The Better Globe Group
The Better Globe Group of companies and organisations in Norway and East Africa probably represent today's most powerful concept of social entrepreneurship by fighting poverty, improving the environment and making this world a better place to live, for this and future generations. This is achieved through massive, sustainable tree-planting and focused social corporate responsibility, ranging from education, water and tree donations to microfinance.
Website link: www.betterglobegroup.com
Better Globe AS is engaging millions of people in more than 60 countries to take part in its initiative to fight poverty in Africa. We are talking about charity based on profitable and sustainable business ventures, which will give profit to the donors while achieving its goal to reduce poverty, hinder desertification and improve the welfare of poor people in Africa. This is achieved through promoting massive sustainable tree- planting projects and educational programmes.
Website link: www.betterglobe.com
The Better Globe Group in Africa
Better Globe Forestry Ltd. was incorporated in Kenya in 2004 and is part of The Better Globe Group from Norway. Its mission is to create a greener, healthier and wealthier place in which to live in East Africa, by focusing on the development of profitable, commercial tree plantations that will deliver environmental as well as humanitarian benefits.
BGF are agents of several tree marketing companies for the implementation of sustainable tree-planting programmes that go together with social, humanitarian and ecological benefits. BGF is the mother company of the other Better Globe Group forestry related companies in Kenya.
Trees4Expenses Ltd. The main purpose behind this new company is to find new ways to finance massive tree-planting in Africa, with the goal of eradicating poverty through business related concepts, instead of regular charity.
Muhammed Yunus, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, called this type of business"Social Capitalism". Richard Branson called it "Capitalism 24902" - the figure represents the distance in miles around the Equator and the fact that every business must think of and be responsible for the people and the total environment on the planet on which we live.
Within the Better Globe Group, we call it "Social Entrepreneurship – The Better Globe Way". The company Trees4Expenses Ltd (T4E) will be operational from 2014. Better Globe Forestry Ltd in Kenya owns T4E, pending the sale of shares.
Processing companies within the Group of African companies
Mukau Wood Ltd. This company was established in 2008 and is owned by Better Globe Forestry Ltd. The aim of the company is to process mukau (Melia volkensii) products produced by or under contract for Better Globe Forestry for commercial purposes.
The company will operate a sawmill, a kiln and any other equipment or factories that will process the trees up to the finished products.
Better Mangos Ltd has been set up by BGF to manage the large-scale industrial mango plantation the company is establishing in Nyongoro, near its mukau plantations. Mangos Ltd is part of the BGF strategy for providing cash flow in order to guarantee sustained income for the early days before the mukau reach maturity.
Better Acaciagum Ltd (the name is still subject to change) This company, owned by BGF, will manage the large-scale industrial planting of Acacia senegal for producing and processing gum arabic from the trees. The start-up of the project is 2015, by when the strategic plan and the environmental impact assessment (EIA) will have been approved for the Sosoma area in Kenya. Seeds are being collected for a first trial of 100 hectares.
Research and Development
Better Globe Forestry In-Vitro Laboratory, To realise its plans of large- scale afforestation, BGF needs to set up a laboratory that will allow the large-scale multiplication of mukau and acacia, as well as being part of the improvement process of the species.
Start-up is expected to be early 2015 with the technical help of the Faculty of Biotechnology, Landscape Architecture and Agriculture of the University of Ghent in Belgium. This project also fits completely into the framework of the MoUs BGF has signed with some high level partners in Kenya and Uganda.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Better Globe Forestry Foundation is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) set by BGF to take care of its corporate social responsibility programme. This includes tree donations, water donations, micro-finance, the Trees4families programme (www.trees4family.com) and Miti magazine (www.betterglobeforestry.com/miti-magazine)
The latter is a high quality, full colour, tree business magazine, the first of its kind in East Africa that aims to inform its readers, both professionals and non-professionals, on matters related to afforestation in Africa.
Child Africa is a non-profit organisation, registered and operating pursuant to the laws of Norway, Uganda and Kenya. Its main office in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, has been operating since 1991. Child Africa's message is clear, the methods uncomplicated and its voice unwaveringly loud as they strive daily to make a difference in the lives of orphans and vulnerable children. They do this through the provision of education and other basic amenities such as clothing, food and stationery, among others.
Through its forestry programme, Better Globe Forestry supports Child Africa and donates money monthly for various projects, like school building and publishing Bingwa (Swahili for champion), a free children's magazine that fights corruption by building integrity in children of Africa.
Better Globe ICT Ltd is an innovative online technologies company operating from Kenya that specializes in website development, domain registration and hosting, graphics design, implementing of various online technologies, ICT support and consultancy. The company gives overall ICT support to Better Globe Forestry Ltd and its related companies in Kenya.
Website link: www.betterglobeict.com
Better Globe Forestry has signed MOU’s with
Kenya Forestry Service (KFS), a state corporation established in February 2007 under the Forest Act 2005 to conserve, develop and sustainably manage forest resources for Kenya's social-economic development. KFS has the mandate to conserve, develop and manage forestry resources sustainably.
KFS's vision is to be the leading organisation of excellence in sustainable forest management and conservation globally, while its mission is to enhance conservation and sustainable management of forests and allied resources for environmental stability and social-economic development.
Website link: www.kenyaforestryservice.org
The Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), a state corporation established in 1986, under the Science and Technology Act of the Laws of Kenya. The Act has since been repealed by the Science, Technology and Innovation Act of 2013. KEFRI undertakes research in forest and allied resources.
The institute conducts research and development activities under five thematic areas, namely: Forest Productivity and Improvement, Biodiversity and Environment Management; Forest Products Development; Social-economics, Policy and Governance and Technical Support Services. KEFRI also has a division that offers enterprise services.
Website link: www.kefri.org
The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), a CGIAR Consortium Research Centre. ICRAF's headquarters are in Nairobi, Kenya, with five regional offices located in Cameroon, India, Indonesia, Kenya and Peru.
ICRAF's vision is a rural transformation in the developing world as smallholder households strategically increase their use of trees in agricultural landscapes to improve their food security, nutrition, income, health, shelter, social cohesion, energy resources and environmental sustainability. The Centre's mission is to generate science-based knowledge about the diverse roles that trees play in agricultural landscapes, and to use its research to advance policies and practices, and their implementation, that benefit the poor and the environment.
Website link: www.worldagroforestry.org
Sawlog Production Grant Scheme (SPGS) funds the establishment of timber plantations. It also, provides professional technical advice, training and research grants to support private growers throughout Uganda.
SPGS is tackling head-on the massive looming timber crisis in Uganda and at the same time is addressing key development goals, notably, rural poverty, mitigating climate change and ultimately (by taking the pressure off natural forests to supply timber) biodiversity conservation. SPGS is a good example of a donor-government partnership that is producing positive results.
Website link: www.sawlog.ug
Organisations with the same interests in ASAL
Water for Arid Land, The organisation provides information and data on relatively cheap methods of harvesting rainwater during the short erratic rainy seasons for use during long dry seasons in today's changing climate.
Website link: www.waterforaridland.com
University of GhentÂÂ has been very supportive to the Better Globe Forestry mukau initiative, starting in 2006 when their Department of Applied Bioscience took on continuous research on multiplication of Melia volkensii (mukau) in their Laboratory of Applied In-Vitro Plant Biotechnology. All information coming from Ghent is shared with KEFRI.
Moreover, for several years starting in 2009, the university sent a PhD student to Kenya to do applied research in BGF's plantations.
Website link: www.invitro.ugent.be
As a request by Rachel Martin, a volunteer at a youth centre in Kenya, together with two of her students; James and Robert, we have agreed to highlight a website about tree conservation that is targeted at young kids. This is because these kids have to know from a very early age the importance of Tree conservation - www.topiarytree.net