Forests are vital for life on Earth. They are carbon strongholds that sustain the majority of the world’s biodiversity on land and support the livelihoods of over a quarter of all people on the planet. Sadly, native forests are being lost at an increasing rate across much of the globe.
Learn about the value of nature-based solutions in mitigating climate change and take a look through the various types of nature-based projects that are having an important impact all around the world.
Investing in forest protection
Deforestation is the second-largest source of carbon emissions after fossil fuels, emitting around 12% of human-caused carbon emissions each year. Avoiding these emissions could help us curb the worst impacts of the climate crisis and secure the health of millions of people.
Vast areas of forest have already been degraded, driven by the expansion of farmland, roads, urbanisation, and logging for timber and fuel. These deforested areas increase the risk of infectious disease, malaria and reduce clean water and food availability for people. Deforestation also threatens wildlife. It is estimated that the world is losing over 135 plants, animals and insects every day due to deforestation - this means around 50,000 species become extinct each year.
In order to reverse these alarming impacts, we need to both protect the forests we have and restore those forests that have been destroyed.
The Numbers speak for themselves
Earthly are proud to be working with 6 outstanding projects and to have partnered with 406 businesses to have the impact below. Forest protection and restoration has been made possible by businesses transitioning to climate positive teams and operations with Earthly, as well as those using our API to reward customers with tree planting.
C02 emissions avoided
The forests we currently protect and restore
We partner with high-quality forest protection and restoration projects across three continents. Our forest protection projects conserve some of the world’s largest rainforests, including the Amazon, home to globally threatened animals and plants, and Lake Mai Ndombe, supporting some of the most important wetlands on the planet. We also support forest restoration projects that are creating forests in heavily degraded lands, and recovering forests that have been destroyed by human activities (logging) and natural disasters (fires).
How can businesses have the most impact?
Businesses can have the most impact by investing in a mixture of forest protection and forest restoration. When choosing which forest protection projects to support, businesses can ensure a positive impact by investing in areas heavily threatened by deforestation. When supporting forest restoration, the projects that are most likely to survive and thrive are those bringing back biodiversity and restoring areas that used to be forests in the past. In both cases, the greatest impact can be achieved by projects that include and support local people, reducing deforestation and stewarding the forests collaboratively in the long-term.
The conservation of forests tackles deforestation by working with governments, NGOs and local people to protect nature. There are many ways to design a forest protection initiative, however the most important aspect is to ensure that the drivers of deforestation are fully understood and tackled by the plan.
Successful examples from projects that have reduced deforestation include the creation of markets for forest products like fruits and nuts, so that local people have a sustainable income and no longer rely on illegal logging and mining for fuel and money. For indigenous and forest-dependent peoples, forests are often deeply linked to religions, faiths and traditional practices. Supporting indigenous peoples to regain their land rights can allow them to protect and steward forests as they have done for generations before.Nature-based solutions ebook
Protecting forests ensures huge stores of carbon remain locked away, as forests currently hold more carbon than has ever been emitted by industry.
Intact forests are hotspots for biodiversity, preserving rare animals, plants and undiscovered genetic resources that could help to cure diseases.
Forested areas support the water cycle, helping to supply fresh water to rivers, control rainfall, and form clouds that cool the earth by providing shade from the sun.
Forest Protection - The Brazil Nut Concessions Project
The Brazil Nut Concessions project aims to protect over 300,000 hectares of Peruvian Amazon by reducing illegal deforestation and instead, creating a sustainable local market for brazil nut harvesting (nuts from native trees that grow in healthy forests). Bosques Amazonicos lead the project, providing training and securing a brazil nut processing plant and tree nursery to help 405 families so far. Bosques Amazonicos estimates that without this project, deforestation would destroy approximately 34% of the project area by 2040.
Forest Protection - The Kasigau Corridor
The Kasigau Corridor is a REDD+ project based in Rukinga, Kenya. Led by Wildlife Works, the project protects an expanse of over 200,000 hectares of dryland forest home to over 2,000 elephants. The project has created a market-driven solution to wildlife conservation through a community-led sustainable model, including programmes focused on education, clean drinking water, and women's groups that reach over 116,000 people. Working with over 5,000 local landowners, the project has avoided over 13 million tonnes of carbon emissions to date.
Where forests have already been destroyed, forest restoration is essential. Forests can regenerate naturally over time if they are left alone, however people can increase the speed of this process through tree planting. By assisting forest recovery we can ensure all of the benefits forests provide to people, wildlife and climate are brought back as soon as possible.
Tree planting involves much more than putting seeds in the ground. The right trees must be planted in the right place at the right time - and with support from the right people. This means choosing native tree species adapted to local conditions, and working with local communities to restore soil health and steward the growth of seedlings so that they are protected in the long-term. In addition, a diverse set of species are needed to return forests to a healthy, functioning state.Nature-based solutions ebook
Planting trees can remove carbon from the atmosphere, as well as improving air quality.
Forest restoration creates critical habitat for species whose numbers are dwindling, bringing benefits like corridors, which allow animals to move between protected areas.
Planting trees can block and slow down rainfall, which helps to reduce the impacts of flooding from storms and protect the health of soil.