Accelerating restoration of forests and biodiversity

Published on: 24 March 2022
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AstraZeneca and local partners launched new reforestation projects in Ghana and the United States to support ecological and community resilience.

Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, AstraZeneca, will join global leaders at the 2022 Global Forest Summit, a high-level meeting focused on accelerating action for the protection of the world's forests. Speaking alongside His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, Virginijus Sinkevicius, European Commissioner for the Environment, as well as leaders from the UN and NGOs, Pascal Soriot will underline the importance of reforestation for planetary and public health and highlight our two newest AZ Forest commitments in Ghana and the US. The Global Forest Summit is a unique multistakeholder platform co-organised and co-funded by Reforest'Action and the Open Diplomacy Institute.

Working in partnership with our stakeholders, we have a responsibility to tackle the major issues of our time. We recognise the connection between healthy people and a healthy planet, and the impact of the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss on the health of people, society, and the planet. That is why we are taking bold action on climate change and investing in nature and biodiversity.

Together with our flagship sustainability programme, Ambition Zero Carbon, the protection and restoration of forests is a core part of our work to address the climate crisis.

Under our global AZ Forest programme, we’ve committed to planting 50 million trees globally by the end of 2025 and to ensuring their long-term survival. 

AZ Forest continues to grow

Building on existing AZ Forest projects in Australia, Indonesia, the UK, and France, two new commitments in Ghana and the US will be spotlighted at the Global Forest Summit.

In central Ghana, we are engaging in a community-led project, working in partnership with local partners, the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance (CBA) and New Generation Plantations Technical Assistance (NGPTA), to plant and steward over 3 million trees, including crops like mangoes and cashews. The project is a unique public-private partnership, combining natural forest restoration, sustainable woodlots and agroforestry, helping to improve the local economy and building community and ecological resilience.

The tree planting initiative in Ghana will form part of a global network of ‘Living Labs’, which aim to demonstrate how investing in nature and putting local communities at the heart of landscape restoration can benefit both biodiversity and local livelihoods.

In the US, AstraZeneca is also committing to plant and sustain one million trees with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), to contribute to the restoration of water quality and wildlife habitats primarily in the Delaware River Watershed, the home of our U.S. headquarters. At the same time, this will contribute to carbon storage and improve access to natural and recreational resources in under-served communities.

The AZ Forest programme offers a nature-based solution to addressing climate change with many co-benefits. In addition to sequestering carbon dioxide, reforestation can help prevent disease through combatting air pollution, support the restoration of biodiversity, while also making a positive contribution to communities and local economies. By the end of this year, we aim to have planted over eight million trees, and overall, we’ll be collaborating with around forty thousand farmers around the world.

Source: AstraZenca news

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