Protecting Forests and Planting Millions of Trees

For every tree planted, we protect three indigenous trees in a forest

Concerned about deforestation?

We are too so we started our Forest Conservation and Tree Planting project in Malawi. You too can help communities in Malawi to protect existing forests and plant trees.

To keep you updated, we will send you stories on our forest conservation committees and tree farmers.

Nature Lover
£5 per month

Plants 20 trees and protects 60 trees in a forest every month

FOrest Friend
£10 per month

Plants 40 trees and protects 120 trees in a forest every month

Super Planter
to give more

Choose how many trees you would like to protect and plant

Give Once
25p a tree

Planting a tree protects three indigenous trees in a forest
SQ.KM OF FOREST PROTECTED
0
MILLION TREES PLANTED
0
MILLION TREES PLANTED
0

Inspiring communities to protect forests and wildlife

We work with over 1,830 Forest Conservation Committee members patrolling
340 sq.kms of forest. They educate community members on the problems of deforestation and ensure the conservation bylaws are understood. Anyone caught illegally chopping down trees or starting fires is fined. Once an area is protected, natural regeneration occurs, thus preserving the forest for future generations.

Giving forests the chance to regenerate naturally

By communities having a sustainable source of timber through our tree planting project means that they are able to now conserve existing forests with indigenous trees and allow natural regeneration to take place.

Did you know? When trees are chopped down for the timber to be used in construction or furniture, the carbon can remain stored in the wood for centuries.

Planting trees to protect existing forests

We work with farmers and communities who are planting millions of trees each year, and these provide a sustainable source of timber and firewood for local people.

Our tree planting project is one of the largest and most successful in the north of Malawi providing a long-term solution to deforestation caused by the destruction of indigenous forests.

A young boy holds a papaya fruit in front of a papaya fruit tree in Malawi

Families and communities benefit from fruit trees

Our tree farmers also plant fruit trees to provide food and income for their families. They grow mango, papaya, guava, avocado and citrus fruit trees.

We also have a specialist fruit tree nursery to raise additional fruit trees which are distributed to schools to plant and teach students the importance of tree planting and the environment.

See how it works and take action to help protect forests and plant trees.

join our TREE TEAM

Choose how many trees you would like to protect and plant each month.

Nature Lover
£5 per month

Plants 20 trees and protects 60 trees in a forest every month

FOrest Friend
£10 per month

Plants 40 trees and protects 120 trees in a forest every month

Super Planter
to give more

Choose how many trees you would like to protect and plant

Give Once
25p a tree

Planting a tree protects three indigenous trees in a forest

Tree Planting, Forest Conservation and Carbon Offsetting

Our tree planting and forest conservation is NOT a verified carbon offsetting project but many people have asked us how much carbon would they be offsetting by planting trees with us in Malawi. A realistic starting point is that one tree absorbs about one tonne of CO2 over a lifetime of 100 years – that is an average of 10 kg per year.

For our calculation, we are taking the life of the tree as 10 years although it will be considerably longer than that. This would mean that, over the 10 year period, one tree would absorb 100 kg of CO2 and so 10 trees would absorb one tonne of CO2.

In addition to this, for every tree that is planted we are protecting, on average, three indigenous trees through our Forest Conservation Committees. Contact us for more information.

TESTIMONIALS

“The UN annual monitoring of Ripple Africa’s cookstove project confirmed them as my choice to purchase carbon credits. As a climate-conscious ceramicist, I really like their use of clay in creating more fuel efficient cookstoves for women, which helps reduce deforestation as the new stoves need less wood.”
Mandy English
“I have been aware of Ripple Africa’s fantastic work in Malawi with fuel-efficient cookstoves for over a decade…it was a no brainer to get involved. It helps us offset the carbon footprint of the production of glass bottles, the wine itself, and of course the logistics of getting our products from A to B.”
Mike Turner
Co-Founder of Feel Good Grapes

your questions answered

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Ripple Africa started its Fish Conservation project (called Fish for Tomorrow) in 2011, building on its experience of community forest conservation in Malawi. We developed a simple approach which we trialled along a 40 km area of lakeshore in Nkhata Bay District. Working in partnership with fishing communities, their leaders and the District Fisheries Officer, the project slowly began to produce results. Fishers reported that they were starting to see fish species which they had not seen in the lake for many years. They also said they were catching larger fish which they could sell for higher prices, thus increasing their family income. In 2016, the project was expanded to cover all of Nkhata Bay District. Local communities all along the lakeshore in this District, supported by their leaders, are now empowered to control damaging fishing activity, regulate closed seasons and protect fish breeding areas. Simple, cost effective community education and ongoing support underpin the project.

Also in 2016, we extended the project into Nkhotakota District and in 2018 into Salima District. We recently expanded into Dedza and Mangochi Districts too. We are now helping to protect more than 736km of shoreline. From nine years of lessons learnt, we have developed a functional, tried and tested model which can be rolled out across the whole of the lake. It can be replicated in lakes and coastal areas in neighbouring countries too.

District Bylaws were signed in Nkhata Bay District in May 2016, and in Nkhotakota District in May 2018. Over 3,000 community members are now members of active Beach Village Committees, confiscating illegal nets, protecting breeding areas and enforcing the closed season.

We are now keen to secure funding to enable the project to be spread into the other lakeshore Districts.

High population growth has been the prime cause of deforestation across Malawi and has led to soil degradation, landslides, perennial rivers drying up, rain shortages and depletion of wildlife and biodiversity. Wood is taken from indigenous forests for building and to use for cooking. Increasing numbers of people have become involved in the production and sale of charcoal, particularly in areas near towns, further decimating the remaining forests.

What we are doing is:

  • empowering local communities to take ownership of their forests and set up local forest conservation committees
  • working in partnership with communities and district government staff to introduce bylaws to protect the forests
  • reducing illegal activity by supporting the forest conservation committees and Forestry Department to patrol the forested hills
  • educating local communities on the importance of forest conservation
  • promoting sustainable environmental projects such as Ripple Africa’s Tree Planting project and the Changu Changu Moto fuel-efficient cookstove project.

For years, Ripple Africa has worked to fight deforestation in Malawi through tree planting and fuel-efficient cookstove projects.

However, while Ripple Africa has been tackling deforestation in populated lowland areas, the charity has watched in sadness as the mature indigenous forests in the hills of Malawi’s Nkhata Bay and Mzimba Districts continue to disappear.

These forested hills are a primary factor in regulating the annual rainfall in the area and, frustratingly, deforestation here is pointless:

  • The land is too steep and stony for farming.
  • The hills are too remote for extracting firewood.
  • Erosion caused by deforestation washes away the top soil

Just a handful of farmers are responsible for all this destruction through the practice of shifting cultivation. The Government has struggled to control this so it continues unabated. The farmers:

  • clear acres of forest
  • burn the trees where they fall (as they are too remote to transport the wood)
  • temporarily cultivate the land for just one to three years until crops fail – often they grow sorghum for beer
  • render the soil infertile, and then
  • move on and do it all again in another forested area.

Ripple Africa is doing everything it can to combat deforestation in Malawi on all fronts. However, Ripple Africa’s Forest Conservation project is special as it is saving the forested hills responsible for regulating much of the rainfall in the District. With 90% of the population in Malawi getting their food from subsistence farming, rainfall and climate stability are not just issues for environmentalists, they are inextricably linked to poverty, health, and survival for local people.

The aim of the Forest Conservation project is to preserve the forested hills of Nkhata Bay and Mzimba Districts before they are lost forever.

Tree Planting

Our tree planting project is one of the largest and most successful tree planting projects in the north of Malawi. We provide a long-term solution to fighting deforestation in Africa caused by the destruction of indigenous forests.

The tree planting project directly tackles this by working with thousands of farmers, community groups and schools who establish tree nurseries and typically plant out 1,000 to 3,000 trees on their land, and these provide a sustainable source of timber and firewood.

High population growth has been the prime cause of deforestation across Malawi and has led to soil degradation, landslides, perennial rivers drying up, rain shortages and depletion of wildlife. Trees are cut down and land cleared for farming often in areas where the land is steep with poor soil quality. Wood is taken from indigenous forests for building and to use for cooking. Increasing numbers of people have become involved in the production and sale of charcoal, particularly in areas near towns, further decimating the remaining forests.

Ripple Africa’s tree planting project is not only about planting trees in Malawi, but also about changing the way people think about their natural environment and the destructive and unsustainable actions which are causing deforestation. By involving farmers, community groups and schools, Ripple Africa aims not only to encourage more tree planting in Africa, but to slowly change how people value and use all their natural resources.

Ripple Africa first started to address this issue in the area around its base in Nkhata Bay District, providing local communities with quick-growing trees which provide an immediate benefit to the community. The trees can be used like a crop by coppicing them (cutting off the branches for firewood without felling the whole tree), and then they grow back quickly to provide more wood year on year.

However, we are now increasingly working in Mzimba Districts where deforestation is much more severe. Here we are working more with farmers who are prepared to invest a considerable amount of time (it takes up to 15 years to grow a tree large enough to sell for timber) and their own money to ensure that larger numbers of trees can be grown successfully.

Fruit Trees

Ripple Africa started its fruit tree project in 2007 and grows improved citrus, mango, guava, papaya, and avocado in Nkhata Bay District, Malawi. While some fruit trees grow naturally in Africa, trees are often poorly managed, and some fruit trees suffer from viruses which mean they do not produce fruit. Ripple Africa has established improved fruit trees which:

  • produce a greater crop yield
  • have a stronger resistance to viruses
  • are of a much better quality

All fruit trees are for the benefit of the community and, in time and with proper care, will produce enough fruit for community members to eat and to sell for profit.

Any kind of tree planting project is hugely important to the environment in Malawi; however, fruit tree planting in particular creates a natural incentive for people to protect their trees as a fruit tree provides both food and income.

Ripple Africa’s fruit tree planting project is also an important way of improving nutrition. In Malawi, malnutrition is a large cause of death among children, and poor diet can lead to general ill health and disease. Many people in Malawi go hungry and survive only on a staple carbohydrate called nsima (a porridge made from either maize or cassava), severely lacking many of the important vitamins and minerals which fruit can provide. Free access to a variety of fruit at household level improves the health of vulnerable rural families.

Lastly, because Ripple Africa’s improved fruit tree project produces fruit of a higher quality, fruit from one of Ripple Africa’s fruit trees is highly competitive at market, especially some varieties such as oranges and tangerines which are rarely grown in the area. The value of access to a sustainable income stream for a poor rural family cannot be underestimated!

The key to working with communities is ownership. Our individual tree farmers are highly motivated to put in a lot of work to establish their tree nurseries and plant out and care for the tree saplings. They know that the fast-growing pine and eucalyptus trees will provide a valuable income for their families from selling timber and firewood. By having a sustainable source of timber means that the communities are able to now conserve existing forests with indigenous trees. Natural regeneration is encouraged and within a few years people are able to see a positive difference, not only visibly with the regenerated trees and natural grasses but there is a reduction in soil erosion and eventually improved rainfall.

High population growth has been the prime cause of deforestation across Malawi and has led to soil degradation, landslides, perennial rivers drying up, rain shortages and depletion of wildlife and biodiversity. Wood is taken from indigenous forests for building and to use for cooking. Increasing numbers of people have become involved in the production and sale of charcoal, particularly in areas near towns, further decimating the remaining forests.

What we are doing is:

  • empowering local communities to take ownership of their forests and set up local forest conservation committees
  • working in partnership with communities and district government staff to introduce bylaws to protect the forests
  • reducing illegal activity by supporting the forest conservation committees and Forestry Department to patrol the forested hills
  • educating local communities on the importance of forest conservation
  • promoting sustainable environmental projects such as Ripple Africa’s Tree Planting project and the Changu Changu Moto fuel-efficient cookstove project.

 

For years, Ripple Africa has worked to fight deforestation in Malawi through tree planting and fuel-efficient cookstove projects.

However, while Ripple Africa has been tackling deforestation in populated lowland areas, the charity has watched in sadness as the mature indigenous forests in the hills of Malawi’s Nkhata Bay and Mzimba Districts continue to disappear.

These forested hills are a primary factor in regulating the annual rainfall in the area and, frustratingly, deforestation here is pointless:

  • The land is too steep and stony for farming.
  • The hills are too remote for extracting firewood.
  • Erosion caused by deforestation washes away the top soil

 

Just a handful of farmers are responsible for all this destruction through the practice of shifting cultivation. The Government has struggled to control this so it continues unabated. The farmers:

  • clear acres of forest
  • burn the trees where they fall (as they are too remote to transport the wood)
  • temporarily cultivate the land for just one to three years until crops fail – often they grow sorghum for beer
  • render the soil infertile, and then
  • move on and do it all again in another forested area.

 

Ripple Africa is doing everything it can to combat deforestation in Malawi on all fronts. However, Ripple Africa’s Forest Conservation project is special as it is saving the forested hills responsible for regulating much of the rainfall in the District. With 90% of the population in Malawi getting their food from subsistence farming, rainfall and climate stability are not just issues for environmentalists, they are inextricably linked to poverty, health, and survival for local people.

The aim of the Forest Conservation project is to preserve the forested hills of Nkhata Bay and Mzimba Districts before they are lost forever.

Tree Planting

Our tree planting project is one of the largest and most successful tree planting projects in the north of Malawi. We provide a long-term solution to fighting deforestation in Africa caused by the destruction of indigenous forests.

The tree planting project directly tackles this by working with thousands of farmers, community groups and schools who establish tree nurseries and typically plant out 1,000 to 3,000 trees on their land, and these provide a sustainable source of timber and firewood.

High population growth has been the prime cause of deforestation across Malawi and has led to soil degradation, landslides, perennial rivers drying up, rain shortages and depletion of wildlife. Trees are cut down and land cleared for farming often in areas where the land is steep with poor soil quality. Wood is taken from indigenous forests for building and to use for cooking. Increasing numbers of people have become involved in the production and sale of charcoal, particularly in areas near towns, further decimating the remaining forests.

Ripple Africa’s tree planting project is not only about planting trees in Malawi, but also about changing the way people think about their natural environment and the destructive and unsustainable actions which are causing deforestation. By involving farmers, community groups and schools, Ripple Africa aims not only to encourage more tree planting in Africa, but to slowly change how people value and use all their natural resources.

Ripple Africa first started to address this issue in the area around its base in Nkhata Bay District, providing local communities with quick-growing trees which provide an immediate benefit to the community. The trees can be used like a crop by coppicing them (cutting off the branches for firewood without felling the whole tree), and then they grow back quickly to provide more wood year on year.

However, we are now increasingly working in Mzimba Districts where deforestation is much more severe. Here we are working more with farmers who are prepared to invest a considerable amount of time (it takes up to 15 years to grow a tree large enough to sell for timber) and their own money to ensure that larger numbers of trees can be grown successfully.

Fruit Trees

Ripple Africa started its fruit tree project in 2007 and grows improved citrus, mango, guava, papaya, and avocado in Nkhata Bay District, Malawi. While some fruit trees grow naturally in Africa, trees are often poorly managed, and some fruit trees suffer from viruses which mean they do not produce fruit. Ripple Africa has established improved fruit trees which:

  • produce a greater crop yield
  • have a stronger resistance to viruses
  • are of a much better quality

 

All fruit trees are for the benefit of the community and, in time and with proper care, will produce enough fruit for community members to eat and to sell for profit.

Any kind of tree planting project is hugely important to the environment in Malawi; however, fruit tree planting in particular creates a natural incentive for people to protect their trees as a fruit tree provides both food and income.

Ripple Africa’s fruit tree planting project is also an important way of improving nutrition. In Malawi, malnutrition is a large cause of death among children, and poor diet can lead to general ill health and disease. Many people in Malawi go hungry and survive only on a staple carbohydrate called nsima (a porridge made from either maize or cassava), severely lacking many of the important vitamins and minerals which fruit can provide. Free access to a variety of fruit at household level improves the health of vulnerable rural families.

Lastly, because Ripple Africa’s improved fruit tree project produces fruit of a higher quality, fruit from one of Ripple Africa’s fruit trees is highly competitive at market, especially some varieties such as oranges and tangerines which are rarely grown in the area. The value of access to a sustainable income stream for a poor rural family cannot be underestimated!

This project addresses the following Sustainable Development Goals: