Projects in Africa

B4Trees is a socio-economic company with green and social sustainability as its key value. 

B4Trees work with tree planting projects (GAFAS and CRES projects) and collaborate with and support over 60 women groups in West Africa. Our vision in trading oils and similar products is to support the expansion of sustainable forests in West Africa, for the profit of the Sahelian people relying on forestry, and thereby create jobs and fight poverty.

B4Trees’ mission is to contribute to climate change mitigation by planting and protecting trees and thereby bind CO2 from the atmosphere to alleviate the consequences of climate change, drought, and desertification.

In this context it is beneficial when B4Trees plant tree species like baobab and shea, which are native and adapted to grow in the Sahelian area. Along with other native vegetation the trees sustain the living of flora, fauna and thereby help the biodiversity in the area.

The trees also bind precious water in the arid soil, which is both beneficial for the ecosystem and the local communities. The more benefit local people get from trees, the more will be planted, and in that way the trees and their products become parts of a climate protecting circle.

Women group working with natural oils.
Photo by Anders Bjørnkjær-Nielsen.

Shea production.
Photo by Freja Lykke Herrik.

B4Trees have been part of the project Climate Change Resilience of Ecosystem Services (CRES) in Ghana and Burkina Faso. Here, B4Trees facilitated workshops for women groups in the Northern Ghana. The objective of the workshops was to empower the local women groups through knowledge sharing and idea generation about how to protect and plant more native trees. The knowledge sharing goes both ways, because on the one hand the project learned from the local women’s knowledge about the usages of the trees, and on the other hand we raised awareness about the importance of nature and native trees in the communities.

The idea generation was a way of engaging the local women in decision making by encouraging them to discuss their ideas about how to protect the native tree species in the best possible way. It was also to give the local women the chance to take the first step towards carrying out their ideas in their communities. The workshops ended out with the women groups deciding on one main idea from each community. The ideas were afterwards supported by B4Trees and CRES.

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Read more about CRES on their webpage:
Read more about the results from the workshops here: Report – Sustainable usage and protection of native trees in Kumbungu

Workshop in Kumbungu, Ghana.
Photo by Anne Mette Lykke.

It is essential for a project to sustain in the future to include the local communities, so they agree with the changes and have responsibility for the project. In the CRES project in Ghana, B4Trees have developed a toolkit for creating workshops that help to include the local people in the project through knowledge sharing and idea generation, specifically with a focus on local women groups. The toolkit is an overview over the methods used in the workshops in Ghana and a step-by-step guide on how to use these methods in similar projects in other contexts.

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Read the workshop toolkit here: Based on a case study of sustainable uses and protection of native tree species in Ghana
For further information or inquiries on using the toolkit in other projects, you are welcome to contact:

Freja Lykke Herrik
Tel: +45 31727550
Location: Denmark

Workshop in Kumbungu, Ghana.

We support more than 60 well-organized women cooperatives in Burkina Faso in West Africa, delivering natural cosmetic oils from native trees in the southern Sahara. The women have a strong working community as well as ownership of the trees.

 Traditionally the handicraft of oil production and knowledge about the trees is inherited between generations from woman to woman. Working with products from native trees is therefore a good way of empowering women, because the women groups get to be the experts, decision makers, and to earn their own income in an otherwise traditionally patriarchal society, where women often is a marginalized group.

 Shea nuts have historically been used for different purposes, and the escalating demand from the Western world has resulted in a wide range of projects focusing on production of shea butter and education of women in hygiene, reduced firewood- and water consumption, and how to secure the cleanest product. B4Trees support projects that work with women groups to produce shea butter and other natural products.

B4Trees supports the non-profit organization GAFAS (Groupe d’Action en Faveur au Arbre au Sahel). GAFAS was established in 1998 by a group of foresters, technicians, and farmers in response to the forest and land degradation in Africa in general and in Burkina Faso particularly. GAFAS’ mission is to contribute to securing and improving the livelihood of rural people through increased use of plants. GAFAS believes that sustainable use of plants could significantly reduce the vulnerability of communities in rural Africa’s dry lands to climate change (drought and famine).

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Read more about GAFAS on their webpage: