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December 23, 2020
Sagar Aryal

Transparency through PwC, Camera Teams and an Expert Committee

Dear supporters, dear Ambassadors,

We are still deeply affected by the reporting of the ‘Zeit’, because our work in Constitución has been questioned to a large extent. In the meantime, we have received a lot of encouragement, but unfortunately also a lot of criticism.

We have drawn the conclusion from the report and the reactions to it, that we have become better – in documentation and communication. If we have perhaps communicated figures, data and issues concerning us carelessly or hastily in the past, they are now falling on our feet. We are aware that not only we – who have a very strong and positive public profile – but also you as our supporters will receive even more attention in the debate about the climate crisis.

As our credibility – and indirectly yours – is being put to the test, we have decided, in close consultation with our benefactors, to take the following measures, which are already being implemented:

1. We have engaged the auditing firm PwC as a kind of “tree accountant.” According to the current status, the mandate will include an initial report documenting or describing the results achieved so far in Mexico. In addition, PwC will be tasked with preparing annual planting documentations or reports that includes checking accounting data in Mexico and verifying planting reports. Ideally, we would like to have the initial report ready in January 2021 and will send it to you.

2. We will create an independent Expert and Transparency Committee, which will start its work in the first quarter of 2021 and which should permanently remove any doubt about the work of our foundation. It will act independently and should be able to verify the foundation’s information, calculations, satellite data, etc. The persons involved will not be from the existing environment of the Foundation. The committee is to be institutionally anchored in the foundation’s statutes. We are already working on this.

We want to use all our energy for the future and improvements. Two European camera teams are already planning to film on the Yucatán Peninsula in January and report on our reforestation work.

Our staff here in Constitución on the Yucatán Peninsula have grown, planted and cared for exactly 6,332,664 seedlings since March 8, 2015 until today, Christmas 2020.

For these 6.3 million trees, we have invested 6.3 million euros of your donations and sponsorship money and for that we thank you very much!

We would also like to thank you for the trust you have placed in us and wish you a very merry Christmas season.

Felix Finkbeiner

Chairman of the Board of Directors
of the Plant-for-the-Planet Foundation

Sagar Aryal

Board of Directors
of the Plant-for-the-Planet Foundation

PS. Felix in an interview with TV presenters Franz Alt and Frank Farenski about the allegations of the ‘Zeit’: