Reforestation and rewilding

We founded Much Better Adventures with a single-minded goal: protect the world’s wild places, one adventure at a time.

One of our routes to achieving that goal is channelling 5% of revenues, not profits, into our Foundation, which primarily supports conservation, reforestation and rewilding projects. (More on everything else we do is here).

When you book an adventure, we plant native trees and support the recovery of endangered species, often in the same areas.

Why reforestation and rewilding?

We’re in the midst of a climate and biodiversity crisis, and nature holds many of the keys to reversing the trend.

Through the projects we support, at least 2x times more carbon is removed from the atmosphere than enters it as a result of our trips. They can also do so much more;

Tackle the climate crisis
Trees suck up carbon from the atmosphere, year after year - the cheapest and most effective ‘technology’ there is.

Preserve native wildlife
Create long term habitats for native species of animal, insect, plants and birds, and spark the comeback of rare and endangered species big and small.

Improve physical and mental health
Numerous studies show the clear links between time in natural spaces and mental and physical well-being: as a species, it’s where we’ve always been.

Tackle flooding and droughts
Compared to cleared agricultural land, forested areas hold water, slowing the release of water to rivers and preventing flooding. They also hold water vapour in the air, preventing droughts and desertification in other areas.

Clean the air
As well as carbon dioxide, trees absorb pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulphur dioxide and ozone.

Create jobs
Not only do schemes create direct jobs in conservation in the local community, but long term sources of income such as tourism - we’re drawn to wild places (because good things happen to our minds and bodies), and when we do, money pours into the local community.

How do we choose our projects?

Not all reforestation schemes are the same.

Sadly, many mass tree planting projects (and/or carbon offset schemes) look single mindedly at finding the cheapest route to planting a high number of trees and gaining favourable headlines. The result is often serious negative knock on effects for the local environment and community, anything from monoculture plantations, to poorly managed sites that get logged again in a few years time.

When picking our partners, we’re looking carefully for those partners that clearly understand the wide range of positive impacts their work can have, and design their projects accordingly to ensure a holistic range of long term positive benefits for the environment and local community.

Some of the key questions we ask;

  • Is the project plan focussed on native species and species diversity, not mono-planting?
  • Are they thinking about supporting biodiversity and local flora and fauna too?
  • Are they clear on how they ensure other ecosystem services are restored - like soil stabilisation, flooding prevention and water purification?
  • Have they clearly worked out how the project helps combat climate change?
  • Are their plans and claims backed up by solid scientific evidence and ongoing monitoring and analysis?
  • Is the project supported and led by the local community?
  • Are the causes of the original degradation understood and being addressed by the project?
  • Is there a solid long term protection plan in place for the area?
  • Do they have a plan for the monitoring and re-planting of saplings that don’t survive?
  • Does the project help create sustainable income streams for the local community?
  • Do they provide transparent monitoring and reporting on progress?
  • Are they financially transparent and efficiently run?

If they can answer yes to all these, we’re in a good place.

Where are the projects?

We’re currently committed to supporting the reforestation and rewilding of the Southern Carpathians. This is an area close to our hearts and host to some of our most popular adventures.

Romania's Carpathian Mountains are home to some of Europe’s last remaining truly wild virgin old growth forests and the largest population of species including bears, wolves and lynx. They are threatened by years of illegal logging, overgrazing and lack of management.

The project aims to create a sustainable wilderness reserve, restore deforested areas, convert monoculture forests back to healthy mixed woodlands, and re-introduce keystone species including the bison and beaver.

Find out more through project partners Foundation Conservation Carpathia and Mossy Earth.

Here's a map of the planting areas.

Stay tuned for more details of other projects we’re lining up to support in 2021.

Invitation to criticise

Our plans are evolving continuously based on learning and sharing. If you have suggestions or insights that can help us improve, just email [email protected] anytime.