“Tree planting has mind-blowing potential to tackle climate crisis.”

The Guardian July 4, 2019

For the first time, we have a scalable road map on how to best address our climate emergency. According to a ETH-Zurich, Switzerland’s MIT, study published in Science Journal, July 2019:

We can dramatically decarbonize our atmosphere by planting nearly a trillion trees on the nearly one billion hectares of treeless, non-food producing land available worldwide for reforestation and afforestation.

Through photosynthesis, one trillion trees can draw down 205 gigatons of CO2, bringing our atmosphere back to 1950’s levels.

One Million Forests revolutionizes this strategy by combining biochar, an ancient Amazonian terraforming technology, with climate smart agroecology to turbocharge photosynthesis, Nature’s awesome power to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere.

first we need to slow down deforestation

Human activities have led to the loss of nearly half the world’s trees (45.8%).

On the African Continent up to 70% of the deforestation is caused by the use of charcoal and firewood.

Our African Green Charcoal Initiative is designed to profitably address this...and save millions of lives in the process.

One third of earth's land mass is covered by about 3 trillion trees. Each year we plant about 5 billion trees and since 1990, lose about 15.3 billion, ending up with a net loss of 10 billion trees.

Since 1990, we have lost 1.3 million square kilometers of tree cover (the size of South Africa). The global canopy cover may shrink by 223 million hectares by 2050, with the vast majority of losses occurring in the tropics.

Avoiding deforestation could cut 4 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions per year - the equivalent of half the world’s cars. Additionally, forests store and recycled our water, clean our air, prevent erosion and harbor biodiversity.

we know how to sink carbon into forests

Founded in 1985, our international NGO, Pro Natura, has been innovating sustainability practices in 63 countries.

Beginning in 1997, Pro Natura partnered with the France's National Forestry Office to create the first, and arguably still the world’s largest, carbon sink by planting over 2 million trees in the Juruena region of the Brazilian Amazon to offset the emissions of the Peugeot car company. This project has already sequestered over one million tons of carbon and over 100 species new to science have been discovered in this area.

Our Juruena Nursery

we study forests and biodiversity

Since 1989, Pro Natura has organized the world's largest expeditions to study our planet's biodiversity, lately with the French Museum of Natural History. Of our 13 expeditions, the largest was in Papua New Guinea where over 180 scientists from 22 countries, collected, over a period of a year and a half, one and a half million samples of life forms

Amongst our scientific partners are the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Kew Gardens, The University of Tokyo, Russian Academy of Science, ATDN (Amazon Tree Diversity Network), Wildlife Conservation Society, ZSM (The Bavarian State Collection of Zoology) University of Cape Town, Ostrava University, The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Science, Pomona College, University of Genoa, France's ONF and many others.

food security: innovating with biochar and climate smart agroecology

Pro Natura's global developmental work has led us, over the last two decades, to dramatically innovate agricultural practices. Our climate smart agro-ecology (CSA), inspired by agro-forestry, permaculture and especially by the use of biochar, can be used under the forest canopy to greatly increase our initiatives’ effectiveness.

Depending on soil conditions, biochar, for instance, can increase growth of trees up to 300%, sequester carbon, multiply yields, and vastly improve soil health.

Combining biochar with a number of Pro Natura's CSA techniques and smart ag-tech, like drones, will revolutionize reforestation programs around the world.

our formula for success:

we start with empowered local communities

Thirty five years of developmental work, and a "Shared Value Platform" with the World Bank and the IFC, has taught us that for this strategy to work, all reforestation projects have to be "owned" by local communities and based on principles of long-term economic sustainability; otherwise forests will be cut down in times of economic hardship.

Our long-term, bottom-up, systemic approach makes a global reforestation strategy feasible while directly impacting complex problems such as food security, biodiversity conservation, water issues, energy, employment, socio-economic development, and the migratory crisis.

One Million Forests

strategy and implementation

  • Raising seed funding to open and staff US operations.
  • Designing, leveraging our existing capacity in Ghana, Tanzania and Brazil, pilot projects to measure the effectiveness of our carbon sequestration strategies.
  • Identifying existing and well-managed global reforestation and afforestation projects, to help fund them and build capacity.
  • Creating a global media campaign focused on digital marketing to raise global awareness of the need for, and potential of, "smart" forestation.
  • Using tokenization, crowdfunding and gamification to generate large scale engagement, funding and corporate support.
  • Integrating blockchain, ground sensors, satellite imaging, and AI to help ensure transparency, accountability, and develop best practices.

Pro Natura International


  • 35 years redefining sustainability
  • 63 countries
  • 6.5 million plus lives affected
  • 16 programs
  • 138 projects
  • 425 partnerships
  • $1 billion plus invested in local communities
  • 501(c)(3) Public Charity status in the US
  • Helped define the Sustainable Development model, even before the terminology was coined, becoming one of the main pioneers in the area.


contact: brando.crespi@pronatura.org

our team




Since the early 90’s and based in Paris, Crespi focused on developing Pro Natura where he helped design, fund and implement numerous sustainable development projects in the Americas, Africa and Asia.

Born in Switzerland, raised in Rome and educated in Switzerland, the UK and the US (he studied cultural anthropology and economics at Georgetown Univ.), in the mid eighties, Brando Crespi left a career in communications and marketing to focus on developmental and ecological work. At the time he co founded the Global Action Plan and subsequently headed Earth Day in Europe.

His interest in ethno-botany contributed to the creation of “Biodivalor,” an ethical bio-prospecting framework supported by Dragoco, Dior, Quest, Roche, Aventis, Novartis and Glaxo.

In 1998, he helped design and fund the Pro Natura/Givaudan “Scent Trek” expeditions looking for new scents in Guyana, Gabon and Madagascar rainforests canopies, a project that won New York’s Fragrance Foundation’s “1999 Award for Innovation.”

In 2007, Crespi was called to Beijing to collaborate on the development of the Great Green Wall, the largest man-made forest in the world.

Over the past 15 years, he has focused on innovating agroecology and the use of biochar in 15 African countries. He is or has been a senior advisor on sustainability and “green” marketing to P&G, L’Oréal, Armani, Habitat, Givaudan, ST Microelectronics, Lucent, US Robotics, Beijing’s BMK and Shanghai’s Matsuoka and CFNL, among others.

An angel investor, Crespi sits on the Boards of a number of clean-techs, NGO and social ventures.



A pioneer in the sustainable development arena, Dr. Marcelo de Andrade founded Pro Natura International in 1985. In 1992 he co-founded, with the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Terra Capital Fund, the first venture capital fund dedicated to investing in biodiversity in Latin America.

In 1996 he co-founded Axial Bank, the first financial institution in South America dedicated to investments in sustainable development. In 2017, he co-founded with World Bank’s IFC the Shared Value Platform to promote sustainable, inclusive and climate friendly development in vulnerable regions impacted by large scale investments.

Over the last 35 years, he has helped such corporations as Shell, BHP Billington, DuPont, Proctor and Gamble, multilateral institutions as the IFC, the World Bank and sovereign Governments to successfully develop and implement sustainability programs.

Currently Dr. Andrade is a managing partner and cofounder of Earth Capital Holdings, one of the largest global private equity management firm specializing in cleantech, agribusiness and renewable energy investments.

Dr. Andrade holds several awards, such as the United Nations Earth Day International Award, the Royal Geographical Society, the George and Cynthia Mitchell International Sustainable Development Prize, among others.He has organized and led over 20 major expeditions, including to Aconcagua, Sahara, Kilimanjaro, Patagonia and Amazonia.



Ms.Miller is the co-founder & executive director of Indigenous Celebration, a US-based NGO currently serving 21 tribes in the Amazon with a mission to preserve the forest and it’s wisdom by empowering the world’s indigenous through a celebration of their culture.

In August 2019, Ms. Miller, along with the disaster relief organization Global Empowerment Mission, was part of the first international aid mission to arrive on the ground in Bolivia to combat the Amazon fires, identifying and mapping indigenous territories closest to the blazes.

Ms. Miller served as Diplomatic Attaché for the United Nations Association Brazil and for the Permanent Mission of the Commonwealth of Dominica for work related to the development of public-private partnerships for sustainable waste-to-energy technologies.

She holds an MBA from Fordham University Gabelli School of Business, is a member of the International Women’s Earth and Climate Initiative Advisory Council and serves on Tibet House Auction Committee.



Alice LeBlanc is an environmental economist with more than twenty-five years’ experience focused on developing economically viable ways to address the challenges of climate change and sustainable development based on improvements in forestry, agriculture and energy production.

Her clients have included the USEPA, the Government of Australia, the World Bank, the government of Brazil, the United Nations, and the Commission for Environmental Cooperation; and private sector clients in the insurance, financial and engineering industries, the electric power sector, and the oil industry in North America and the EU.

Ms. LeBlanc headed the Office of Environment and Climate Change at American International Group (AIG), then the largest insurance company in the world, where she designed and implemented the global corporate climate change and environmental strategy

She was a Senior Economist at the Environmental Defense Fund, establishing the regulations for the United States SO2 emissions trading program, the first large scale “cap and trade” program in the world. As Senior Vice President at the Environmental Financial Products/Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), she helped establish the CCX, a voluntary greenhouse gas emissions cap and trade program.

Ms LeBlanc holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Smith College and a M.S. in Economics from the University of Houston. She is a member and former Board Treasurer of the Society of Women Geographers and a Fellow at the NYC-based Explorers’ Club.

contact: brando.crespi@pronatura.org

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