Today Conservation International (CI) announced a major investment by FedEx Corp. to support environmental projects in China. FedEx will donate US$600,000 to CI to run ten community conservation projects in China’s Sichuan Province that will assist in the survival of one of the region’s most well-known natives - the giant panda. Together, FedEx and CI will support reforestation in Sichuan Province, which was severely impacted by a major earthquake in 2008, and raise environmental awareness through programs designed to empower FedEx employees to share the importance of a balanced ecosystem with their community.
“This alliance with Conservation International demonstrates not only a shared ideology between our respective organizations for the sustainability of our planet, but also our collective commitment to help in the rebuilding efforts of the affected region,” said David L. Cunningham, Jr., president, Asia Pacific, FedEx Express. “I am proud that FedEx employees will play an active role in the environmental awareness program to educate and convey conservation issues important to the communities where we operate.”
FedEx supports CI’s work in ten community conservation projects that will reforest areas that were destroyed by the May 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province. The 8.0-magnitude earthquake took over 69,000 lives and caused $124 billion in damage, including destruction of panda habitat. The reforestation effort will primarily involve planting of native plant species such as bamboo, which will restore and protect the panda’s habitat as well as provide the animal’s primary food source. With fewer than 1,600 left in the wild, the giant panda is one of the most threatened species on the planet. The FedEx funding will also sequester carbon, benefit fragile local economies and protect the valuable Yangtze River watershed that supplies one half of China’s agricultural production, including two-thirds of China’s rice.
CI will work with local communities to have their forestry projects certified according to the Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Standards, which will ensure that each project has developed forest protection and restoration activities that deliver significant climate, local community and biodiversity benefits. Restoration activities include training sessions given by CI, the forestry departments of Sichuan province, Pingwu county government officials and other forestry experts. By sharing their experiences, the forestry experts will teach local project implementers how to set up sustainable livelihoods like ecotourism and honey production that will bring in additional income to the local communities and lessen dependence on timber products provided by the forest.
“FedEx support of these important projects in China enables CI and its partners on the ground to continue efforts to conserve important native forests as well as to help save the Giant Panda,” said Justin Ward, Vice President of Business Practices at Conservation International. “We are also pleased to provide support to the FedEx employee environmental outreach program that will assist in carrying the message to communities in China about the importance of conservation.”
The employee environmental outreach program was developed by CI for FedEx so that employees can share knowledge about the environment in their communities. CI will train employees to give two presentations – one on ecosystems and the other on the forest area that makes up the panda habitat. The training will help employees and in turn their communities understand how reforestation efforts are helping to lower global carbon emissions and leading to more sustainable forestry practices.
About the organizations:
Conservation International (CI): Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature for the well-being of humanity. With headquarters in the Washington, D.C. area, CI works in more than 40 countries on four continents. For more information about CI, visit www.conservation.org
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $33 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 280,000 team members to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com.
The Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) is a Conservation International convened partnership between international NGOs seeking to foster the development of forest protection and restoration activities around the world that deliver significant climate, local community and biodiversity benefits. CCBA members include Conservation International, CARE, Rainforest Alliance, The Nature Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Visit our website and download the standards at www.climate-standards.org