WE PLANTED 10,000 TREES IN AREA OF 6.5 HECTARES
TREES WILL OFFSET 63,560kg OF CO2 IN 2023
The year 2022 was full of challenges, but thanks to the team's hard work, it turned out very favourable. We pushed our reforestation efforts to a new level by planting 10 0000 trees, we established our tree nursery in Lurë and grown our first 1 700 Pinus nigra saplings.
In 2021 we planted 2712 trees and as by the end 2022 these saplings achieved a 78% survival rate. While this is an excellent result, we really wanted to expand our reforestation efforts to contribute more towards the number of planted trees, the recovered area within the national park as well as scale up support for the local communities.
Early in 2022, we decided to challenge ourselves and aim to plant 10 000 Pinus nigra saplings in the remaining area we had permission to plant. We used our experience from the previous years to estimate the budget for the whole operation, which was almost 5x larger, we agreed to new terms and prices for planting material and planting-related work, reflecting the much larger scale of our operation in 2022.
The planting operation took place during October and November 2022. The area was first prepared by digging all 10 000 holes. This task started in early October and was completed by the local team of 17 workers in two weeks, no machinery was used, just pickaxes and shovels. The second phase, planting the saplings, was completed in the last two weeks of October and 1st week of November 2022 by the local team of 18 men and women. We have also organised events for volunteers to participate in planting on weekends.
Even though the tree nursery project was a secondary goal of 2022, the nursery is crucial for the long-term sustainability of the Trees for Lurë. The production of our planting material will reduce costs for transportation and purchase of the saplings and bring the reforestation costs down significantly.
In 2022 we established a test tree nursery and tried to grow first saplings in Lurë. We secured suitable land and agreed with a local family to work in our tree nursery. Our local team collected seeds of Black pine (Pinus nigra) which is species we are allowed to plant in our planting area. In spring, we planted 20 000 seeds to grow an estimated 5 000 saplings.
The goal of the nursery project, in 2022, was to test the viability of the tree nursery at an altitude of 1 100 a.s.m.l, one of the highest in the Balkans. We needed to gain experience growing our saplings without any chemicals or fertilisers and using only locally available materials. We also wanted to keep minimum budget of €3 600 wit all the risks and unknowns.
We had mixed results; we admit that, but we gained tremendous experience to improve the nursery in 2023. Out of 20 000 seeds we planted we could grow 1 700 saplings which survived for the 2023 season.
While the results may sound disappointing, the reality is different. We know what to change during the 2023 season to eliminate main issues with excessive watering and diseases we experienced in 2022. We dedicated more research into the planting medium, seed preparation and improvements of the nursery infrastructure by building a proper greenhouse. We are applying these changes already, we have established a process for cleaning and stratification of our seeds for example.
Our revenue relies purely on domestic and international donations from the general public and private sector. We did not have financial support from any government agency in 2022.
We want to thank all our donors for their support and trust in us.
Our donations came from 95 donations from donors spread across 8 countries (Canada, Austria, Netherlands and Slovakia, not visible in the graph), with German & UK donors contributing the most significant portion of the donations.
Regarding the donor numbers, the general public is our largest donor group. Corporate donors were growing in 2022, and due to their donation value, they contribute the majority of our donation revenue.
Donors donate via our website (20.6%, majority of individual donors) or use bank transfer (71.4%, corporate). You can find more information about how to donate and what services we use on our Donation page.
We also receive donations in other forms of charitable gifting from our partners. These include rental of the vehicles, planting material, audio-visual services or consultancy and guidance provided for free to support our mission. The value of these gifts are not reflected in this report, but we list all the partners.
We currently do not operate any business activity which would generate revenue in the form of sales. It is, however, our goal to create revenue streams to self-finance our activities in the future.
Being a non-profit organisation does not mean we can't generate sales revenue from merchandise, consultancy or services provided to the general public and corporate sector; on the contrary.
The self-financing strategy is a key to the sustainable operation of any non-profit organisation and provides much needed-breathing space and limits organisation reliance on the donors.
The decision to plant 10 000 trees in 2022 has significantly raised our planting expenses. In addition, we made a substantial investment into our vehicle to optimise the logistics of our operations. Despite all this, the primary cost remained a contribution to the local economy.
Planting material 20.6% / €5,885
As our nursery was not yet able to provide planting material for the 2022 planting operation, we had to buy 10 000 Pinus nigra saplings from existing suppliers.
We selected suppliers for our reforestation in 2021, and with a larger number of saplings, we could secure better prices from the fidanishte Xhepi Sh.p.K. In 2022 we bought 9 000, 2-year-old Pinus nigra saplings from this supplier. We want to thank Xhepi Sh.p.K for their support and quality planting material which has a good survival rate in Lurë.
The remaining 1 000 trees has been planted in cooperation with Agjencia Kombëtare e Zonave të Mbrojtura (AKZM). The saplings were 4-year-old Pinus Nigra and were provided for free.
Planting expenses 7.8% / €2,216
A small category of expenses, such as the necessary tools, protection and miscellaneous items, necessary to execute planting events.
Compared to 2021, this category has grown due to higher expenses on the fuel required for the transport of the trees, our team, and transporting workers from the village to the planting area.
Local economy 44.6% / €12,707
This category includes accommodation, food, local team salaries, payouts and local contractors.
We are incredibly proud to be able to provide regular seasonal job opportunities in the Lurë area for men and women who help us plant trees as well as take care of the tree nursery.
Planting 10 000 trees takes a lot of effort, and we are proud that all work related to area preparation and digging has been done by the local team working for 3 weeks on digging 10 000 holes. We are pleased to see our team growing to 17 workers ranging from 20 to 70 years old, many of the men working with us for 2nd year.
Planting the trees in 2022 has been done mainly by the local workforce. We reserved only 1 000 trees for the volunteers who were planting over three weekends. The remaining 9 000 were planted by the mixed team of local men (10) and women (8) during the workdays.
As you can see, our expenses towards the local contractors working directly on the planting operation amount to 85% of all our contributions to the local economy.
Operational expenses 27.0% / €7,701
Operational expenses include all expenses related to operating the NGO, such as fees, taxes, salaries and equipment investments.
In terms of salaries, Trees for Lurë continued to be a volunteer-based organisation, and members of the team worked for free. This however, will have to change in the future as the amount of work and responsibilities of the team members are raising.
Vehicles were a large portion of the operational expenses in 2022, accounting for 89.5% of all operational expenses.
We decided to invest in our 1989 Mitsubishi L200 due to the requirements to transport trees, material and team to Lurë and the planting areas. Previously we had to rent a 4x4 car for every trip to Lurë, which costs €50/day. Arranging transport was also difficult and expensive.
We knew that in 2023 we would need to transport a lot of material for our tree nursery, and the frequency of going to Lurë would raise significantly.
We use clever IT infrastructure and donation management tools to minimise fees for running our online services. Despite this, we still pay fees when receiving donations via our website and other bank fees.
Tax & Fees
We pay our tax & administration fees as per current law in Albania.
Expense category brakedown details
- Accomodation / Local economy €582
- Cost of accomodation during our events when we work in the field.
- Admin / Operational expenses €120
- Administrative costs such as website, payment processing and law required fees.
- Contractors / Local economy €10,808
- Labor and services we contract locally in Lurë area to help us execute our activities.
- Food / Local economy €195
- Expenses related to feeding everyone working in the field on planting.
- Fuel / Planting expenses €1,491
- Expenses for the fuel to run our vehicles.
- Material / Planting expenses €725
- Any material required or supporting our planting activities. For example shovels, gloves, etc...
- Salaries / Operational expenses €0
- Salaries for the team members of Trees for Lurë.
- Tax / Operational expenses €686
- Amount of tax we have to pay in Albania based on our activities.
- Transport / Local economy €1,122
- Contracted transportation cost, if we can't provide transportation ourselves.
- Trees & Seeds / Planting material €5,885
- Cost of the material (seedlings & seeds) which we plant.
- Vehicles / Operational expenses €6,895
- Cost of buying and running our Mitsubishi L200 pickup
- TOTAL €28,509
Forests play an important role in supporting the environment, habitats and protecting biodiversity. They also function as carbon sinks because forests are able to capture huge amounts of CO2.
Trees we plant will capture the carbon from the atmosphere for another 30 years before they get saturated with CO2.
Based on the calculation from EcoTree a tree can absorb 10—40kg of CO2 in a year. This number is significantly lower for the saplings we plant due size of the planted trees.
We used 5kg per tree per year for our calculation at the beginning of the report for 10,000 trees planted 2022 and 2,712 in 2020.
Trees for Lurë would not be able to plant trees or perform any other activities without generous support of our individual and corporate donors. In 2023 a large portion of the support came from the international motorcycling community either as direct donations or development of relationships with our corporate partners.
We have to give special thanks to Valentin Müller aka Valle on Tour who visited us in Lurë during his motorcycle tour through Balkans. His YouTube video of the adventure going through the Lurë spoke our large German motorcycling audience. We must thank to Katrin & Theodor Käuper, who despite being individual donors donated a large amount towards reforestation, we met them and their group in Lurë during their trip in Albania. Brothers Leopold & Adrian Kamp who we met again on their motorcycles have been doing monthly contributions through out 2022.
Huge thanks goes to our major partners risr/ from UK and Heldenwerbung GmbH (Shirt-King & Button-King) from Germany, their financial support made it possible for us to take on such abitious goal as planting 10 000 trees and execute the treee nursery pilot project. risr/ decided to make a single large donation, while Heldenwerbung GmbH donated €1 for each order on their e-commerce websites during several months.
Donations of €1000 or more
Donations of €500 or more
Donations of €100 or more
The Rocket Foundation
Valle on Tour