Bianca Jagger Supports Reforestation Project

Activist Bianca Jagger, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Airbus launched today Plant a Pledge, an online campaign to whip up public support for what is deemed the “largest restoration initiative in history." The project aims to restore an area of 150 million hectares, which is also known as the Bonn Challenge. The goal was set during a meeting between ministers and CEOs last year when they issued the challenge to the global community.

“IUCN’s latest research now shows that in restoring 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by 2020 (15% of the estimated area of degraded forests worldwide) we would see more than US$ 84 billion net injected annually into local and global economies and cut the climate change “emissions reduction gap” by 11-17%,” said Stewart Maginnis, Director of the Nature-Based Solutions Group of IUCN. “It will make significant contributions to the global challenges we face today, alleviating poverty, slowing global warming and securing food, particularly for those who need it most.”

The campaign is calling on individuals around the world to Plant a Pledge of support through the campaign website, which will become a global petition to be delivered at the UN climate change talks in Qatar, later this year. Each online pledge asks governments, private landowners and communities who manage lands to commit areas for restoration in order to achieve the Bonn Challenge by 2020.

The Global Partnership for Forest Landscape Restoration (GPFLR), which along with the German government hosted the original Bonn Challenge meeting, recently identified two billion hectares of land worldwide, equal to the size of South America, as offering opportunities for forest landscape restoration. Repairing landscapes would restore their ability to support people and wildlife and would significantly increase global capacity to process greenhouse gases, IUCN said.

“For over thirty years I have campaigned for human rights and environmental protection. These issues may seem unrelated, but their causes, and their solutions, are interconnected,” said Bianca Jagger, campaign ambassador, and Founder and Chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation. “With the Plant a Pledge Campaign we can take concrete steps towards restoring the landscape in deforested and degraded areas and repair the damage to human lives and natural resources."

Airbus said it works to improve fuel efficiency and it has reduced aviation emissions by 70 percent in the last 40 years. Currently, aviation represents 2 percent of total emissions caused by humans, which is significantly lower than livestock’s 18 percent of the total, according to the UN’s Livestock’s Long Shadow 2006 report.

Image credit: Plant a Pledge