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SOURCE Smallholder Farmers Alliance
Play the game. Save the world. One tree at a time.
NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- For every virtual tree planted as part of a new online social network game called The Hive, a real tree will be planted in Haiti by the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA).
The Hive, which begins beta testing in early 2014 and goes live by mid-year, is the creation of the Australian-based production company Smith&Nasht. Guided by an impressive array of leading scientists and mathematicians, the company's plan is to use the new science of cooperation to trigger social change through an online and mobile Facebook game that links to an interactive website. Development of the game and its links to the real world are also the subject of science documentary commissioned by leading international broadcasters. The project aims to reveal the hidden codes of cooperation that can help solve some of humanity's most pressing problems.
Playing the game is free, but players will have the option of purchasing virtual trees-each of which will result in one real tree being planted by the more than 2,000 farmer members of SFA in Haiti. The Hive-sponsored trees will be on top of the one million trees a year currently grown by SFA farmers.
Mark Newton, vice president of corporate social responsibility for Timberland, spoke today at the Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) about the company's role in supporting SFA. "Mobilizing partnerships is one of the key themes of this year's CGI," said Newton. "I am pleased to announce a new partnership that connects the ever-growing world of online social games with real time tree planting in Haiti. The opportunity here is tremendous." Long known for its efforts in environmental stewardship, Timberland has played an active role in helping to create a sustainable agro-forestry model in Haiti over the past four years.
"We welcome this new partnership," said Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and founder of Yunus Social Business Haiti, Professor Muhammad Yunus, "and are hopeful that this initiative will strengthen the social business approach to reforesting Haiti." Many of the trees planted will be part of Haiti Forest-a new social business joint venture of Yunus Social Business, Virgin Unite and the Clinton Foundation that involves farmers, entrepreneurs and organizations working together in the area of St. Michel de l'Attalaye in an integrated and market-based approach to restoring tree cover. SFA is a key operational partner in Haiti Forest.
Players will follow the real time tree planting by SFA's farmer members through The Hive's website, which will feature regular video updates produced by recent graduates of Haiti's only film school, the Cine Institute.
Smith&Nasht is a new production company led by some experienced hands. It brings together renowned Australian entrepreneur and philanthropist Dick Smith with one of its most experienced content producers, Simon Nasht. Their joint aim is to create media that matters across all screens - from documentaries to games. Since beginning in 2011 they have already released five films and have ten more in production with partners from around the world. Other exciting cover subjects that range from science, to consumption, climate, corporate responsibility, energy, and population - some of the big issues facing our world.
About Smallholder Farmers Alliance:
The Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) is a Haitian non-profit organization that invests in Haiti's farmers to feed and reforest the nation. With the backing of Timberland and support from the Clinton Foundation, SFA has embarked on an experiment using charitable funds to transform small-scale (or "smallholder") Haitian farmers into self-financing and self-managed social businesses with a triple bottom line: planting trees, increasing food production and improving farm livelihoods.
Timberland, a wholly owned subsidiary of VF Corporation, is a global leader in the design, engineering and marketing of premium-quality footwear, apparel and accessories for consumers who value the outdoors and their time in it. Timberland markets products under the Timberland®, Timberland PRO®, and Timberland Boot Company® brands, all of which offer quality workmanship and detailing and are built to withstand the elements of nature. The company's products can be found in leading department and specialty stores as well as Timberland® retail stores throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, South America, South Africa and the Middle East. Timberland's dedication to making quality products is matched by the company's commitment to "doing well and doing good" -- forging powerful partnerships among employees, consumers and service partners to transform the communities in which they live and work.
About Yunus Social Business (Global Initiatives):
Co-founded by Peace Nobel Laureate Professor Yunus, Yunus Social Business (YSB) initiates and manages incubator funds for Social Businesses in several countries. While the incubators search, coach and select Social Businesses, the funds provide loans and equity after a thorough due diligence process. YSB also provides advisory services to corporates, NGOs, foundations and governments. YSB has a team of enthusiastic consulting, venture capital and development experts based in Germany, with subsidiaries in Haiti and Albania and is currently expanding into Brazil, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda and Colombia.
About Haiti Forest:
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus and Yunus Social Business Haiti have joined hands with Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Unite, Former US President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation to set up a new social business joint venture: Haiti Forest. Haiti is severely deforested with less than 2% forest cover remaining. The mission of the Haiti Forest initiative is to increase the tree cover and regenerate its environmental benefits, and to improve livelihoods of smallholder farmers, who are the key to breaking the deforestation cycle and igniting a reforestation dynamic. Haiti Forest will be composed of agro-forestry Social Businesses, with a strong market-orientation. The Social Businesses of the Haiti Forest ecosystem will be complementary to each other, and form a coherent value chain. If successful, this model could be replicated around the world.
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