By Nick Gilbert
Airbus has joined the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in its efforts to launch the "Plant a Pledge" campaign for the largest land restoration initiative in human history.
Before and after forest landscape restoration at the Loess Plateau in China. Today the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Airbus launched today 'Plant a Pledge' – a campaign to mobilise support for the largest restoration initiative in history – www.plantapledge.com. Source: AIRBUS/IUCN
The campaign is being launched ahead of the Rio+20 Earth Summit. It is a 150 million ha target and Africa holds a huge potential with more than 715 million ha for land and forest restoration. Last year Ministers and CEOs met to address the need and the Bonn Challenge, which is the 150 million ha target, was declared. The original Bonn Challenge meeting was hosted by the German government along with the Global Partnership for Forest Landscape Restoration.
The Director of IUCN's Nature-Based Solutions Group, Stewart Maginnis, states that restoration of 150 million ha of deforested and degraded land will help in reducing the effect of climate change and cause more than $84 billion to be invested each year into the global and local economies. The target year of restoration is 2020 and will lead to cut in emissions reduction gap by 11-17%. The investment will slow global warming and help reduce poverty and secure food for the people.
Bianca Jagger, the Founder and Chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, is the campaign ambassador for the initiative. The Plant a Pledge initiative will help repair the damage to natural resources, the landscape and human lives.
The Plant a Pledge campaign will be delivered as a petition at the 2012 UN climate change talks. The campaign calls upon governments, communities and private landowners to commit areas for land restoration.
The Vice President of Environment Affairs at Airbus, Andrea Debbané, states that the company had reduced its emissions by 40% and has invested more than €2 billion for environmental research. The restoration of landscapes helps increase carbon storage by reducing net emissions, and will help enable a sustainable solution to address problems faced by the people and the Earth.