TREE AID celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2017. 30 years of fighting poverty and desertification in the drylands of Africa, 30 years of planting trees, 30 years of working hand in hand with some of the world's very poorest communities.
TREE AID was founded in 1987 by a group of visionary and technically skilled U.K. foresters as a response to the famine in Ethiopia. 1985 saw Live Aid capture the imagination and empathy of millions, motivating them to act on their concerns. While this collective awakening and resulting action was positive, TREE AID’s founders recognised that longer-term sustainable solutions were needed to address the complex problems humanity faced.
‘Those who have marvelled at the role of trees in our environment, and who are involved in their use, their sustenance and replanting, have an intimate awareness of the environmental degradation, famine and the poverty seen through Live Aid’
Children and tree
Through their forestry experience they knew that dry, unusable land was intimately linked to deforestation and the resulting desertification. It was evident to them that this vital connection was being overlooked by other organisations. The foresters decided to use their collective knowledge and experience to champion forestry as an essential and sustainable response to desertification, poverty and famine. From this, TREE AID was born.
The relationship between trees, their sustenance, and their lifespan, has vast implications to those who are aware of how long they take to grow and how quickly they are destroyed in relation to human lifetimes. That understanding – the relationship of humans to the environment, and the role that trees play in the environment – is the central aspect to the origins of TREE AID’
TREE AID was formed with the belief that trees must take a central role in sustainable land use, and was driven forwards by experienced and technically competent foresters. Trees fix nitrogen, retain soil moisture and nutrients and bind soil with their roots, preserving arable land. With a healthy population of trees, the land is more resilient and productive, protecting local communities against drought and famine.
TREE AID was founded on the principle that we must have a shared vision, that we all have the same responsibility to care for our environment and our forests without which life on earth would not be possible.
For the founders, this meant responding to crises with dignity, not pity. It meant holding the environment, and trees in particular at the heart of human wellbeing. It meant communities in the drylands of Africa standing together for a common cause with the supporters and staff of TREE AID.
A message from CEO John Moffet
A message from CEO John Moffet
‘I’m very proud of what TREE AID has achieved. For over 30 years TREE AID and our partners in Africa have been working tirelessly to help the very poorest people make the most of the tree resources available to them. We’ve planted or regenerated over 13 million trees and helped hundreds of thousands of women and men to earn a living from tree products and make a better life for their families. None of this would have been possible without our loyal supporters, thank you for accompanying us on this journey, giving your money, time and skills to fight poverty and conserve the environment.’