Global Partnership to Plant 25 Million Trees for Australia's Bushfire Recovery
Diana Chaplin | September 21, 2020 | 5 min read
Australia’s larges restoration projects to support bushfire recovery
Press Release: September 22nd, 2020.
Global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, the Global EverGreening Alliance and Greening Australia today mark the official launch of a major project to plant 25 million trees across Australia – one of the largest-ever privately funded restoration projects in the country.
The project will cover approximately 20,000 hectares of land, equivalent to one-quarter of the city of Canberra in size, and create habitat for dozens of endangered species. Establishing 25 million trees will sequester approximately 4.25 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over a 25-year crediting period, equivalent to the emissions produced by 920,000 cars running for an entire year.
The large-scale environmental project is a collaboration between AstraZeneca’s global initiative AZ Forest supported by partner One Tree Planted, and the Global EverGreening Alliance’s Restore Australia program, supported by Ark2030. All on-ground activity will be delivered by one of Australia’s largest environmental restoration organizations, Greening Australia.
The establishment of 25 million biodiverse and locally appropriate trees in locations that support threatened species and habitat connectivity represents a commitment by all partners to support Australia’s recovery following the devastation of the Black Summer bushfires.
The project will harness local knowledge and provide economic opportunities for Traditional Owners and rural communities through contracted works such as seed collection, planting and long-term stewardship. It is anticipated that the project could create as many as 890 jobs across regional locations over the next five years, engaging up to 150 Indigenous and Non-Indigenous business sub-contractors, seed suppliers and nurseries.
AstraZeneca Country President for Australia & New Zealand, Liz Chatwin says, “AZ Forest is a global partnership with One Tree Planted and national governments. This 50 million tree reforestation initiative will be rolled out over the next five years, and we are thrilled that half of those trees – 25 million – will be planted in Australia to support the regeneration of our land after the devastating bushfires of 2019-20.”
The project will create and preserve habitat for endangered species affected by the bushfires, prioritizing the planting of fauna habitat species such as Eucalyptus punctata and Eucalyptus melliodora trees to increase access to food supply for the Koala and Regent honeyeater, whilst she-oak trees will create an important food supply for the threatened glossy black cockatoo. Vital habitat will be created for dozens of additional endangered species such as the sandhill dunnart, malleefowl, honey possum and black-gloved wallaby.
According to the Global EverGreening Alliance’s CEO, Chris Armitage:
“This unique collaboration represents a major change in the way organizations are able to create impact by working together. Across the country, hundreds of organizations are aligning their efforts to scale-up the most effective land restoration practices. Together, through AZ Forest and the Restore Australia programme, we can build more sustainable and resilient farming systems and transform Australia’s degraded landscapes.”
Greening Australia CEO Brendan Foran says:
“The devastation caused by the Black Summer bushfires this year exemplifies the need for restoration and regeneration of our local land at scale. This landmark initiative allows Greening Australia to accelerate our work replenishing native and biodiverse trees to create environmental, community and economic impact.”
“Following on from the federal government’s 20 Million Trees program, we are thrilled to continue delivering restoration projects of this scale with the additional support of private sector investment.”
The project will begin with the planting of 20,000 trees at Arthursleigh in the NSW Southern Highlands, supported by landholder The University of Sydney and commencing today. Five million trees will be planted per year from 2021 in locations across Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania to reach a total of 25 million trees by 2025. An extensive monitoring and maintenance process will be in place beyond the initial five-year planting period, working with landholders to ensure ongoing stewardship.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the scale of the privately funded project will complement Federal Government support for native habitat.
“We all have a role to play in the environment and at a time when the Morrison Government is investing $200 million in wildlife and habitat bushfire protection it is great to see AstraZeneca and partners stepping up,” Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said.
“With Greening Australia we are exceeding the Government’s previous 20 million trees target and 25 million more from this project will ensure even more precious habitat for our native species.”
About the partnership
The local partnership between AstraZeneca, the Global EverGreening Alliance’s Restore Australia program supported by Ark2030, and environmental enterprise, Greening Australia, demonstrates the ongoing commitment of all partners to creating a sustainable future by planting 25 million trees in areas of need across Australia before 2025. This is part of AstraZeneca’s global initiative to plant 50 million trees worldwide over the next five years with global non-profit partner One Tree Planted.
About Greening Australia
Greening Australia has been restoring and conserving Australia’s unique landscapes at scale through collaborative, science-based and innovative programs for over 38 years. Greening Australia is committed to tackling Australia’s greatest environmental challenges in ways that work for communities, economies and nature; planting millions of native trees and plants, protecting hundreds of native species, and supporting Traditional Owners aspirations for restoring country. For more information, visit www.greeningaustralia.org.au.
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for treatment of diseases in three therapy areas – Oncology; Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism; and Respiratory & Immunology. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.
AstraZeneca is part of the 1t.org Corporate Alliance, which provides a platform for companies from different industry groups to engage and deliver their highest value to the global forest restoration movement, by making credible commitments, collaborating for quality implementation and drawing on global planning and monitoring tools. 1t.org is a World Economic Forum initiative that serves a global movement to conserve, restore and grow 1 trillion trees by 2030.
This project is a critical part of AstraZeneca’s approach to tackle climate change, which includes its global ‘Ambition Zero Carbon’ strategy to eliminate emissions from its own operations by 2025 and be carbon negative across its value chain by 2030.
For more information, visit www.astrazeneca.com and www.astrazeneca.com.au.
About One Tree Planted
One Tree Planted is a 501(c)(3) non-profit on a mission to make it simple for anyone to help the environment by planting trees. Their projects span the globe and are done in partnership with local communities and knowledgeable experts to create an impact for nature, people, and wildlife. Reforestation helps to rebuild forests after fires and floods, provide jobs for social impact, and restore biodiversity. Many projects have overlapping objectives, creating a combination of benefits that contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at Onetreeplanted.org.
About the Global EverGreening Alliance
The Global EverGreening Alliance is an international NGO which coordinates the development and implementation of massive-scale environmental restoration and sustainable agricultural intensification projects around the world. Restore Australia is a coordinated land restoration and carbon sequestration program, with a ‘forward looking’ perspective on restoration, and an emphasis on scaling successful and sustainable local innovation. Visit www.evergreening.org to learn more about our goals and to meet our members.
Ark2030, a UK-based foundation, aims to reverse global warming by supporting the restoration of 500 million hectares of ecosystems that have been destroyed by mankind since the beginning of the industrial revolution. For more information visit www.ark2030.org