by Bill Toomey
As the director of the forest health program at The Nature Conservancy, I have the privilege of leading work I love and work that makes a difference in the world. As an ecologist I have an understanding of the importance of nature and its many benefits to people and communities.
For 30 years The Nature Conservancy and UPS have worked together to advance forest conservation projects. To date, The UPS Foundation – the company’s philanthropic arm – has provided over $4 million for Conservancy projects.
The mission of the Nature Conservancy is simple: to protect the lands and waters upon which all life depends. Advancing our mission – in all 50 U.S. states and 35 countries – requires many partnerships. We work with companies large and small to help change business practices and policies, raise awareness of conservation issues, and raise funds to support important new science and conservation projects.
We work with local governments, communities, and partner organizations in sharing our science-based and collaborative methods to ensure each region’s needs—for people and for nature—are best met.
Initially, UPS supported the Conservancy’s forest conservation work in Georgia, home of the company’s global headquarters. In 2008, The UPS Foundation made its first commitment to support the Conservancy’s international forest work for projects in Kenya, the Atlantic Forest of Brazil, and the Yunnan Province, China.
Since that time, funding from The UPS Foundation has supported Conservancy projects designed to conserve critical forests and reduce the impacts of climate change in multiple geographies, and UPS employees have volunteered to support these efforts.
Most recently, funding supported the expansion of the Plant a Billion Trees campaign in critical forests including:
- Southern U.S. – Replanting iconic longleaf pine forests.
- Canada – Supporting the Conservancy’s role in the historic Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement to protect 187 million acres of boreal forests, one of the world’s largest carbon sinks.
- Guatemala – Restoring forests along critical water recharge zones near high population areas to promote soil retention, avoid landslides and secure clean water for residents.
- Haiti – Planting trees to re-establish the country’s devastated forests for the benefit of the residents that depend on them for food and water resources.
- Brazil – Supporting efforts in the Atlantic Forest by replanting native trees in the Cantareira watershed forests.
- China – Funding work in China’s Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, home to the endangered Yunnan golden monkey and the giant panda. These forests help provide clean water and productive farmland for millions of people and act as a climate regulator for our planet.
Since 2008, The UPS Foundation has enabled the planting of more than three million trees and forest conservation efforts spanning 10 countries and five continents. The Nature Conservancy is grateful for the support that has made this work possible.
The information provided in this post is specific to conservation projects/programs conducted by The Nature Conservancy with support from UPS and/or its Foundation. This is not an endorsement of the Company or Foundation.
Bill Toomey is the Director of Forest Health Programs, The Nature Conservancy
Learn more about UPS’s sustainability efforts at ups.com/sustainability.