Apple teams up with Conservation International to save African grasslands

Sep 26, 2019 | News


Africas grasslands are in trouble, but new ideas bring hope.

What you need to know
  • Apple is partnering with Conservation International to restore Chyulu Hills grasslands.
  • New methods are being tested and, if successful, hope to expand across Africa.
  • This is the latest in Apple’s many environmental and restoration projects.

Apple, in its latest environmental effort, has partnered with the nonprofit Conservation International to help restore degraded African grasslands. Reported by Fast Company, the two organizations are working together with local partners on a ground to implement new ideas about how to fight the effects of climate change on the area. Apple’s Vice President of Environmental, Social, and Policy Initiatives, Lisa Jackson, talked about the focus of the effort:

“By restoring tens of thousands of hectares in the Chyulu Hills, we can remove carbon from the air, protect a critical wildlife corridor for elephants, and support the livelihoods of the Maasai people.”

The grasslands, after years of overgrazing, have seen such severe levels of degregation that herders, as well as wildlife, sturggle to find enough food. While restoration projects tend to focus on replanting, Apple and its partners are taking a different approach: social intervention. Nikola Alexandre, a restoration fellow at Conservation International, explained the benefits of such a strategy:

“Direct planting work is very expensive. But when you work instead with local communities, you find actions that they can carry out that improve their well-being and the well-being of the ecosystem. It’s kind of a win-win solution for everyone. It is likely that climate change is going to radically change the nature of that ecosystem. So what we’re trying to do is use restoration to make that ecosystem more resilient to climate change as much as we possibly can.”

The nonprofit is hoping to, if this experiment is a success, show this as a cost-effective model that could be adopted by other African governments in areas across the continent. With 900 million hectares of currently degraded land, this type of restoration could have huge benefits towards combating climate change.

Tim Cook took to Twitter to talk about the joint project:

Climate change impacts all of us —every living thing on Earth. We’re working with @ConservationOrg to restore grasslands and forests in Kenya. These habitats reduce carbon, protecting the livelihoods of the Maasai people and local elephant populations.

Apple has taken on a number of environmental projects recently, from investing in wind farms in China, protecting mangroves in Columbia, and salmon restoration in Alaska. Lisa Jackson spoke about the urgency of fighting climate change and Apple’s commitment the effort:

“Tackling the global climate challenge requires everyone to act with a fierce urgency. At Apple, we’re bringing the same focus we have for creating innovative and groundbreaking products to creating climate solutions.”

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