Bank of America Customers Support the Conservancy's Forest Work
By participating in the Bank of America "go paperless" program supporting The Nature Conservancy, online customers not only saved trees by reducing the amount of paper used for bank statements — but they also helped conserve entire forests. Through a generous promotion announced in March 2006, Bank of America donated $1 to support The Nature Conservancy’s forest conservation work for every Bank of America customer who chose online statements instead of paper statements. With an overwhelming response, the promotion reached the goal of a maximum $500,000 to save forests across the United States and around the world. Our thanks to Bank of America and the forest-friendly online customers who took advantage of this promotion to help our forestry work!
The Living Breathing Forests
Forests cover one-third of the Earth’s land mass. From the redwoods of northern California to the tropical forests of Indonesia and the Amazon, they shelter an astounding variety of life forms: three-toed sloths to grizzly bears, snow leopards to red-cockaded woodpeckers. Releasing oxygen and storing carbon dioxide, forests keep in balance Earth’s fragile atmosphere.
A Vital Resource for People
Forests provide not only timber but clean water, the root source of medicines, plants for harvesting and animals for hunting. They support the livelihoods of more than 1 billion people living in extreme poverty, compounding the ethical imperative to protect healthy, sustainable forests.
Forests at Risk
Nearly half of the world’s original forest cover is gone, and each year 40 million acres more is cut and replaced by agriculture and development. Forests also continue to be degraded by unsustainable practices such as the gathering of wood for fuel, the invasion of pests and diseases that kill trees, the impacts of climate change, and poor management practices like the exclusion of fire from forests that evolved with it.
The Global Forest Partnership at The Nature Conservancy
The newly formed Global Forest Partnership (GFP) supports, complements and magnifies the long-standing forest conservation work of the Conservancy’s field programs based across all 50 United States and more than 30 countries.
In particular, the Global Forest Partnership focuses on:
- Forest Health — We provide technical, scientific and policy leadership on critical threats to forest health, among them pests and pathogens, which devastated the American elm and chestnut in the United States in the early 20th century and now threaten pine and hemlock forests.
- Finance — We work to increase the resources available for forest conservation by developing markets for ecosystem services, such as the ability of forests to sequester carbon and offset global warming. We also develop partnerships with private capital to protect forests and financial incentives that can improve forest management.
- Global Forest Trade — We work to reduce illegal and unsustainable forest practices by fostering the growth of transparent forest-products markets — markets where consumers can understand the source of the wood they purchase. We support the independent certification of wood harvesting, the development of tracking and labeling systems, and the adoption of procurement standards for major timber customers.