May 26, 2024

Mastercard speeds up PPC’s reforestation project in MEA

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Mastercard is increasing its reforestation work for the Priceless Planet Coalition (PPC) to comprise the 15 new restoration projects, including in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), for a total of 18 globally.

Priceless Planet Coalition and MEA Reforestation Project-Image Courtesy: – Mastercard

According to Mastercard’s global initiative, it claims these projects will aid in accelerating the progress toward the Coalition’s goal of restoring 100 million trees. According to Mastercard Economics Institute stated that consumer desire to support initiatives that drive positive change for the environment is growing around the world, and consumer donations to environmentally-focused charities grew 48.4% globally in 2022 when compared to pre-pandemic 2019 levels, overall outpacing donation growth to other organizations.

According to the Mastercard’s sources, this project case of the Priceless Planet Coalition (PPCs) comprises a diverse geographical representation, with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Madagascar, Malawi, Kenya, and the United Arab Emirates among the sites in Mastercard’s Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa region.

Emirates Nature-WWF has joined as the Coalition’s local implementation partner for active mangrove reforestation in the Middle East with an area of over 150 km2.

Reforestation is widely acknowledged as one of the most impactful and cost-effective ways to positively counteract climate change. The Priceless Planet Coalition is not only focused on planting trees, but on re-growing forests in places with the greatest need and the most potential to have a positive impact on climate, community, and biodiversity goals.

According to Mastercard, the project is guided by its restoration partners, Conservation International and World Resources Institute, the Coalition employs science-based best practices to identify new project sites, select the appropriate tree species and ensure long-term forest health through ongoing monitoring, while also providing economic opportunities for local communities.

Kenya was among the first three projects announced when Mastercard formed the Priceless Planet Coalition. In the UAE, which has the largest mangrove coverage in the Middle East, two years of active mangrove restoration will be implemented with Emirates Nature-WWF, which joined as the Coalition’s local implementation partner

In Madagascar, which will serve as the region’s flagship project, the tree restoration target is 2 million. In Malawi, 1.25 million trees are planted, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo 1 million. The restoration of a total of 890,400 trees is already underway in Kenya’s Makuli-Nzaui landscape of Makueni County, with community-led work supported by the Green Belt Movement, founded by Nobel Laureate Dr. Wangari Maathai.

“The Priceless Planet Coalition is focused on addressing the urgent global climate crisis by restoring the right trees in the right places,” stated Jorn Lambert, Chief Digital Officer, Mastercard. “By collaborating with our global network of Coalition partners, we are able to further scale our forest restoration work and create collective action for the planet.”

Other locations are in the Asia Pacific (Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Philippines); Latin America (Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala); Europe (France, Portugal, Spain, and Scotland); and North America (Mexico, United States). The restoration in Mexico, Madagascar, and the Atlantic Forest in Brazil will serve as flagship projects that have a greater capacity for future restoration. The expansion builds on the Coalition’s existing planting progress underway in Australia, Kenya, and the Amazon in Brazil.

Mastercard additionally stated that the Priceless Planet Coalition unites companies, communities, and consumers in climate action and now includes more than 100 partners globally, including sustainably-minded merchants, fintech, and global banks. Each partner is helping to fund the forest restoration through consumer engagement and donation campaigns that encourage people to take climate-friendly actions or make direct contributions through a donation platform. Recent partners to join the Coalition include Expo 2020 Dubai, Siemens Software, Emirates NBD, Network International, HSBC, and Premier Bank Somalia. Emirates Nature-WWF is the implementation partner in the UAE with Faja Lobi in DRC, Wells for Zoë in Malawi, and Conservation International Madagascar in Madagascar.

“There’s growing acknowledgment that investing in the preservation and restoration of the natural world around us is critical also to tackling climate change,” stated Bo Lidegaard, historian, diplomat, former climate change negotiator, and advisor to the Coalition. “The Priceless Planet Coalition is designed in a way to maximize impact for the planet, rooted firmly in the best science and quality planning and monitoring.”

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