How can a search engine plant trees with every search?
Ecosia, a web search engine that is powered by Bing and its own algorithm, has been working over the years to tackle and reverse the effects of deforestation. In 2015, they turned their efforts to funding reforestation in Burkina Faso, as part of their mission to plant 1 billion trees by 2020.
Bad News for Biodiversity
Deforestation can and does have a negative impact on our environment. It can result in a loss of habitat for millions of animals and it can also severely impact our climate as greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere when felled trees release the carbon they’d been storing. It is there of the utmost importance that we try and manage our forests in a way that is sustainable.
A Solution to Suit All
Ecosia has created a solution to restore degraded forests and increase afforestation that suits all. Through their search engine, they make revenue from advertisements. Therefore, by simply using their search engine their users are helping them make money which they then invest in planting trees in the most threatened ecosystems and biodiversity hotspots. On average it takes 45 web searchers to plant one tree. Users can even see how many trees they have helped plant – so far the company have planted over 30 million trees (as of June 2018).
Each month Ecosia publishes a report that details their income and the amount they have subsequently invested into trees and conservation programmes, thus ensuring complete transparency. Their most recent venture is to increase afforestation in Burkina Faso as part of a larger effort to spread greenery across dry regions of Africa; they are using both mechanical and manual labour to restore more than 10,000 hectares of desert land back into forests!
This story shows how Ecosia supports Goal 15: Life on Land, specifically Target 15.2: “By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally.”
Ecosia is a web search engine that is based in Berlin, Germany. Launched at the end of 2009, this private company donates 80% of its surplus income to non-profit conservationist organisations that focus on planting trees!
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