CI is one of nine local, regional and international organizations making up Pearl Jam's "carbon portfolio" strategy to offset the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions released from the trucks, buses, airplane travel, hotel rooms, concerts venues and fans driving to and from their concerts. The negative impacts associated with rising global temperatures as a result of increased CO2 emissions include variable and volatile weather; increased diseases, the death of coral reefs and the melting of the polar ice caps.
"We selected Conservation International for our Portfolio with an eye towards supporting local, regional, national and international strategies that positively affect climate, environment and local communities," said Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard. "We believe in businesses that proactively take the lead on the issues of environment and clean energy, rather than waiting for our government to identify solutions for us. By identifying and supporting a diverse group of organizations and strategies, we hope to create new models for businesses like ours who are looking to invest in the future health of our planet and its delicate ecosphere."
To offset emissions associated with the band's tour, CI, in collaboration with two Ecuadorian organizations, the Jatun Sacha and El Kaimán de la Lagua de Clube foundations, is working to restore up to 30 hectares of degraded tropical forests in northwestern Ecuador. As this regenerated forest grows, it will absorb more than 6,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) over the next 30 years, provide habitat protection for endangered plant and animal species and direct support for local communities.
It is a known fact that the burning and clearing of forests and other eco¬systems account for more than 20 percent of humanity's annual CO2 emissions. Preventing forest loss and restoring native forests is an effective way to help stabilize the concentration of greenhouse gases.
"Biodiversity loss is literally fueling climate change and, in turn, climate change is anticipated to accelerate biodiversity loss and species extinctions throughout this century," said Michael Totten, senior director of climate and water at CI. "Recognizing the intimate interconnection between these two global problems and designing resilient actions that address both simultaneously is now an imperative, not an option."
The Mache-Chindul Ecological Reserve is a 300,000-acre ecological reserve established by Ecuador's Ministry of the Environment and contains the Laguna de Cube, which was declared a "wetland of international importance." CI's restoration efforts add another layer of protection to this critical remnant of Ecuador's coastal rainforest that is home to a number of unique plant and animal species, including the jaguar, the long wattled umbrella bird, the giant anteater and the threatened mantled Howler monkey.
Fan Involvement: A Call to Action
Pearl Jam also is asking fans to get involved by helping to reduce their own carbon footprint. Fans can calculate how much carbon their daily activities generate using a carbon calculator found on CI's Web site at www.conservation.org. Once fans have calculated their carbon footprint they will be presented with options to offset that impact.
Reducing Climate Change: The Portfolio Strategy
Pearl Jam's support of CI is part of a larger carbon portfolio project designed to highlight the broad range of strategies necessary to reduce the negative impacts associated with climate change including clean renewable energy, stimulating energy efficiency, and creating land based projects that store carbon dioxide, protect biodiversity and support communities. By investing in these organizations, Pearl Jam is actively working to raise the world's carbon consciousness by supporting groups at the forefront of environmental awareness and clean energy.
The other Carbon Portfolio Strategy organizations are: American Solar Energy Society; Bonneville Environmental Foundation; Cascade Land Conservancy; EarthCorps; Green Empowerment; Honor the Earth; IslandWood and the Washington Clean Energy Initiative. Complete information about these groups can be found online at www.pearljam.com/activism.
"At CI, we believe that companies should take a portfolio approach to mitigate climate change to ensure multiple benefits. Pearl Jam should be recognized for their continued commitment to protecting our planet," said Peter A. Seligmann, chairman of the board and chief executive officer at CI, "and it is an honor that they chose CI to be part of this incredible project."
Pearl Jam and CI: A Continuing Partnership
The 2006 tour represents the second time that Pearl Jam and CI have worked together on the issue of climate change. Previously, Pearl Jam offset the 5,700 tons of CO2 emissions generated by their 2003 concert tour through an investment in CI's Conservation Carbon program. This funding supported a joint project between CI and the Wildlife Conservation Society to protect rain forests in northeastern Madagascar, the island country located off the coast of Southern Africa.
Through its Center for Environmental Leadership in Business (CELB), CI is at the forefront working on climate change issues. CI's Conservation Carbon projects, which mitigate climate change through the restorationg and protecting of degraded landscapes, deliver multiple benefits by protecting endangered species from extinction, conserving habitats that deliver critical ecosystem services, and supporting local communities through project employment and carbon service revenue. CI also coordinated the creation of the Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Standards, an initiative of several leading companies and non-governmental or¬ganizations to promote land-based projects that offset carbon emissions while protecting biodiversity and supporting communities.
Conservation International (CI) applies innovations in science, economics, policy and community participation to protect the Earth's richest regions of plant and animal diversity in the biodiversity hotspots, high-biodiversity wilderness areas and key marine ecosystems. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., CI works in more than 40 countries on four continents. For more information about CI, visit www.conservation.org.
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.