The 17th of June was World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. On this day, the UN turned its focus to restoring degraded land into healthy land.
“Restoring degraded land brings economic resilience, creates jobs, raises incomes and increases food security. It helps biodiversity to recover. It locks away the atmospheric carbon warming the Earth, slowing climate change. It can also lessen the impacts of climate change and underpin a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The UN’s Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD) is the only legally-binding international framework currently in existence that addresses the problem of desertification. On the week of June 17th, we met with Konna Beeson from Bristol charity Tree Aid, to discuss deepening our partnership with them.
Tree Aid works in the drylands of Africa, a region which is hardest-hit by the climate crisis. They work with local communities to tackle the effects of climate change and poverty, growing a sustainable future for people and the planet.
Their work also contributes to the Great Green Wall – an African-led initiative to restore and protect a mosaic of degraded land across the Sahel region that will also provide nutritious food and green jobs for millions living along its path.. Africa is hardest hit by the climate crisis, despite contributing to it the least. Even though it is home to 17% of the world’s population, the continent only contributes 4% to global carbon emissions. In contrast, the world’s richest 10% produce around half of global emissions. Tree Aid’s work here is helping to redress the balance.
Tree Aid focuses not just on planting trees but growing them, and the impact these grown trees have on the wider community. Often, there is a perception that tree planting is greenwashing or offsetting, and in some cases this is not far from the truth, as the lifespan and care of these newly planted trees are not guaranteed. Tree Aid doesn’t just plant trees in the ground, but trains local communities to take care of the trees. Tree Aid make sure communities have the training and tools they need for each tree to thrive for generations to come. Trees can then provide food and a sustainable source of income for local people, help restore land and protect the environment. As well as this, Tree Aid also focuses on regenerating trees. Tree Aid’s work provides a route to self-sufficiency for impoverished communities by planting crop trees, such as shea, and providing business training, so local people can derive sustenance and income from the trees.
In our meeting with Tree Aid, we agreed that with every piece of new or repeated business, we would support Tree Aid to grow new trees and contribute to the Great Green Wall. As a local charity with an international focus, Tree Aid is in a great position to act as partners to us. This means as the country opens up we will be able to participate in local events with Tree Aid, while helping to make a difference on a global level.
Our work with Tree Aid is just one part of our commitment as a business to clean air, carbon reduction and environmental restoration. For more information, visit our Green Communications portal.