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GPT mitigating risk for South African business through local carbon sequestration initiatives in partnership with Food & Trees for Africa

23 June 2022 Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA)
Restoration of Afromontane forest habitat in Stutterheim, Eastern Cape aids carbon dioxide sequestration

Restoration of Afromontane forest habitat in Stutterheim, Eastern Cape aids carbon dioxide sequestration

Testing methodologies for restoring Afromontane forest habitat in Stutterheim, Eastern Cape

Testing methodologies for restoring Afromontane forest habitat in Stutterheim, Eastern Cape

GPT Regional Manager, Adrian van der Nest (left) with FTFA Executive Director, Chris Wild (Right) planted one of 1521 trees to combat climate change

GPT Regional Manager, Adrian van der Nest (left) with FTFA Executive Director, Chris Wild (Right) planted one of 1521 trees to combat climate change

GPT is planting 1521 trees as part of a long-term strategy to mitigate the devastating effects of global climate change. Kicking off the initiative with 450 trees towards afforestation.

Global Payment Technologies have furthered their investment in a carbon neutral South Africa, alongside Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) by pledging a total of 1521 trees. June 22, 2022 marks World Rainforest Day, and signifies a joint effort to promote knowledge and inspire action to build and conserve our forests, one of the Earth’s most valuable resources. GPT’s 10-year long partnership with FTFA aims to support carbon sequestering initiatives which preserve the environment, while developing local community enterprises and organisations. Four hundred and fifty of the trees will be planted, as part of FTFA’s afforestation programme.

Chris Wild, Executive Director at FTFA said, “The afforestation component of this initiative adds an additional dimension to the project, which is far more than just planting trees.”

“While the trees are obviously a keystone of a healthy forest, it’s important to understand the best approaches to establishing and maintaining local forest biomes. This project is helping us understand unique methodologies for restoring Afromontane, one of our most precious forest biomes in South Africa. If we can get more efficient and effective with these tree planting methodologies it means a greater carbon impact and, ultimately, combating climate change”, adds Wild.

This ongoing tree planting partnership sheds light on the business-related impacts of climate change, particularly on the back of the recent flooding events in KwaZulu-Natal. The floods caused billions of rands in infrastructural damage and business losses, directly affecting an estimated 826 local businesses. These events exemplify how poorly maintained infrastructure paired with a dramatically changing climate have the power to destabilise an economy. The Financial Services Sector (FSS) in particular has a vested interest in mitigating risks involved in climate change, and investing in long-term solution-based approaches. Because climate change has the potential to destabilise the industry; banks, insurers, investors and the likes must respond to actual climate risk, not only in their own operations but also across entire portfolios in order to safeguard their own future viability.

To this end, GPT, a currency management solutions company, donated not only 450 indigenous trees towards FTFA’s afforestation project, but also pledged an additional 1071 trees, to be planted throughout the remainder of 2022. The trees will be rooted down across various communities in South Africa. Usually these include a mixture of indigenous trees, fruit trees, and nuts trees which contribute to food security in addition to mitigating climate change-related risks to ensure future business viability and protect vulnerable communities. Monitoring and evaluation is an important part of the programme, and regular checks are conducted following each tree-planting event to support tree survival rates.

“As the impacts of climate change and inequality become more and more evident, the need for all stakeholders to ensure common cause, understanding and purpose, and to avoid damaging the environmental and social status for future generations, has become a critically important imperative.” says Lise Reed, GPT’s Transformation & Human Resources Manager.

Forests and other green spaces play a vital role in water retention, flood management and reduce carbon dioxide. Trees make communities and ecosystems more resilient to climate change. They regulate the water cycle, and reduce soil erosion and the risk of landslides, floods, and drought, while also purifying the air and providing habitats that house biodiversity and maintain genetic diversity of species. For the world to reach net zero by 2050, we need to take carbon out of the atmosphere, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to plant trees.

 For more information about FTFA go to https://trees.org.za

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