B’n’Tree Background Story
After having lived and worked on five continents, Chris moved to a National Park area in Southern Thailand in 2012, where he witnessed the dramatic effects of deforestation first hand.
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In the early 20th century, roughly 80% of Thailand were covered with forest. With increasing population and a booming tourism industry, a lot of these forests were cut down to expand infrastructure and build tourism facilities. After the turn of the millennium, only 22% of Thailand were left covered in forest – and international tourist arrival numbers higher than ever.
The decreasing forest areas meant a progressive loss of habitat for Thailand’s animal species, including marvelous but partly critically endangered species such as Asian Elephants, Malayan Tapirs, Sumatran Tigers or Malayan Sun Bears.
Less natural habitat lead animals to forage for food near human settlements, increasing the human-animal conflict, often ending in innocent blood being shed.
However, blaming the local farmers for protecting their crops would be unfair, since all they intended was providing a livelihood for their families.
The answer occurred to Chris during winter contract negotiations with overseas tour operators: As Thai hotels paid local Destination Management Companies who paid overseas wholesalers who paid local retailers who paid their staff sales commissions to drag overseas travelers into Thailand, why not slice a piece off that pie to plant trees?
If negotiated right, revenue would suffice not just for land and seedlings, but to also fairly remunerate local communities for helping with planting.
That way trees would be planted, and resident farmers established a second source of income, thus decreasing the need to further increase their farmland by cutting into forest areas. Vicious circle solved!
Negotiations with hotel booking platforms began, and were successful, and so the first trees were planted. Today, the local population benefits from a stable income stream while animals big and small enjoy their (partly) re-established habitat.
However, what sounds like the happy end of a fabulous fairy tale, is in fact nothing but a humble beginning. The rate of global deforestation still exceeds the reforestation rate by far, and every day thousands of acres of animal habitat are lost – and with it, unnoticed, quite regularly plant and animal species we never had the chance to discover.
In spite of all the damage being done, giving in to desperation would be the worst possible solution. Despite having lost a great deal of biodiversity without us noticing, there still is an astonishing myriad of flora and fauna left, which desperately needs our help.
And you surely can help!
Make B’n’Tree your go-to website whenever planning a trip, no matter how cheap or short. For every single booking you place we plant a tree, and if you diligently share this message with your friends, family and co-workers, the trees you’ll have initiated quickly add up to a huge, green, lively forest.
The known and unknown plant and animal species of this planet softly whisper:
“Thank you, awesome human. You’re a hero.”
Don’t wait until tomorrow. Become a hero today! Book your next bed now.
And then share this article and website with your Facebook friends, Pinterest pals, Insta-fans, Twitter tweeters, WhatsApp wizards, Snapchat chaps, email addicts as well as all those lovely living Leute you daily meet in real life.
We thank you. They’ll thank you.
For it is in fact true: The hero is you.