small tree seedling and tape measure


Transparency and understanding are key! For this reason, you will find the most frequently asked questions answered by us in detail here. For better orientation, our FAQ is divided into different categories. Thus, you can find your question even faster!

About us

The idea for Fairventures Worldwide was born in Indonesia, when our founder Johannes Schwegler worked as a teacher at a carpentry school in Borneo. There he witnessed how companies profited from deforestation while locals had no benefit from the timber industry. He also observed how the demand for palm oil plantations was increasing and how large areas were (and still are) cleared for monocultures. Johannes wanted to do something about both of these developments, and so the idea was born to work with smallholder farmers on the ground to develop a holistic approach that would benefit people and the environment.

More on Johannes and Fairventures story can be found in his TEDx talk:

Existing contacts played a major role in the choice of location for Uganda. A good network, existing knowledge as well as profound understanding of local conditions are absolutely necessary to be successful in the respective project country. Equally important is the inclusion of all participants so that the work can lead to long-term success.

The legal status of our organization is a “gGmbH”. This is a non-profit company with limited liability under German law. This status is unique to Germany, but in essence Fairventures is a non-profit organization as any other, is recognized by the German government and can issue tax rebate vouchers for donations.

Fairventures Worldwide was founded first. Due to our desire for scaling possibilities, new ideas came up. The for-profit sister company Fairventures Social Forestry (FSF) is set up as a private sector entity to scale up our agroforestry approach with commercial funds. By being able to receive investments, we can reforest even larger areas in the tropics and expand our impact. The TREEO app of our for-profit sister company Fairventures Digital GmbH links climate-responsible companies with smallholder farmers in the tropics to reforest degraded land. Fairventures Worldwide is a shareholder of both Fairventures Social Forestry and Fairventures Digital.

Fairventures Worldwide applies so-called agroforestry for reforestation, in which fast-growing indigenous light wood species are planted together with other plants such as beans, cacao or chillis. In addition, Fairventures Worldwide links smallholders with offtakers from the wood processing industry or for example chocolate makers, thus taking into account the entire value chain. This holistic approach creates short-, medium- and long-term income opportunities for the smallholders.

Fairventures Worldwide has country offices in Kampala, Uganda and Palangka Raya (Central Kalimantan), Indonesia. It is noteworthy that these offices are under local leadership. The local team members know the conditions and specific requirements particularly well and can thus steer the project work in the best way possible.

Fairventures exclusively carries out reforestation projects in the tropics. We have operation country offices in Uganda and Indonesia. In Indonesia, we are active in Central Kalimantan (Regencies: Katingan, Gunung Mas, and Barito Timur). In Uganda, we work in Western Uganda (Districts: Hoima, Kikuube, Kibaale, Kyenjojo, Fortportal, Kasese, Rukungiri, Ntungamo, Isingiro, Mbarara), Central Uganda (Wakiso, Luweero, Mukono, Kampala) and Eastern Uganda (Tororo, Busia, Mbale, Kapchorwa).

There are four ways to support us.

1) Spread the word. Whether it’s on social media or at dinner, we need people to pass the word that effective climate action is possible.

2) Work with us. We are regularly looking for new employees from various disciplines. We also accept unsolicited applications.

3) Donate. Our work is only possible because of many loyal supporters. Are you in?

4) You are an entrepreneur? Take a look at our cooperation opportunities for companies.

If you have a particular skill that would help us promote our work, and you would like to volunteer, please feel free to get in touch. Since we do not plant trees ourselves (this is done by the smallholder farmers) we have no need for help in planting trees, nor do we offer such opportunities.

Yes, we have already supervised many theses. Just contact us with a suggestion for a topic, and we check if we have the capacity and need for it. We ask for your understanding that this is only possible if we have a concrete need, as we want to give each student partner proper support and supervision.

Yes there is, and we encourage you to do so! Please apply via this form (for Germany). To apply in Indonesia, please send your application to and for Uganda to


Yes, reforestation of degraded land is a crucial part of our approach. Degraded land is defined as land that has been deforested since the mid-20th century, i.e. land that used to be forested. In Indonesia, we support planting mostly on deforested and currently unproductive pieces of land. But degraded land is not always synonymous with infertile soil. Uganda, for example, has good soil quality in many deforested areas. For the most part, smallholder farmers there are already using this land for agriculture, which is why we are also supplementing agricultural land in Uganda with trees (establishing agroforestry systems).

We operate our own tree nurseries or work with close partners like vocational schools or local churches to produce the seedlings and crops. In rare cases, we also source seedlings from external nurseries.

In Indonesia, planting takes place between October and March during the rainy season. In Uganda, there are two rainy seasons per year during which planting takes place: April – May and September – October. Due to climate change, the rainy seasons occur more and more irregularly, making it difficult to plan our work.

In large parts, the approach of Fairventures Worldwide is similar in Indonesia and Uganda. In both countries, we support the reforestation of degraded former forest areas with fast-growing wood species, fruit trees and crops (agroforestry model). We also offer Farmer Field Schools and link farmers to offtakers for their resources in both countries.

One difference is partly in the areas planted. In Uganda, many smallholder farmers plant into existing agricultural land, whereas in Indonesia, mostly agroforestry systems are established on previously fallow land. In addition, the growth rate of trees in Indonesia is higher than in Uganda, but so is the growth rate of weeds that can prevent the trees from growing. In Indonesia, the wood processing industry is already more developed than in Uganda, so more groundwork needs to be done in Uganda.

In Germany, trees grow much slower on average, which means that the climate impact cannot keep up with tropical countries in the short term. In addition, certifiable forest projects are not possible in Germany, as the emission reduction from the German forest is attributed to the German government. Furthermore, the social aspect is significant for the selection of countries where we plant. In Indonesia and Uganda, reforestation projects with our agroforestry model also create important income opportunities for smallholder families.

The land traditionally belongs to the smallholder farmers who cultivate it. However, land ownership in countries like Indonesia is complicated in part because there is no central registry of landowners – this can mean, for example, that land is locally acknowledged but does not show up anywhere in records at the national level. Fortunately, democratic development in Indonesia has led the national government to recognize local claims more and more and to look for ways to formalize it.

We are committed to using insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and pesticides only in extreme emergency situations, when without their use the economic livelihood of the smallholder farmers would be at stake. Otherwise, we don’t use these products and only apply small amounts of chemical fertilizers on particularly difficult types of soil.  Together with smallholders, research projects are being carried out to produce organic fertilizer.

We support smallholders to establish agroforestry systems. Agroforestry refers to the combination of agriculture and forestry on the same plot. We implement this concept by planting fast-growing indigenous lightwood species together with fruit trees as well as intercropped food plants such as coffee, cocoa, peanuts, beans, chilies and corn on one field. The species planted depend on specific regional conditions.

The smallholders can use the intercropped food plants for themselves or generate income by selling them after a short-term period. In the long term (after about ten years), the sale of the lightwood provides an additional source of income for the farmers and their families.

In so-called Farmer Field Schools, the smallholders learn the basic concepts and techniques of agroforestry and apply what they have learned directly in practical workshops.

In addition to improving soil quality and the microclimate (moisture storage), afforestation with the agroforestry concept also contributes to biodiversity. Unlike large-scale monocultures, agroforestry therefore offers a long-term sustainable solution.

We started supporting smallholder farmers in planting trees in Borneo in 2014. As we had few role models to base our work on, we had to develop our approach step by step. In the process, we also made mistakes, both in the quality of the seedlings and in the intensity of the trainings. We also found that smallholder farmers who plant only fast-growing wood in Borneo do not experience enough income growth to make a significant difference in poverty reduction. Therefore, we are now focusing more on agroforestry systems in which, for example, cocoa is also planted.

This changes from year to year and location to location according to the preferences of smallholder farmers. You can find more information about currently promoted crops on our country pages. Indonesia link; Uganda link

Reforestation means more than just planting trees. To achieve successful reforestation, the planted trees must be cared for and maintained. According to a 2022 study by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, only 44% of seedlings survive more than five years on average, which shows that care is not taken seriously enough in many projects. The selection of tree species, their suitability to on-site conditions, and the supply of nutrients are important to ensure the survival of planted trees. In addition, reforestation should not only focus on the return of trees, but also consider the aspect of biodiversity and forest health, which includes the conservation of native and rare species. In addition, reforestation serves more than just an ecological purpose. Forests are meant to provide a sustainable livelihood for local communities. In addition, the 10 golden rules of reforestation (Kew) emphasize optimizing biodiversity and involving local communities in the implementation of reforestation activities.

We have also faced those challenges. In the first years in Indonesia, our survival rate was lower than we would have liked. Improved management of the nurseries and improved training in the form of the Farmer Field School have now ensured that our survival rates have risen higher, but on individual plots we still sometimes lose half of the seedlings. In such cases, we replant and do not count the seedlings again for replanting.

More information here.

Biodiversity loss is a complex issue, with many factors contributing to its spread and impact: land use change from natural ecosystems to farming or mining land and the increased use of fertilizers, pesticides and other chemical agents in agriculture are among the key drivers for biodiversity loss.

The climate impact of trees

The pace of the climate crisis has accelerated, so everyone, regardless of their sector, must contribute to reducing emissions. However, emission reductions will not be enough to limit the global average temperature increase to below 1.5 °C. To achieve this ambitious goal, billions of tons of carbon will need to be removed from the atmosphere. Carbon removals include natural-based solutions and the development of technologies to sequester CO2. Currently, technological solutions are still very expensive and cannot be deployed on a large scale immediately. Therefore, photosynthesis (the process of plants using water, light and carbon dioxide to create new plant matter) is one of the most effective tools for reducing atmospheric carbon. Among other approaches, tree planting is expected to help reduce current global carbon emissions. This is an especially potent approach if the trees are harvested, to be replanted and turned into long-living products.

First, the biomass needs to be estimated. The average carbon content in the dry biomass of a tree is estimated to be almost 50%. Therefore, the total amount of carbon stored in a tree can be calculated by multiplying the dry mass (estimated in tons) by the carbon share, which is 0.47.

Source: McGroMcGroddy, M.E. et al.; 2004; Scaling of C:N:P stoichiometry in forests worldwide: Implications of terrestrial Redfield-type ratios. Ecology 85: 2390-2401; In IPCC Chp4_Forest_Land_IPCC_Good Practice Guidance for LULUCF_V4_04; 2006; IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories

To get from carbon (C) to carbon dioxide (CO2), we need to multiply by the expansion factor, which is the atomic weight ratio of CO2 to C and is 3.67 (44/12).

Source: IPCC; 2006; IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories

This depends on the type of forests, the planting area, the planting scheme, and the tree species planted. For example, tropical forests have the potential to sequester more carbon than other forest types (WRI).

A study by Bernal et al. (2018) found that estimated carbon dioxide sequestration rates range from 4.5 to 40.7 tons of CO2 per hectare per year during the first 20 years of growth (at different sites: boreal, temperate, tropical).

When forests are burned, the carbon sequestered in the trees is released back into the atmosphere and increases global carbon emissions, accelerating climate change. In fact, forests can interact with atmospheric carbon dioxide in two ways: They absorb carbon dioxide when they stand and release it when they are damaged or burned.

For our projects, measures are implemented to eliminate these risks as much as possible. To ensure that trees are not cut down prematurely and that they are replanted after harvesting, written agreements with smallholders are signed. To reduce the risk of forest fires, local employees are trained in establishing prevention measures and firefighting.

Actually, the opposite is true. Studies show that people who offset their carbon emissions are more climate friendly in other parts of their lives, too. That makes sense: When you’re personally invested in a cause, you want it to succeed.

Researchers at ETH Zurich, led by Jean-François Bastin, have calculated that 900 million hectares of land are available for afforestation, which could sequester around 206 billion tons of carbon over a century. However, this is an issue that experts continue to debate. Regardless of the outcome of this scientific debate, the global potential is significant, but not significant enough that all other methods of combating climate change could be abandoned in favor of reforestation.

Cooperation with farmers

We support smallholder farmers in reforesting their degraded land. After farmers have expressed interest in participating, an employee of FVW visits their land to examine it for its suitability. If the land is eligible, the smallholder farmers are invited to attend our Farmer Field School, a series of hands-on workshops. In these training sessions, participants learn important basics about planting, maintaining and harvesting trees and intercrops, as well as how to effectively plan the planting of their land. With the completion of this plan, it is clear how many seedlings of which species will be needed in the next planting season. We have our own nurseries to cultivate these seedlings. Our employees check whether the designated planting areas have been properly prepared by the smallholders. The seedlings are then distributed to the farmers, who plant their fields. Even after planting, our local employees are available as contact persons in case of problems. We also arrange potential outlets for timber and crops.

Smallholder farmers receive training on agroforestry, support for land preparation, free seedlings and marketing support as concrete measures. Increased income opportunities and an improved resilience of the land to droughts motivate the farmers to participate. Farmers are not paid to plant trees.

In line with our approach, smallholders cut down the light-wood trees when they reach an adequate age for harvesting. They sell the timber and then plant new seedlings on the land. For this we have written agreements. If farmers cut the trees down prematurely, they will be excluded from our programs.

Responsible Value Chains

That depends on what happens to the timber. If it is used as firewood, all the CO₂ is released back into the atmosphere. If the tree is used in building houses, a large part of CO2 is stored for the long term. Fairventures is developing modern timber constructions in Indonesia and Uganda to make such long-term storage the norm.

The average distribution of CO2 storage within a tree is explained in a chart on the following page. 

The proceeds from selling the timber are an essential component in the income strategy of the participating farmers.  For smallholders without an opportunity to sustain their livelihoods, it is crucial to generate income from reforestation activities. We work with a system of reforestation, harvesting and replanting. This approach can help to prevent smallholder farmers converting their land to monocultures of palm oil or use it for illegal mining. Furthermore building with wood is significantly more environmentally friendly than using concrete and steel.

Ideally, the harvested timber is used to create products with a long lifespan so that the CO₂ can be stored in the long term, e.g. building materials or furniture. We are working with the wood processing industry in Indonesia and Uganda to develop such products and create market opportunities for the smallholders.

Currently, most trees are processed into plywood and other technical timber products. The timber is then used, among other things, as material for furniture and doors. In the future, more building materials are to be manufactured.


TREEO is an app currently developed by Fairventures Digital, our sister company. The app will allow smallholder farmers to monitor their land with their Android smartphones.

It works like this: They can take a geolocated picture of each tree. The TREEO algorithm then determines the diameter of the tree, from which the height can be calculated using an allometric formula (allometric formulas describe the relationship between the diameter and height of a particular type of tree). The diameter and height can then be used to calculate the volume of the tree and thus its CO₂ storage capacity. By monitoring each plot annually with the TREEO app, Fairventures Worldwide will receive a detailed overview of the condition of the planted trees. This means that seedlings can be replanted if necessary. Fairventures Digital GmbH operates the TREEO app and is currently working to make it fully operational.

We calculate €5 per tree. You can see which costs are included in the interactive graphic at the bottom of our donation page.

We are convinced that reforestation means more than just planting trees. Our approach strives for an ecologically, socially and also economically sustainable solution that benefits everyone.

Our work is based on close cooperation with smallholder farmers and the promotion of agroforests as well as responsible value chains for timber products.

There are many approaches and paths to similar goals. We appreciate other organizations that work for climate protection, and do not see them as competitors. On the contrary: We always try to learn from them and look for possibilities of cooperation. If there are potential misconducts of other organizations, we find it important that criticism is always expressed constructively.

We work in complex contexts and often have to develop new approaches because there is not a tested concept yet to rely on. In the process, we also make mistakes. However, it is important to us to learn from it and get better and in the meanwhile deal with failures transparently.

Yes, our financial statements are published annually in our annual report and on our transparency page.

The donated trees will most likely not be standing after 10 years. Our approach recommends further processing into wood products after about 8–10 years. There, a part of the CO2 is stored in the long term. Of course, we recommend the smallholders to replant trees. This means that 10 years after the first planting, there will probably be new trees in the same place. However, the decision on how to use the land and when to harvest is up to the smallholders. We are available to them throughout the process to provide advice.

Trees are plants, which will thrive or die if specific conditions are met. Even under nearly optimal conditions, not every tree is built to survive.  Especially in the first years of our operation, we had high losses of trees because we did not know yet which tree species exactly could thrive on which soils.

Sometimes trees must also be deliberately removed so that they do not take light or space away from other trees.

In addition, there are several risks, for failure of planting on individual fields. These include environmental disasters such as floods and forest fires, but also illegal logging or the withdrawal of cooperation by a farmer. Our planning takes these risks into account as far as possible. We try to provide tree replacements whenever possible.

There are several ways to find out about our progress. Here are a few options:

Newsletter (4x per year)


Our web map

Our annual report

Our social media channels: Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook


On the bottom of our donation page, you can find a graphic that shows for which activities your donation will be used.

If you indicate during the donation process that you need a donation receipt, you will receive one by email in the first quarter of the following year. Please note that the certificates are currently only issued in German.

Yes, this is possible. If you want to donate to us by bank transfer, we also ask you to go through the donation process on the website, so that we have the data for your donation receipt saved in our system. The account details will be displayed during this process.

You can manage your donation on our self-service page or contact with your request.

You can get a gift certificate for the trees when you make a donation through the following page.

For companies

We are happy to receive support for our work in the form of a donation or sponsorship. For example, sales donations are possible, whereby a small financial contribution per product sold is directed to our project areas. Or you reforest a degraded area in our project areas together with us, in line with the unavoidable CO2 emissions of your company (CO2 footprint), and thus make a contribution to the climate. Every company is different. Therefore, we are ready to develop an individual solution for you.

The full amount of a donation is used for a defined charitable purpose. You receive a donation receipt for your contribution. In addition, you can have a personalized certificate created for you. As a donation is free of any consideration, no detailed communication is made on our behalf.

Sponsoring is different: In the context of a sponsorship, you can advertise your commitment for a Fairventures project (e.g. displaying our logo, texts and photos on your homepage, in a CSR document or in other places in your public relations). It is also possible to publish your company logo or a report on our website. The details will be set out in a sponsorship contract and we will invoice you for the sponsorship amount plus 19% VAT. The main advantage: the sponsored amount is tax-deductible as operating costs without a maximum limit.

Donations can easily be made online via our website. You will receive a donation receipt for your donation.

If there are any open questions, feel free to write us using our contact form. We will get back to you and answer all your questions as good as possible.

Yes, this is possible. If you want to donate to us by bank transfer, we also ask you to go through the donation process on the website, so that we have the data for your donation receipt saved in our system. Our account details will be displayed during this process.

We are happy to advise you on how you can determine your carbon footprint as a company. Please use our contact form to get in touch.

Currently, Fairventures Worldwide does not offer climate certificates. By supporting our work, you enable the reforestation of degraded areas in cooperation with smallholder farmers in Uganda and Indonesia. In this way, you contribute voluntarily to climate protection. We are happy to document your contribution in a form suited to your needs.

Since we currently do not offer any certificates, companies should not call themselves climate neutral after a donation or sponsorship. However, by providing financial support, companies are making an important contribution to the climate by enabling the reforestation of degraded areas in cooperation with smallholder farmers in Uganda and Indonesia. We are happy to advise you to find the best way to communicate your climate engagement in our projects.

Your question has not been answered here? Then feel free to send us an email to