Frequently asked questions
Is your tree planting tax deductible? How is the money spent? How does it work?
We tried to answer most of these questions for you here. Got a question that’s not listed here? Send us an email and we’ll be happy to help!
How it works
Most of the planting is done with community groups who live in the area and who are the primary beneficiaries of the services provided by the mangroves. (Eco tourism, coastal protection, increased fish yields on the adjacent reefs etc.) The tree planting is a job, and everyone who contributes are paid a fair wage.
Occasionally educational staff from Marine Conservation Philippines may plant trees with visiting classes of school children, forestry or biology students or other groups who wish to learn about mangrove biology.
Accuracy of GPS coordinates depend largely on how many satellites the GPS device is able to lock onto simultaneously while fixing location. With mangrove forests generally being away from mountains or tall buildings that would otherwise block the signal, we get pretty accuracy data.
You can realistically expect an accuracy of around 5-15 metres.
The planting teams in the field use a smartphone to take a picture of each mangrove tree planted. When you take a picture with a smartphone it stores a lot of metadata also. This is information on when the picture was taken, what camera setting were used, distance to the subject and many other things. All this information is stored in the actual picture file, and is called the EXIF data. It can be read by imaging processing programs like Photoshop and others.
If you have GPS/location enabled on a smartphone, embedded in the EXIF data will also be the precise place where the picture was taken. This is the technology we use to accurately tag each tree.
Apart from compressing the images so they take less space, we do no post-processing of the images. While you can see the planting location for each tree in your dashboard, you can also download each picture and run it through a service like Pic2Map.com
People who buy planting services through us want their trees to make a difference. This means that we have to ensure the right species are planted at the right time and in the right place. To assure this happens, the best way for us is to basically consider each tree planted a commodity. That way we never sell tree we don’t have “on stock.” and if suddenly we get large orders we are not forced to go out and plant a large volume of trees, at a time where the only available species ready to transplanted may not be what the areas targeted for reforestation need in terms of biodiversity. If we are out of stock, please check back in soon. It is merely because we insist on only planting right, to recreate naturally diverse and flourishing forests. We will have trees soon, promise.
Local community groups are paid in various stages for each tree they plant. They get paid for collecting propagules, for tending to them in a nursery, and finally for outplanting them and tagging them.
Once all money has been paid, there is a considerable sum left over. This is typically 50-75% depending on which species we plant and how much labor there is in the work (distance from roads and accesability in general being significant factors) The left over sum is pooled, tree by tree, to be able to outright purchase former mangrove land that has been turned into privately owned fish ponds and shrimp farms. Once the land is secured, we can re-plant mangrove trees and return the ownership of the land to the public. This is the only way that these private lands will be reforested.
A way to look at it is, that of the money you spend, about half pays for the tree, the other half pays for the land underneath.
You can buy tree planting on this website as a single time time purchase, and return to do so whenever you wish to.
However to have a more consistent impact, you can also choose to continually plant every month. When you subscribe to tree planting, you commit to planting a certain number of trees each month. This allows you to not only go carbon neutral, but to actually help fix the problem of climate change. The longer you are in, the more of an impact you will have. Each month, we assign your desired number of trees to your dashboard, and deduct the corresponding amount on your credit card via PayPal.
You can of course cancel your subscription at any time, and when signing up you are not locked in for any period of time either.
We may suspend your subscription for a brief period, if we do not have any more trees for sale or notify you that we owe you an amount of trees, if we are ready to plant imminently.
Your mangrove trees
Yes. We photograph and GPS log every mangrove tree we plant. The details are then stored in our tree database, and you can access it yourself when you are logged in. (You gain access once you plant your first tree) However, in order to keep our forests as natural as possible, we do not mark or label the planted mangrove trees in any way. We might fence an area, or put up some signage but individual trees are not physically marked.
You can use the GPS coordinated to get very close to the particular tree you are searching for, but you may be unable to determine which one it is exactly if there’s several trees of roughly the same age and species close together. If you buy a bunch of trees, you will definitely be able to find your cluster though.
Some mangrove species are hardy enough to be planted directly without spending time in a nursery. (Depending also on where the intended planting location is, and how sheltered from wind and waves it is.) the propagules of rhizophora mangroves for example look just like long bean stalks.
It’ll take a few weeks after planting before they have sprouted leaves. Don’t worry, your baby trees are alive and well. Sometimes bald is beautiful.
We give most trees a headstart in life by rearing them in a tended nursery. Once outplanted trees become susceptible to harsh weather conditions and competition and inevitably some of them will die. We take this into account when we plant, and aim for a density of around eight thousand trees per hectare. (A hectare is around 2.5 acres, 10.000 square meter or one and half professional football pitch if that’s easier to visualise.)
Over the next couple of years the mangrove trees will thrive and outgrow and outcompete each other. This is perfectly natural. A decade or two later, the natural tree density will be slightly less than half, and by now the forest will be thick and dense. The competition is part of the natural process, and creates a natural rich and diverse ecosystem with a multitude of species. Meanwhile the trees that died still captured and locked away carbon, turned into toppled trees and provided living space for hundreds of animals, helped prevent sedimentation and aided overall resilience of the forest.
Yes, that’s very likely. Marine Conservation Philippines which is the the organisation behind plantamangrove.org is a lawfully registered non-profit in the Philippines. (Registration #CN201506332 ) For people in most countries this would mean that the contribution should be tax deductible, but we cannot possibly make a comprehensive list, nor do we claim to be familiar with tax legislation in all countries. You will need to look into the exact rules for your country and situation.
We welcome CSR efforts, and we are happy to provide you with any required paperwork you may need for taxation purposes or reporting.
If you are based near one of our planting sites, and your company wish to make a team building effort and learning experience out of planting mangroves, you are welcome to contact us. Do kindly understand that we try to provide a livelihood for our tree planters, and that we will appreciate a donation to help plant other trees in lieu of the ones planted by your company.
We pursue several targets. In the Philippines there’s been very significant clear cutting of mangroves in the 70s, 80s and 90s to allow space for fish and shrimp farming. Aside from illegal fish ponds, the way it has worked is that the Bureau of Fisheries has given a lease of public land to a farmer. If the production stops, the land is to be returned to the public. Some lands have however been titled and have become private property, even though they are former mangrove forests. Where this has happened, and where the fish ponds are now unproductive the land is wasted. It is neither forest, nor does it provide food for the people. These areas are what we aim to convert back to mangroves, and the funds raised through the tree planting allows us to purchase such lands.
So our goals are to:
- Plant trees for ecosystem services (food security, coastal protection, carbon sequestration)
- Provide livelihoods to local people, with emphasis on marginalised groups of women and fisherfolk
- Convert abandoned fishponds back into mangroves, and increase forest cover in areas that are otherwise untouchable.
Help us plant
a million mangrove trees.
Every single tree you help us plant, will create jobs, protect coral reefs and fight climate change.