THE BAJA POST
Put directly, to prevent a temperature increase of 1.5 degrees on our planet, we need to remove the excess carbon from our atmosphere. In fact, there are certain actions we can take today—forest restoration, for one, can be a very powerful and doable solution. It can also be crucial in mitigating climate change and conserving global biodiversity in the coming decades.
In cooperation with Fo Guang Shan, one of the world’s most influential Buddhist organizations; BLIA (Buddha’s Light International Organization), one of the world’s top five international service organizations; and the HIMA Foundation, which is widely known for its New Loulan Project that is revitalizing an oasis in China’s Taklimakan Desert; the Pure Green Foundation formally announced on Earth Day, April 22, a forest-restoration campaign called «T-Earth.»
With the help of Fo Guang Shan and BLIA’s 1000-plus worldwide branches and subsidiaries, the Pure Green Foundation has been able to provide land for tree planting and forest restoration on 5 continents. The first large-scale site was established in Taiwan with over 100 hectares of land and more than 200,000 trees to be planted in 7 areas around Taiwan. Second-stage plans include regions in other continents where various sustainable development goals (SDGs) goals can be advanced.
«Forest restoration isn’t just about planting and saving trees,» commented Dr. Wender Yang, founder of the HIMA Foundation. «It’s also about balancing ecology, increasing the functionality of a forest’s ecological services, and benefitting the people and animals that rely on functional forested systems to flourish.»
One of the biggest challenges to be faced is the management of invasive-species, and a variety of invasive species have already been identified in the forests in Stage 1 of T-Earth’s efforts. «Many forests may look ‘green,’ but they really are degraded lands in need of restoration,» explained Yang.
Yang is in charge of leading the different teams in all of the forest-restoration efforts. Yet, it should be noted that each team is assembled locally, since based on HIMA’s past experience, it is crucial to get the local communities involved. This not only brings new jobs to the local community, but it also causes the locals to think of themselves as the protectors of the community, nature, and biodiversity.
«The most important key of T-Earth is to find incentives to bring more people and businesses together,» stated George Hu, the World Climate Foundation Asia Representative. «A campaign turns organic only if all stakeholders’ needs are taken care of.»
According to the United Nations (UN), the world has been losing 10 million hectares of forest every year since 2015. «Forests help us in many ways, and T-Earth hopes to set an example with the best forest-restoration practices» said Venerable Jue-Pei, BLIA’s secretary general. «In the face of this climate crisis, every day is Earth Day, and every person can be ‘Captain Earth.'»
On Earth Day 2021, the T-Earth team held a forest press conference and an international forum entitled «Be ‘Captain Earth!'» where speakers shared their experience in different climate campaigns and projects. The forum line-up included representatives from Fo Guang Shan, BLIA, the HIMA Foundation, the Institute of Global Smart Manufacturing and Emerging Industry Development of China, Taiwan’s Chung Hua Institute for Economic Research, and the World Climate Foundation.
At the forest press conference, hundreds of people assembled together to form the letters «Z,» «E,» «R,» and «O» at the entrance to one of T-Earth’s forests at Fo Guang Shan, Taiwan. The event hopes to encourage people around the world to work together to cut CO2 emissions as much as possible, while setting a goal of achieving «net-zero emissions.»
When it comes down to it, forest restoration is a key nature-based solution for restoring and improving our planet and achieving the future we want. T-Earth is striving to increase support for the restoration of degraded forest landscapes on a massive scale, and the T-Earth team has already put out the call for more businesses to take action, with 100 like-minded business partners invited to take part in Stage 1.
SOURCE Pure Green Foundation