The Comptoir Immobilier supports the Geneva-based NGO OneAction and its innovative reforestation project.
Founded in 2011, OneAction sees in everyone the potential to create lasting change, and aims to encourage the transition from intention to action, helping individuals and communities with various charitable projects. To date, OneAction manages ten projects with high social and environmental impact in Switzerland and around the world, while providing self-financing mechanisms to ensure their sustainability. The association works in particular in education, training, sustainable agriculture, reforestation, renewable energy and social entrepreneurship.
Lastly, OneAction launched a large reforestation pilot project in India, Haiti and Kenya. The goal is to reverse the acceleration of land degradation in dryland regions and build community resilience to climate change. To achieve this, OneAction aims to replicate on a large scale a model that is particularly effective in terms of carbon reduction and soil regeneration. This model relies, on the one hand, on the proven techniques of its partner Sadhana Forest, established in Tamil Nadu, India, which has been successfully working for more than 15 years to reforest degraded lands and conserve water. On the other hand, it is based on scientific research conducted by the Faculty of Geosciences and Environment of the University of Lausanne on oxalogous tree species. Unlike most trees, which sequester carbon organically only, these allow for permanent storage of some CO2, making an exceptional contribution to soil regeneration.
The initial goal is to plant 150,000 trees in three regions particularly affected by climate change and the challenges created by drought and land degradation: the Tamil Nadu region of India, the South East Department of Haiti, and Samburu and Kajiado counties in Kenya, where Sadhana Forest already has operational bases. This pilot phase will also contribute to the development of research on oxalogen species. Specifically, mobile reforestation teams will travel to the three regions, village by village, to distribute free trees to local communities and train them in various agroforestry and water conservation techniques. The communities will be able to plant native, oxaloid, drought-resistant trees on their land that produce edible fruits, nuts and leaves. The project will therefore make these lands fertile again and suitable for sustainable agriculture, thereby strengthening the food security of the local populations and preventing environmental migration.
Rather than imperatively seeking to maximize the number of trees planted, this initiative is part of a long-term, qualitative and holistic approach, and seeks above all to show that reforestation is a social as well as an environmental issue. In order for a tree to provide the ecological services it is supposed to, it is necessary to ensure its survival. This is where OneAction’s project stands out: it has a fundamental human dimension in that it involves the inhabitants, who benefit directly from the trees. This aspect greatly favors the maintenance of trees rather than their cutting down, and makes it possible to reach very high survival rates, flirting with 90%. Finally, each tree will have GPS coordinates, and long-term monitoring of the positive impact on the targeted land can be done by satellite imagery.
In short, the pilot phase of this project will demonstrate its relevance and effectiveness, before the initiative can be replicated in several other regions of the world.
Le Comptoir Immobilier is very excited to support OneAction in this achievement! This is the first time that the group has committed to and supported an eco-responsible project located abroad. This initiative corroborates Comptoir Immobilier’s desire to actively participate in environmental initiatives beyond Switzerland. It is indeed a new page to be written, beyond the group’s proactivity in the development of projects, renovations and transformations of buildings locally. Sustainable development, it should be remembered, is part of Comptoir Immobilier’s DNA and is among the group’s four core values: Service, Ethics, Performance and Sustainable Development.