As the year comes to a close and we prepare to welcome new year 2020, we look back on a fantastic year of progress for TreeCoin and its mission of ethical reforestation.
Just as the seasonal holidays are a time for rest and relaxation, it is also for us a time of reflection. Our very own Senor Green – that’s the CEO TreeCoin Jörg Schäfer if you haven’t caught up – takes a few minutes to address some of the great work we’ve been doing and shares some insight into what the next year will look like for us.
Looking back before the New Year
1. It’s been a great year for TreeCoin. Seeing them in the news and seeing a lot of the progress move forward on the ground in Paraguay. What would you say is the most memorable moment of 2019 for TreeCoin?
The most beautiful moment happened on October 30, 2019. Not just because it was my birthday, but because we received confirmation from the VQF (The Financial Services Standards Association in Switzerland) that they accepted us as members. he Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) directly supervises VQF.
Since then, it has been possible for people interested in making the planet better to help us achieve our goal of planting 10 million trees. Every single tree is important and that’s why I’m all the more pleased that we’ve already found so many supporters worldwide. The best thing about our project is that it’s not a charity project where supporters rarely know what happens to their money. We created the project as a business in which everyone can participate. TreeCoin redistributes 100% of our profits; 40% as a crop yield share directly to the investors, 50% in new land and afforestation of new forests, which then increase the value of the tokens and future distributions. Then, we put the remaining 10% in social projects for people and nature.
2. What would you say is the biggest lesson learnt from 2019, and how will this affect TreeCoin moving forward in 2020?
The biggest lesson I learned in the past one-and-a-half years is that the bigger and more ambitious a project is, the more time you need to plan for it. The hurdles of bureaucracy, especially if you want to do everything legally and precisely, are immense.
Although the project will do a lot of good for the world, this doesn’t mean we get a free pass. We still have to put in a lot of resources to win over the best in the world. We will continue this course in 2020 so that the project continues to grow. We will also show how to combine the following 3 things under one roof: nature conservation, tamper-proof information on the blockchain, and regular updates on progress.
Why TreeCoin’s reforestation is a solution for sustainability
3. With the climate talks just wrapping up in Spain, we saw a big representation from the indigenous people from the Amazon. They believe little is being done to protect the rainforests and also the human rights of people there. Do you think reforestation addresses some of these in an ethical way?
I can only speak for Paraguay, a country that has lost 85% of its forests through deforestation. All the relevant groups are on our side here.
Firstly, the indigenous people of Paraguay. Through reforestation and the sale of industrial wood, we protect the natural forest from further deforestation. Furthermore, we provide work opportunities for indigenous people because we sell herbal produce that they collect from the forests. These are marketed and sold through our channels so that a fair yield is achieved.
Secondly, the population of Paraguay. A majority of people make a living directly or indirectly from the timber industry. If the industry died out, it would be a disaster for the country, economically as people would lose their livelihoods.
Thirdly, the government. The state does not only support but endorse our work as we provide work opportunities for many people. Additionally, Paraguay is passing a new law that promises tax relief and subsidies for companies that involved in afforestation. I hope that our sustainable and social project will set an example for others and see implementation in neighboring countries. If not, then we’ll do it. Because what’s possible in Paraguay is also possible in other Latin American countries.
It begins with us
4. Again talking about COP25, this year saw the longest ever talks on a climate deal in Madrid. Do you have any thoughts on that? Does TreeCoin offer any points in regards to the protest on increased ambitions coming even from some of the countries in South America?
In my opinion, there is far too much talk and too little action at conferences and perpetual protests. Each time, they discuss punishments and sanctions, and they mostly talk about what others should do. Fingers are rarely pointed at oneself.
My mother always said to me: “Kid, if you point one finger to others, then three point to you and one to God.”
I then had to think about what I was able to do, even if it was something small. Because if millions of people do something small, it’ll turn into something significant for the planet. If 0.5% of 7.5 billion people (that’s 37.5 million) come to us to pay for 1 TREE (that’s equivalent to 1 tree, land purchase, and management over the next few decades), then we can have the resources for 37.5 million trees.
Using the TreeCoin reinvestment of revenues into new land and afforestation, we expect approximately 150 million trees over the next 22 years.
Let’s stop talking the talk and start walking the walk. Who wants to join us?
5. Climate change or climate crisis. Should we really be changing the way we address the climate issue or are these just words?
I think we should care less about the climate. The climate is already doing that. What we can influence are the over-exploitation of fossil substances and the relentless deforestation of our forests.
I think of my motto once more: every single person, one small step. One ride or two more by bike, one ride or two more by train. Reading newspapers digitally instead of physically. Drinking water out of glass instead of plastic bottles. This chain can continue indefinitely. A small step taken by millions of individuals will cause great relief for the planet.
New Year greetings
6. And finally, what is your festive and new year’s message to TreeCoiners out there?
Everyone is doing as much as they can. Always look at what you can do best and set an example for others.
My wish for humanity is that we grow closer together in the new year because in principle, all people want the same things.
First and foremost, we want to be happy and live in peace. We want to be healthy and we want healthy food. We want a good education for our children and a job that we enjoy doing. If our social environment is right, then we can call ourselves truly happy.
So, I wish everyone a happy and healthy 2020. I hope that everyone comes closer to their personal happiness and does not forget to take care of our planet.