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Timberland community support reaches new milestone

Timberland employees and their families helped to plant two million trees in a Chinese desert.

USA-based Timberland’s ongoing environmental programme recently reached a major milestone. The footwear producer announced that it has planted its two millionth tree in northern China’s Horqin Desert in an attempt to help stem the region’s deforestation problem. In 2001, a Timberland employee suggested that the company take part in the reforestation of the desert, which was contributing to sandstorms in Japan.

A partnership was formed between Timberland and Japanese nonprofit organisation Green Network. Over the years, this arrangement has contributed about £656,000 ($1 million) to the project.

About 700 hectares (1,700 acres) of trees have now been planted. The project has also assisted in the protection of existing farmlands, leading to improved vegetable production in the Horqin region by a reported average of 3.9 per cent each year between 2000 and 2010.

In addition to the work being done in China, Timberland has helped to rebuild communities in Haiti since the country’s devastating earthquake in 2010. The company has been working alongside the Haiti Smallholder Farmers Alliance to restore tree cover and encourage agricultural production. A sustainable agroforestry business model has been developed in which farmers voluntarily tend to a network of plant nurseries that produce one million new trees each year.

In the five years since its inception, the Haitian programme is said to have helped 3,200 farmers increase the productivity on their land by up to 50 per cent, and raised their household income by up to the same figure.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 6 of the October 2015 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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