Washington, D.C. (August 23, 2018) — American Forests, the nation’s oldest forest conservation organization, is proud to announce that it is the first nonprofit organization to accept the U.S. Climate Alliance’s Natural and Working Lands Challenge.
“We are grateful to the U.S. Climate Alliance for providing the leadership on climate change that our nation so desperately needs,” said Jad Daley, President & CEO of American Forests. “We are excited to stand as the first nonprofit organization to commit our expertise and resources to help these states use forests and other lands to slow climate change.”
The new Natural and Working Lands Challenge, which will be featured at September’s Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, calls on those who accept the challenge to commit to securing natural and working lands as a resilient net sink of carbon. American Forests is accepting this challenge by making two public commitments.
First, American Forests is committing to deepen and expand pro bono technical assistance it has been providing to the U.S. Climate Alliance and its member states, aimed to develop comprehensive strategies to capture and store carbon in forests and other lands. These strategies will be integrated into comprehensive state climate action plans that each Alliance state has committed to develop by 2020 under the new Natural and Working Lands Challenge.
This technical support for the Alliance builds from the unprecedented Natural and Working Lands Learning Lab that American Forests hosted in July 2018, with the generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and in partnership with the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, Michigan State University, The Nature Conservancy, World Resources Institute, The Trust for Public Land, American Farmland Trust, and the Coalition on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases.
The Learning Lab brought together delegations of state officials from all 17 U.S. states in the Alliance with more than 60 experts in the science, policy, and finance of land sector climate mitigation. As part of meeting the challenge, American Forests has committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance to convene additional Learning Labs and provide other related technical support through 2020.
Second, American Forests is also committing to help the U.S. Climate Alliance states deliver on-the-ground climate solutions by planting at least 10 million trees in Climate Alliance states over the next five years. These trees will deliver an estimated carbon reduction of 4.6 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent over fifty years, offsetting the carbon emissions from burning five billion pounds of coal.
“The science is clear. Forests and other natural lands tip the scale on climate change,” Daley said. “We need to create new forests with tree planting and pre-store the forests we already have to withstand a changing climate. We all should thank the Climate Alliance for using forests and other lands as a climate solution.”
ABOUT AMERICAN FORESTS
American Forests inspires and advances the conservation of forests, which are essential to life. We do this by protecting and restoring threatened forest ecosystems, promoting and expanding urban forests, and increasing understanding of the importance of forests. Founded in 1875, American Forests is the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country and has served as a catalyst for many key milestones in the conservation movement, including the founding of the U.S. Forest Service, the national forest system and thousands of forest ecosystem restoration projects and public education efforts. Since 1990, American Forests has planted nearly 60 million trees in all 50 states, resulting in cleaner air and drinking water, restored habitat for wildlife and fish, and the removal of millions of tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
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