About Life Terra
What is Life Terra?
Life Terra is a foundation with a mission to enable people to take impactful climate action now. We facilitate tree planting, educate future generations, and develop tree monitoring technology. Life Terra is one of Europe’s largest climate action initiatives. It brings together 16 experienced organizations from 8 countries. This project was awarded €7 mln support by the LIFE Programme, which the consortium will use as seed money to put this initiative on the map.
Our Team is a diverse group of people that are enthusiastic about taking climate action now. The foundation is based in Amsterdam and Barcelona.
Where does Life Terra plant trees?
Life Terra plants trees in Europe. In its first season it is planting in 8 countries (the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, France and Belgium). Check out our coming events to see if we’re planting trees in your community.
What types of trees will be planted? How will the project contribute to biodiversity?
Planting a diverse mix of tree species is essential to our planting plans. We firmly believe in “the right tree in the right place”, for more effective land restoration and greater ecosystem resilience. All Life Terra plantings will be multispecies to ensure mixed forest stands and rich, biodiverse ecosystems. Together with the landowner and our experts, we choose species that are right for the area.
Will the trees be monitored?
Monitoring trees is important to ensure that the climate & environmental benefits we claim to make are happening! In collaboration with our technology beneficiaries we are continuously developing our state-of-the-art monitoring program, where you can follow and monitor your own trees.
Who will be taking care of the trees after the planting?
We want our trees to survive and thrive! We only work with landowners that are committed to maintaining their new trees over the long term to take full advantage of their carbon capture potential. Before any new planting the landowner has to sign an agreement for this long-term commitment. In exchange they receive the trees and the labour to plant them.
Does Life Terra offer carbon credits or carbon offsets?
No, we cannot offer carbon credits due to the high costs of carbon credits certification. In any case, Life Terra guarantees that the ownership of the carbon captured by all trees planted during our events remains with Life Terra or with the planters who participated in the respective event. All trees planted are monitored and the total carbon captured is pooled and assigned to each tree planter according to the amount of trees they have planted so far.
Do you have any educational resources I can use at school?
Life Terra is working with educational specialists to create a STEM-based, interactive environmental education program for children ages 8-14. Content on topics such as sustainability, energy transition, climate change, and circular economy will be delivered digitally to classrooms for free. For more information click here.
How does Life Terra engage people to take climate action?
Life Terra provides users with the knowledge, tools and technology to take impactful climate action now. We facilitate tree planting and educate future generations, empowering local communities to become direct drivers and active actors of Climate change mitigation. We offer a user-friendly, interactive platform where individuals, schools, nurseries and other entities can sign up for events, register their planted trees, and stay up-to-date on tree planting activities in their area.
How can I join a tree-planting event?
Check our coming events on the website and subscribe! At this point, we are mainly organizing planting events in Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, and France.
What should I bring to a tree-planting event?
A big smile and desire to make the planet greener! Also, it is important to wear comfortable clothes that can get dirty (always check the weather forecast), a bottle of water (not single-use plastic, please), a snack, and a smartphone to tag your trees.
Do you have any volunteer opportunities?
Volunteers are valuable members of Life Terra. That’s why we call them Terra Leaders. As a Terra Leader, you are leading planting events and sharing knowledge with your community. The first step to becoming a Terra Leader is joining one of our events in your area followed by a digital training. Check out the coming events here or drop us a line.
Are Terra Leaders paid?
Terra Leaders are volunteers therefore they do not get paid. However, Life Terra does provide reimbursements for event related costs & travel.
I have land, can you help me restore it?
We will consider all the conditions of the terrain and its surroundings to ensure that the lands to be restored actually need trees. If they do, we’re more than happy to help you restore your land! You will be involved throughout the whole process of planting design and planning. We will facilitate the planting of the trees with little-to-no costs for you as a landowner.
I’m interested in collaborating. What can we do together?
We are interested in partnering to accelerate tree plantings in as many places as possible! We can offer you our state of the art monitoring technology, help you to restore your land, create your own company forest, provide you with a sustainability course, and much more. Contact us via Contact – Life Terra and we can explore the possibilities together!
I want my company to get involved in the Life Terra project. How can we collaborate together?
That is great! As a company, you can get involved in different ways: participating in one of our planting events with your employees (planting trees is a great team building activity!), contributing to the project with a donation to plant trees or getting involved by becoming one of our partners. We will be happy to explore possibilities together. Contact us via Contact – Life Terra and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.
Life Terra platform
Adopt a Tree
How can I help by adopting trees?
You can accelerate the planting of new trees by either participating yourself in a planting event or adopting trees that have already been planted in bigger projects. Currently we have trees available in Portugal, Spain and Germany’s first Klimawald. If you adopt a tree, you will receive a unique geolocalized tree in your personal dashboard. You can click on the tree to obtain more information about it (species, contribution to biodiversity, when was it planted, etc.).
Can I gift a tree to somebody else?
Yes! When you adopt a tree you can either have this tree registered in your own account or assign it to another person. All you will need is to forward the voucher gift we will send to you to your giftee. It’s a great and surprising gift and for sure you can help mobilise more people to become interested in tree planting. All tree adopters registered in our platform will later receive an invitation to join upcoming events.
How can I pay for the trees?
You can pay online with a credit card, SEPA (bank transfer), online banking services (iDeal, Giropay, etc.) or via online wallet services (Paypal, Google Pay or Apple pay). You only pay once for each tree and you won’t have to pay anything else in the future.
Is my donation tax-deductible?
Yes. Life Terra Foundation has been granted the status of Public Benefit Organization (Dutch acronym: ANBI) by the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. The Dutch abbreviation means Algemeen Nut Beogende Instellingen. Because Life Terra has the ANBI-status, donations to Life Terra may be partially or fully deducted from taxable income. Specific national regulations might be in place with regard to your donation if you live outside of the Netherlands.
Can I name my tree?
At this point, you cannot yet name your tree on our platform. This feature will be developed soon though.
Are there any additional costs after the donation?
No, payment takes place only once at the time of donation and you will not have to pay anything else in the future.
I’m not from Europe. Can I donate from overseas?
Yes, you can! For now your tree will be located in one of our European plantings. In the future we hope to extend these plantings to other parts of the world and the tagging technology will become available soon to all global planting initiatives. Interested? Drop us a line please.
When will I receive my trees?
As soon as possible! We are continuously planting new trees. If we have trees in stock, your trees will be assigned to you immediately. If no trees are in stock, your trees will be assigned to you as soon as we plant and tag new trees. This will depend on the availability of the trees and land. Please remember that the planting season in Europe lasts from late Autumn to early Spring.
If I don’t receive my trees immediately, how do I know when they will be planted?
Everytime a tree is assigned to your profile, you will receive a notification by email. In your dashboard you can see how many trees are waiting to be planted in your name.
Tag a tree
Can I tag any tree?
For now, you can only tag your tree during Life Terra events. During the event you can tag all the trees you planted and they will automatically be registered in your personal account.
How can I tag my trees?
Open our web app (app.lifeterra.eu) and click on the tag a tree button. If this is the first time at our web app, you will be asked to authorize the use of your camera. Take a picture of your tree and select its species. After confirming the information, the tree will be assigned to your personal account
Do I need a Life Terra account to tag trees?
No, you can tag trees by only providing your email. Nevertheless, we encourage you to create a Life Terra account in order to be able to follow your trees online.
How can I follow my tree(s) growth?
Via the platform you can follow your tree. You will be able to see its location, its species, when it was planted, in which event it was planted and if you tagged it yourself, you can see the picture you took when you planted the tree. We are working on an innovative monitoring tool in order to provide more info about your trees like CO2 captured, height, etc.
Can I register the trees I already planted?
For now, we can only tag newly planted trees during Life Terra events.
Can I plant/adopt trees and send them as a gift?
You can adopt a tree and click the box “to gift a tree”. After your payment has been processed All you will need is to forward the voucher gift we will send to you to your giftee.
I received a tree as a gift. What should I do?
Congrats on your green gift! You can see your tree by using your unique code on the pdf you’ve received and by accessing our platform.
How does Life Terra ensure every tree is registered?
In Life Terra we tag all trees individually, both at citizen planting events and in bigger plantings. In smaller events we count on you to tag the trees you planted that day. There is still a certain degree of inaccuracy in GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) data, so there will be a deviation between the registered location and the actual point where your tree is located. We hope that the deployment of the Galileo navigation network will increase accuracy in the coming years, also enhanced by Copernicus Earth observation services.
For bigger plantings we are developing drone technology that will register each tree with high accuracy. The trees that you can “adopt” will mostly come from these plots and will thus have a higher accuracy as to their location.
Why plant trees?
Is tree-planting the only solution to fight climate change (CC)?
Tree-planting is one of the solutions for climate change mitigation. Although, in Life Terra, we believe that there is a wide range of options and solutions to face CC.
Life Terra is founded on the knowledge that tree planting is regarded as the most cost-effective nature-based solution to capture carbon. As part of a multi-faceted mitigation strategy, planting trees can play an important role in the fight against climate change and the devastation it causes (heat waves, drought, forest loss, desertification, erosion, flooding).
However, we understand that cutting down current greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, mostly from fossil fuel combustion, and investing in clean, renewable and sustainable systems of energy production is essential and urgent to mitigate CC and must be a priority in governments’ and institutions’ agendas. Also, we encourage all participants in Life Terra to take a critical look at their own lifestyle and provide tips to lower each person’s footprint. We have a detailed carbon calculator in the making that will help to visualise one’s impact.
We need short-term solutions. Trees take years to remove atmospheric CO2 significantly.
Life Terra addresses CC and generates benefits both in the short and the long term.
It is true that trees take time to reach a peak of CO2 absorption. However, young trees also capture CO2 during their early stages (to a lower extent). Indeed, a recent study (Science) proves young trees (which grow at a fast rate) have higher capacity for CO2 sequestration than mature trees (with slower growing rate). The maximum CO2 uptake occurs during the first 40 years. Thus, trees start soon to make a positive contribution to the decarbonisation of the atmosphere and we can see today the positive impact of tree-planting/reforestation initiatives which started a few years/decades ago globally.
Is there enough space left in Europe to plan 500 million trees?
Europe has massive restoration potential. During the last decades, Europe suffered several forest fires, leaving behind large patches of degraded land with potential to be restored. According to the Annual Forest Fires report of the European Commission, wildfires destroyed over 1.2 million hectares (ha) of forests and land in Europe, only in 2017. That is more than the total surface area of Cyprus.
Life Terra aims to plant 500.000 ha (5.000 km2) of degraded land with potential (and need) for ecological restoration. The area we want to plant, therefore, is not larger than regions like Cantabria in Spain, Liguria in Italy, Guarda in Portugal, or Brabant in the Netherlands. If put together, our trees would occupy a total area less than 2 times the surface of Luxemburg.
Why plant new trees? Shouldn’t we focus on maintaining existing forests?
As part of a multi-faceted mitigation strategy, planting trees can play an important role in the fight against climate change and the devastation it causes (heat waves, drought, forest loss, desertification, erosion, flooding).
Conserving & restoring existing/old forests (and not only forests but all natural ecosystems) is very important to preserve biodiversity and natural systems that we’ll never be able to “restore” fully through human action.
However, mature forests have limited ability to absorb CO2. This happens because mature trees have a limited ability to grow further. Consequently, we cannot rely anymore on mature forests to capture atmospheric CO2. Here is where young trees come into play.
Humans should not interfere by planting trees. Nature will regenerate by itself.
Even though nature is capable of regenerating by itself, some ecosystems have been damaged so much (mostly by human activity) that they reached a point of no-return where they cannot regenerate anymore or would take decades to achieve some sort of return to former status.
Planting trees can contribute to forest (natural) self-recovery, providing new trees and available seeds while helping decrease soil erosion (tree roots help soil retention). Tree-planting is an ecosystems-based solution to work with nature in assisting and accelerating ecosystem restoration.
Why does Life Terra plant climate resilience trees?
Planting trees that are more adapted to warmer and drier climates can help natural ecosystems to adapt to global climate change. The aim of Life Terra is not only to mitigate climate change effects, but also help building resilient ecosystems and societies (climate change adaptation).
All Life Terra plantings will be multispecies, involving an average of 8 different kinds of trees to ensure mixed forest stands that over time will turn into rich, biodiverse ecosystems.
How do we make sure the trees Life Terra is planting are being taken care of?
We want our trees to survive and thrive! We only work with landowners that are committed to maintaining their new trees over the long term to take full advantage of their carbon capture potential.
We use innovative technology (based on satellite technology, GNSS/GPS, drones, and vegetation indices) to provide a powerful tool and platform to track, monitor, manage and communicate tree growth and evolution, ensuring long-term success and sustainability of our plantations.