Protecting the world’s forests is a key priority in the fight against climate change. Deforestation is causing harmful greenhouse gas emissions being released into the Earth’s atmosphere but it’s not too late to take action.
Why do we care about deforestation?
Whether you live in the Amazon or within a thriving city, deforestation – the third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, affects us all.
Forests are critical to life on earth. 1.6 billion people rely on them directly for food, shelter, fuel and income. They also regulate our climate, remove harmful CO2 emissions and can help slow the rate of climate change. Yet every year, as an ever-growing population places unsustainable demands on our planet, we lose 13 million hectares of forest.
Trees also provide protection against natural disasters like floods and landslides, as well as giving us tranquil spaces for recreation and exercise. In short, we need our forests and our forests need us!
So why has Unilever partnered with WWF?
Unilever are committed to doing our part in the fight against climate change and, by 2020, we want to halve the environmental impact of our products. This means helping farmers improve their agricultural methods, reducing waste and cutting our carbon footprint.
Tackling deforestation will give our planet a chance for a bright future. WWF are working to protect endangered wildlife and the environment, tackle climate change and promote sustainable use of natural resources. Unilever believe that together we can spread the message about the importance of preserving and protecting the world’s trees.
How are Unilever and WWF helping to protect these trees?
The tree protection program is part of Unilever’s commitment to sustainable living and will help fund the protection of one million trees in Brazil and Indonesia – two forest areas at high risk of deforestation. Together with WWF, we are engaging people in the importance of forests and the vital role they play in our daily lives.
Our partnership is supporting a long-term program by WWF and their partners,BirdLife International and The Wildlife Conservation Society, to lay the foundations for protecting forests around the world. Our key goals are to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, restore forest areas, promote sustainable forest management, and increase tree stocks in agricultural landscapes.
The protection of trees is important alongside the planting of new ones. When a tree is cut down you are not just losing that tree, but causing an impact to every system that tree supports individually and collectively as a forest. Tree planting is part of the solution, but without protecting, managing and helping restore the vast areas of existing degraded forest we will constantly be fighting a losing battle.
We know that change is possible – and it’s already happening. China aims to have 23% of its land covered in forest by 2020 – replanting around 500,000 km2. Since 2000, Brazil already more than halved its rate of deforestation1. Leaving a significant amount of trees intact, almost half a billion tonnes of carbon emissions have been prevented from entering the Earth’s atmosphere. It is important that we keep this momentum going.
What can you do to help?
Unilever and WWF are working to do our part but we can’t do it alone. In order for communities to thrive and allow farmers to maintain their livelihoods, governments, businesses, communities and individuals must come together and join in the fight to secure the future of our planet for, not just our children, but for generations to come.
Sign the pledge to show your support of Unilever’s partnership with WWF and the commitment to fighting deforestation. By working together, we can create a brighter future.