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Stutterheim afforestation project part of a national tree-planting drive for a carbon-neutral future

Home Agriculture Stutterheim afforestation project part of a national tree-planting drive for a carbon-neutral...

SOUTH Africa is the 12th highest emitter of pollutants responsible for climate change. Meanwhile, the country already experiences the severe impacts of climate change, and Africa is changing faster than the global average. According to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), predictions indicate that critical global warming levels are likely to arrive within the next two decades.

“We have recognised that the consequences of climate change will be catastrophic for the world, and for South Africa in particular”, said Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs Minister, Barbara Creecy. A National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy has been developed, and the government has introduced a carbon tax targeting the carbon-intensive sector.

At the start of 2022, Global Payment Technologies (GPT) embarked on a journey with Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) to help restore some of South Africa’s lost natural heritage, beginning with FTFA’s afforestation project in the Kologha Forest in Stutterheim, Eastern Cape. GPT’s overall smart ESG strategy involves a long-term tree-planting partnership with FTFA that has been rolled out throughout 2022, and will be completed for the year in November.

Since the beginning of the year, 1 270 trees have been planted in total across four provinces. GPT secured the sequestration of approximately 469 tonnes of carbon dioxide through this partnership thus far, demonstrating its commitment to a carbon-neutral, climate-resilient future.

“As a company, we recognise that it is essential we contribute toward mitigating the impacts that climate change has in our communities. People are the centre of our business and are thus a critical resource that needs to be nurtured, developed and supported. The need to invest in our collective prosperity and enhance every aspect of our world for a greener future has become a critically important imperative.” says GPT’s transformation & human resources manager, Lise Reed.

“Water retention and flood management, carbon sequestration and ecosystem services are seriously undervalued benefits provided by trees. Trees make communities and the environment more resilient to climate change. By supporting ESG projects that enable the green economy, GPT is advancing South Africa towards a more sustainable future,” says executive director at Food & Trees for Africa, Chris Wild.

FTFA’s Trees for All programme is an award-winning programme that sustainably plants trees in shared spaces for a healthier, greener environment. This successful initiative educates communities about the benefits of trees, while offsetting carbon emissions and transforming the surrounding environment.

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