Apple is partnering with nonprofit Conservation International to work to restore degraded grasslands and forests in the Chyulu Hills in Kenya.
Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted about the initiative this afternoon, sharing an article penned by Fast Company that includes commentary from Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of environmental, social, and policy initiatives.
"By restoring tens of thousands of hectares in the Chyulu Hills, we can remove carbon from the air, protect a critical wildlife corridor for elephants, and support the livelihoods of the Maasai people," says Lisa Jackson.
The Chyulu Hills are has the potential to "capture huge amounts of CO2," but has been degraded through unsustainable land use, which also causes problems for the people living in the area. Maasai herders, for example, don't have enough food for livestock, and elephants and other wildlife struggle to find food.
Climate change impacts all of us —every living thing on Earth. We’re working with @ConservationOrg to restore grasslands and forests in Kenya. These habitats reduce carbon, protecting the livelihoods of the Maasai people and local elephant populations.🌍 https://t.co/bwW61vqxHV — Tim Cook (@tim_cook) September 25, 2019
Conservation International, along with the Masaai Wilderness Conservation Trust and the Big Life Foundation will use funds from Apple to focus on social interventions to improve the area rather than planting grass and trees. As an example, the organizations may help Maasai herders shift to rotational grazing, allowing the land to recover on its own.
"Direct planting work is very expensive," says Nikola Alexandre, a restoration fellow at Conservation International. "But when you work instead with local communities, you find actions that they can carry out that improve their well-being and the well-being of the ecosystem. It's kind of a win-win solution for everyone."
Restoration efforts implemented across Africa have the potential to "yield huge climate benefits," potentially leading to 4 metric tons of CO2 removal per hectare.
Working to combat climate change requires "everyone to act with fierce urgency," according to Jackson. "At Apple, we're bringing the same focus we have for creating innovative and groundbreaking products to creating climate solutions," she told Fast Company.
Apple has also worked to preserve mangrove forests in Colombia, has funded forest management programs in China, and has worked on forest management in the United States.
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