Ahead of the Rio+20 Earth Summit, campaign ambassador Bianca Jagger, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Airbus launched "Plant a Pledge", an online campaign to mobilise public support 150 million hectare restoration initiative.
The 150 million hectare target is known as the Bonn Challenge, after ministers and CEOs met last year in Germany to issue an urgent rallying cry to the global community.
"IUCN's latest research now shows that in restoring 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by 2020 - which is only 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%.", says Stewart Maginnis, Director, of the Nature-Based Solutions Group of IUCN.
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), who along with the German government hosted the original Bonn Challenge meeting, recently identified two billion hectares of land worldwide - an area 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, according to IUCN.
"Improving fuel efficiency is at the heart of our business and we have reduced emissions by 70% in the last 40 years. Aviation today represents 2% of manmade emissions and we are continuing to improve the efficiency of our industry to reduce this, having invested over two billion Euros in environmental research and development, this year alone. The partnership with the IUCN reflects our commitment to support those tackling the other 98 percent," says Andrea Debbané, Airbus Vice President of Environment Affairs.
"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. Achieving the restoration of 150 million hectares of former forest land around the world by 2020 - the Bonn Challenge target - will improve lives, the economy and the planet and will offer solutions to the impending climate crisis. Pledge at www.plantapledge.com and help push land restoration to the top of the political agenda."
WHAT IS THE PLANT A PLEDGE CAMPAIGN?
- Plant a Pledge is the public facing campaign designed by the IUCN and Airbus to build a significant groundswell of support, urging Governments, Businesses and Environmental experts to work together to restore lost landscapes around the world with the aim of meeting the Bonn Challenge - the biggest restoration initiative the world has ever seen.
- In September 2011 commitments were made to the GPFLR Bonn Challenge by governments, business leaders and environmental experts to work towards the restoration of 150 million hectares of lost landscapes by 2020. This ambitious but attainable target represents a giant step forward in the acceptance of landscape restoration as a means of meeting global and local challenges.
- Forest and landscape restoration (FLR) turns barren or degraded areas of land into healthy, fertile, working landscapes that can meet the needs of people and the natural environment, sustainably.
- Repairing ruined landscapes restores their ability to support people, wildlife and livelihoods, put back some of the world's capacity to process greenhouse gases and pump an estimated US$84 billion (net) into the global economy
- We would encourage everybody to visit www.plantapledge.com, to pledge support. Your click will contribute to the upsurge of public pressure on governments to deliver on their promises - taking millions of people out of poverty, injecting billions into world economies and making the world a greener, more sustainable place.
- The IUCN will use these signatories to ensure that governments put their pledges in writing - outlining specific promises about land areas, locations, timescales and methods of restoration
- The Bonn Challenge will make a significant contribution to the existing Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Target 15 (aiming for the restoration of at least 15% of the world's degraded ecosystems by 2020), and the UNFCCC REDD-Plus goal (to slow, halt and reverse forest cover and carbon loss).