit more than 12,000 people. By improving the land, and giving people a sustainable living, communities will reap the benefits for many generations.
The land regeneration part of the project will focus on closing off areas of land from destructive practices to allow it time to recover. In addition, the project will include enrichment planting to encourage regrowth of a variety of species and the distribution of fuel-efficient stoves to reduce the need for firewood, reducing the pressure of deforestation.
The income generation part of the project will focus on providing business skills to help communities develop sustainable income from tree products, rather than a reliance on firewood.
In addition to providing funding we are working with TREE AID to understand where our people can use their deep expertise to provide pro bono support.