In pursuit of the dual goals of slowing the pace of climate change and protecting 30 percent of the planet’s biodiversity by 2030, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) named four regions as global priorities for conservation: Borneo, the Amazon, Kenya and the Appalachian Mountains. In these locations, TNC is bringing its conservation, science, policy, fundraising, marketing, and human and financial resources together in new and creative ways—and at larger scales than ever before—to accelerate our impact.
Sylvamo, a global paper company, has committed to supporting TNC’s ambitious mission to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends in the Appalachian Mountains, an ancient chain of forests, valleys, wetlands and rivers—spanning more than 2,000 miles from Alabama to Canada—that represents one of the most resilient and biodiverse places on Earth. The Appalachians not only serve as a natural highway for the region’s plants and animals, these verdant forests also have a remarkable ability to absorb and store excess carbon in the atmosphere, produce oxygen, filter drinking water, and provide job and recreational opportunities for 22 million people.
The resilience of these multifaceted landscapes underscores their need for long-term management, and the vast communities located across the region require strategies that prioritize a partnership approach. These are reasons why TNC’s work in the region emphasizes advancing science to promote healthier lands, waters and communities, collaborating with landowners to restore and sustainably manage natural resources, and promoting responsible outdoor recreation.
In addition to benefiting the Appalachians, a portion of Sylvamo’s gift is dedicated to TNC’s efforts in Tennessee, where the company is headquartered. These funds will support the following projects:
Working Woodlands More than half of Tennessee is forested, and many of these forests are in private ownership. TNC’s Working Woodlands program partners with individual landowners in several states, including in Tennessee, to ensure sustainable forest management that supports wildlife, generates revenue from improved timber management and from the growing carbon market.
Floodplains and Farms The floodplain that extends from the Mississippi River’s banks in West Tennessee serves as an important resource for agriculture, drinking water, industry and wildlife. TNC is working with farmers in this region to restore wetlands and forestland to improve the landscape’s ecological health and productivity. Using cutting-edge technology, TNC is identifying areas that might be restored to put nature to work at storing and filtering water in an effort to curb damaging floods and reduce the implications of the Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone downstream.
Sylvamo supports conservation strategies globally, which is critical to advancing TNC’s mission across the eastern United States. In doing so, the company hopes that it inspires other private companies to support TNC projects that benefit the planet we all share. Together we can work to conserve renewable resources and support critical habitats that ensure business and nature thrive together.