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Tree Aid's 2021 Wrap Up Highlights From The Year

Hello lovely supporters!

2021 has been an action-packed year for us here at Tree Aid. From exceeding our fundraising target for the Future Forest appeal, to promising commitments made at COP26. This year has seen some exciting successes thanks to incredible support from all of you. 

As the year draws to a close, we’d love to bring you along with us as we look back on our 2021 highlights!  

And, of course, it would be amiss if we didn’t quickly mention our Christmas appeal: Root for Change. Thank you to everyone who has supported the appeal so far. We have had a wonderful response, the team are taking a well-earned break over the festive period. 

The Future Forest Appeal

One of our most exciting and heart-warming highlights of the year was when our Future Forest appeal thoroughly beat its target!  


Between 12th April – 12th July 2021, Tree Aid collaborated with UK Aid Match to run the Future Forest appeal. This appeal’s aim was to raise funds to support communities in Ethiopia with the tools and training needed to sustainably manage the frankincense trees, protecting them for the future.  

The response from our supporters blew everyone away! The campaign raised more than we thought possible: a whopping £1,183,066 – including £530,756 of match funding from the UK government. Thanks to the incredible amount raised, we are now able to up-scale the Future Forest project and support more people in the Metema region of Ethiopia.  

Solomon, a Tree Aid project Participant said: ‘I believe that I have a bright future, my livelihood will improve, and I will lead my life in a better way.’ 

Now, thanks to your support, the Future Forest project will expand and continue to support people like Soloman and his family. 


A woman harvesting moringa leaves and collecting them in a bowl on her head.

Growing Food and Incomes Project Results 

We were thrilled to see that The World Economic Forum highlighted  the impact of our BC1 project: Growing Food and Incomes in Burkina Faso on their social media. Their far-reaching video showcased the impact of the BC1 project, which sought to improve food security and nutrition, reduce poverty, and boost the incomes of communities across Burkina Faso. 

By working with communities and leaders within Burkina Faso, a whopping 9,919 hectares of degraded land is now under sustainable management. This means that land around the size of 12 football pitches that was once unusable will be able to sustain life again. 

One of the main goals for BC1 was to increase household incomes and therefore reduce the number of people living in poverty in the region. We’re over the moon to announce that by the end of the project, there was a 161% increase in average annual household income for communities in Burkina Faso. Excitingly, this contributed to a significant reduction in households living in extreme poverty in the region! We also found that the project helped to considerably lower undernourishment and chronic malnutrition in the region, especially in children under 5.

The Ever-Growing Great Green Wall

One of the most exciting aspects of 2021 was the opportunity to collaborate with the IOC on the ground-breaking Olympic Forest Project.  

This project will contribute to Africa’s Great Green Wall, one of the world’s largest, and most ambitious nature-based climate solutions.  


‘The change will be to see a greener Africa!’
Tree Aid’s Director of Operations, Georges Bazongo. 

This ambitious work-in-progress envisions an unprecedented collaboration of African nations to restore land and plant trees across the entire width of the continent – and it is already breathing life back into Africa’s degraded land, so that the people can reclaim it and thrive.  

Earlier in the year, Tree Aid CEO Tom Skirrow spoke of how he is ‘proud to head an organization offering positive, effective, and lasting solutions’ to the climate crisis, like the Great Green Wall.’  

The Great Green Wall initiative has restored and protected land the size of 265,000 football pitches. Working with communities, 22 million trees have been grown in the Sahel. These remarkable figures mean that millions of people in the Sahel can better provide for their families. Equally, this carbon dioxide-absorbing wall is a major tool in the battle against climate change.   

‘The change will be to see a greener Africa!’ - Tree Aid’s Director of Operations, Georges Bazongo. 

We’re certainly excited to see the impact our projects will have, contributing to this inspiring movement in 2022. 

UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 

Another fantastic feather in 2021’s cap was that it saw the start of the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, which will continue until 2030.  

It is an urgent call for countries all around the world to restore and care for our ecosystems and grow a better future for both people and our planet.  This is particularly important for Africa, which is the only continent where rate of deforestation is increasing and it is already at four times the world average.  

It is also the continent most affected by desertification. We are already seeing signs that the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration is highlighting these issues more on the world stage and we hope to see more in 2022 and beyond. 

Attending COP26 in Glasgow

In November 2021, all eyes were on Glasgow: the host of COP26!

Indeed, the world’s leaders and key players on the global stage gathered in Glasgow for the 26th Conference of the Parties. They were there to assess and reevaluate the impact of their previous climate goals, and establish new, more ambitious ones to fight back against the climate crisis. But, how did they fare? 

Tree Aid’s Director of Operations, Georges Bazongo – who attended the conference, as a Burkina Faso national delegate - shared his reflections.  

Generally, he was left feeling pretty optimistic, as nature and the development of natural resources were recognized as crucial tools in climate action.  

There were also commitments made to help those on the frontline of the climate crisis; those who are directly affected by its consequences. This includes the $2 Billion pledge by world leaders to restore 100 million hectares of land in Africa and a $1 Billion donation from the Bezos Foundation towards for African-led initiatives, like the Great Green Wall.  

This money will go on to support communities in Africa and will be especially felt in regions like the Sahel, where we work. 

The Future is Green!

2021 has been a rollercoaster of a year, and we couldn’t have done it without our incredible supporters. From all of us here at Tree Aid, we would like to extend a huge thank you for your endless engagement and support!  

This year has shown us the power of collaboration in the fight against poverty and the climate crisis and the passion people from all walks of life feel for achieving these life-changing aims. By working together, united by common goals, we have been able to achieve incredible feats in 2021.  

Here’s to many more successes in 2022!