CAKE and Treesistance Join Forces to Protect the Amazon Rainforest and Empower the People Who Call It Home

Every day, the Amazon rainforest loses an average of five football fields of trees per minute to deforestation. A new collaboration between Swedish e-Bike manufacturer CAKE and forest defenders Treeesistance is poised to change that. Leveraging CAKE’s lightweight, whisper-quiet, off-road, 100% solar-powered Kalk AP electric motorcycles, the partnership aims to protect the Amazon rainforest and its people by safeguarding endangered species and combatting illegal deforestation. Treesistance is a new platform focused on the protection of the Amazon, created by Sinchi, a Dutch non-profit founded in early 2016 to support and assist Indigenous-led actions against the violation of their rights and the destruction of the environment.

From the Treesistance launch presentation.

Building upon the success of its Electric Bush Bike Anti-Poaching Initiative in South Africa, CAKE’s e-motorcycles will allow indigenous Forest Guardians to safely and silently patrol remote areas of the rainforest where combustion-engined vehicles are a hazard, as they alert heavily-armed poaching teams of their presence.  And with many logging camps undetectable by drones because of heavy forest cover, these on-the-ground Guardians are essential.

Tom Wheeler is the Executive Director of Sinchi and Treesistance. Sinchi has partnered with communities across 6 continents and formed Treesistance in 2023, to focus their efforts on the Amazon. [Sinchi Foundation]
“We felt there was a huge need in the Amazon to work with CAKE. Not only are their vehicles cost-effective because of the high fuel costs in the region, but they are silent and allow the Forest Guardians to travel stealthily – they are literally putting their lives on the line every day to protect their territories. The bikes are being operated in extremely dangerous areas, often where there are many heavily-armed people. One of our project partners – Niek Oldenburg of Wefuture Global – jumped in his car and drove all the way from Amsterdam to Stockholm, which is about an 18-hour drive, and literally knocked on CAKE’s door and met with Stefan Ytterborn, CAKE’s CEO, to explain why they needed to help us and why. It only took about 20 minutes before Stefan told us he’s in,” Tom Wheeler, Executive Director at Treesistance, explained.

Stefan Ytterborn, CEO of CAKE motorcycles of Sweden, with two of his Kalk off-road vehicles. [CAKE]
Forest Guardians use several devices while patrolling, including GPS cameras to navigate the dense rainforest and mobile phones to document any encounters with poachers. While Guardians patrol in groups of up to 50, they still face numerous risks. “CAKE’s e-bikes provide a front line of defense before any encounters. Forest Guardians can evaluate the risks before every interaction by patrolling the area in complete silence. This provides a huge safety blanket for those patrolling and doing surveillance to find out where the illegal operations are taking place,” Tom said.

The CAKE Kalk AP (anti-poaching) model, initially sent to South African game preserves, and now to combat a different kind of poaching, of forests in the Amazon. [CAKE]
The pilot program will include two CAKE bikes, as well as portable charging systems from Goal Zero. The bikes and chargers will be sent to the Maró indigenous territory, led by celebrated Chief Dadá Borarí who formed the first group of Forest Guardians. “Within just one year of launching their program in 2017, they removed eight illegal logging concessions. It’s incredible to witness because everyone in the community, from the leaders to students to teachers and nurses, are taking part in this effort,” Tom said. “The e-motorcycles will support our access to justice strategy which is projected to help Forest Guardians help protect over 579 square miles (1,500 square kilometers) of precious rainforest by the end of the year, by empowering the indigenous communities of the Amazon.”

The Treesistance team with Maró indigenous Forest Guardians, deep in the Brazilian rain forest. [Treesistance]
“This is really the last line of defense of indigenous resistance against deforestation and one of the biggest challenges faced is logistics, as the communities are so spread out. Electric motorcycles can assist indigenous people with patrolling their territories and general transport requirements. Fuel is incredibly expensive in the Amazon interior, often more than it is in Europe or the US. This leads to different forms of labor and exploitation, so we hope electric bikes and other forms of transport can make a positive difference to the lives of the indigenous people across the whole region. It is essential we help local communities out of poverty and EVs are an integral part of this. When they can use their resources for other things than transport, they can thrive,” he concluded.

From the Treesistance launch presentation.


We at The Vintagent salute CAKE for its bold moves to support defense-of-nature initiatives around the world.  They’re putting their bikes where their values are!  They appear to be the only motorcycle company in the world supporting such important efforts as animal conservation and rainforest preservation. Hopefully their example will inspire other companies to think outside the box, and find similarly clever ways to use their technology.  Kudos to CAKE!  For more information, check the Treesistance presentation here.



Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor at The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she’s not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.


Related Posts

The Current News: EV ‘Bush Bikes’ Protecting Wildlife

How do you combat wildlife poaching in…

The Current: Egads! An Electric Surfboard?

Electric surfboards are the next big…

The Current: Swedish Cake Serves Up Kalk

Swedish design team Cake come up with a…

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter