Climate change is something that impacts people across the globe, and while the causes often grab the headlines, the solutions deserve attention as well.
Ventura-based Paso Pacifico is launching an ambitious campaign to combat climate change this Earth Day, with help from one million carbon dioxide-reducing trees.
The biodiversity conservation group is setting out to raise $10 million by the end of 2020, which will allow their team of rangers and volunteers in Nicaragua to plant, monitor, and protect native species of trees that will not only help reduce harmful greenhouse gases, but will provide a source of food for villagers and improve habitats for endangered wildlife. Some of the threatened species that benefit from these reforestation efforts include two of Paso Pacifico’s flagship species, the black-handed spider monkey and the yellow-naped Amazon parrot.
Planting one million native trees will offset approximately 250,000 tons of carbon dioxide. According to National Geographic, forestry and agriculture make up 24% of global greenhouse emissions, making deforestation a significant contributor to climate change. Reforestation efforts can greatly reduce the amount of greenhouse gas in the air, since trees absorb carbon dioxide and mitigate the effects of climate change.
“Earth Day is a perfect time to launch this campaign to combat the effects of climate change that are harming our planet, but we’re counting on the teamwork, enthusiasm, and commitment continuing for the next two and a half years and beyond,” said Paso Pacifico Founder and Executive Director Sarah Otterstrom. “We understand that we are setting an aggressive goal, but the positive impacts of planting and caring for one million native Nicaraguan trees will be felt across the globe for decades, both for humans and threatened wildlife alike. While many reforestation programs select tree species based on price and availability, our program plants a diversity of native trees that quickly grow together to rebuild wildlife habitat, store greenhouse gases, and form a forest. Our team is eager to get to work.”
Paso Pacifico led a similar reforestation in Nicaragua in 2008. This project, called “Return to Forest,” planted 750,000 trees and was the first project in Latin America to be awarded the “Gold” rating of the Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards.
Paso Pacifico representatives will be at the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival at Alameda Park on Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22. Attendees can visit their booth to learn more about the campaign and make their pledge to plant trees and join the fight against global climate change. Donations are also being accepted at support.pasopacifico.org/milliontrees. The $10 per tree donation covers the costs of collecting seeds, planting the trees, and monitoring and supporting their health for years into the future.
Visit www.pasopacifico.org for updates throughout the campaign.
About Paso Pacifico
The mission of Paso Pacifico is to restore and protect the Pacific Slope ecosystems of Mesoamerica. These habitats include the endangered dry tropical forest, mangrove wetlands, and eastern Pacific coral reefs. By working with local communities, landowners, and partner organizations, Paso Pacifico restores and protects the habitats that form building blocks for wildlife corridors. Paso Pacifico also lends its expertise to help migratory wildlife on the Central Coast of California, including threatened migratory birds and whales that overwinter in Mesoamerica. Through its high-impact programs, Paso Pacifico has established itself as one of the world’s leading biodiversity conservation organizations.