This is what it's all about:

In many parts of Asia, rainforests are being degraded at a shocking rate. The effects are not only drastic for the ecosystems, local populations and biodiversity - but also for global climate change. We want to help replanting these forests in a way that is both resilient and sustainable. We will travel to different locations in Malaysia, Laos and Borneo. There, we will carry out seed collection in unison with native populations and cultivate the seedlings in a tree nursery.

To document and understand the challenges of reforestation, we will use a smartphone-based application called SEEDit. We will pilot the application together with indigenous communities, such as the Penan in Sarawak, Borneo. By doing this, we want to bring together the wisdom of the indigenous communties and our scientific knowledge.

Reforestation is not as easy as it sounds - it involves more than simply planting trees. It’s an incredibly complex ecosystem which has evolved over thousands of years. That is why we conduct the research. How do indigenous communities collect seeds? Do they intuitively collect seeds which are genetically diverse? Or do they collect only species from one region? How can these communities benefit directly from reforestation? And what are the legal barriers?

By answering these and further questions, we can help establish sustainable livelihoods for indigenous communities by way of collecting seeds and planting trees. Within the master’s thesis project, we will explore the potential for reforestation and the possible barriers to the replanting forest to benefit nature and the indigenous people.

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Our project is special because ...

… understanding forest restoration is incredibly important!

… indigenous communities may establish sustainable livelihoods from reforestation - it’s for nature and for people.

… the research is conducted for the world-renowned ETH and in cooperation with the Bruno Manser Fonds and the Tropical Rainforest Conservation & Research Centre.

… we strive to make all aspects of the project, including the travel to Asia, as sustainable as we can. We want to travel to Malaysia by container ship, a journey that takes several weeks (we can make use of the time on the boat by preparing for the fieldwork!).

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This is what we need your backing for:

We really want to travel by ship, so that our project can strive for greater sustainability. But this way of travelling is rather expensive: the 27-day trip from Genua to Port Kelang in Malaysia costs 3’800 swiss francs per person. In comparison, a flight from Zurich to Kuala Lumpur costs only 500 francs. But it also creates up to 20 times more CO2 emissions than a container ship.

In order make a strong statement with our project, we therefore need your support!

And: if we can crowdfund more money, that means we can maybe also travel back the same way! ;)

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