Press release: Climate Emergency Campaign ‘Trees for Christmas’ Backed by Former First Minister

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Carwyn Jones MS has given his support to a campaign by the climate charity Size of Wales which is asking for the public’s support to plant tens of thousands of trees in sub-Saharan Africa this Christmas. 

The annual ‘Trees for Christmas’ campaign raises money for community tree growing projects, which are vital for building our planet’s resilience to climate change and supporting the communities directly impacted by it.

In 2019, the campaign raised money to help plant over 72,000 trees in the Mbale region of Uganda. This year will be no different and the charity is aiming for a target of 100,000 trees.

The 2020 campaign calls on people and businesses in Wales to help raise funds for the Bore Community of eastern Kenya which sits on the equator. The climatic conditions in Bore have become increasingly unpredictable, bouncing between the extremes of drought and flooding which has led to poor crop yields, threatening the livelihoods of its residents.

The Trees for Christmas campaign is encouraging people to get involved in four ways:

  • Direct donations or through ‘pairing’ their Christmas tree with new trees planted in Kenya.
  • Buying trees as a gift for a loved one.
  • Buying Ecards as a COVID-19 and environmentally friendly alternative to sending a physical card.
  • Businesses running initiatives that raise money for the campaign, such as planting a tree for every order.

Carwyn Jones MS, who was First Minister when the Welsh Government-funded Mbale Trees Programme was set up in 2013, said:

“I’ve seen the difference that tree planting makes in helping communities on the front line of fighting climate change. This year I encourage you to give a tree to nature for Christmas and help in the fight for our planet’s health”

Nicola Pulman, Size of Wales Director said:

“Our goal as the leading climate charity in Wales is to help people across the whole nation to make a difference and Trees for Christmas is one of the easiest ways to do this. Whether you’re a school running a non-uniform day, a business running a promotion, or an individual pairing your Christmas tree, every pound raised in this campaign not only helps fight the climate crisis, but helps a community protect their livelihoods.”

Adam Pikett, CEO of SportPursuit, who’s backing the campaign for the second year running, by planting a tree for every Christmas order said:

“SportPursuit customers and staff share a passion for the outdoors and enjoy adventures in the inspiring environments of our planet. It’s great to see this passion driving engagement in our tree planting initiatives. With the help of Size of Wales, the SportPursuit community will be making a positive impact on the environment as well as the local communities who live in our tropical forests.”

Kasey and Dani, owners of the Cardiff-based ‘Create Salon’ are planting a tree for every customer during November and December. They said:

“As a salon we understand that our industry hasn’t always been as eco-friendly as it could be. So we are trying to be as sustainable as we can be whilst also supporting a local charity. The more of us that take part, the bigger and better the impact will be. It’s a great way for salons to be more eco-conscious whilst supporting a Welsh charity.”

The year 2020 has not only been epitomised by the COVID-19 pandemic, but is also set to be at least the third-warmest year on record. Deforestation plays a central role whereby the planet annually loses tree cover of 18 million hectares, equivalent to 9 times the size of Wales. Rainforests are vital for absorbing carbon dioxide emissions and limiting global temperature rises to 1.5°C (above pre-industrial levels) as recommended by scientists.

Retaining our forests and combatting climate change is also central to building resilience against future pandemics.

The Trees for Christmas campaign will run until early January and more information is available at www.sizeofwales.org.uk/trees4xmas

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

  • Size of Wales is a Cardiff-based climate change charity which aims to preserve an area of tropical forest at least the size of Wales.
  • If you’re interested in interviewing any of the individuals quoted in this release, please contact Size of Wales using the below details.
  • The Mbale Trees Programme has planted over 10 million trees and is funded by the Welsh Government via Size of Wales as part of Wales’ national response to climate change. More information
  • The Bore Community Forest Project supports subsistence farmers and the wider community to adapt to the increasingly chaotic climate and protect their precious forests. It is also part-funded by the Welsh government and more information can be found here.
  • Despite high levels of recycling and renewable energy production, Wales’ ecological footprint is thought to be five times the size of the nation.
  • According to the World Resources Institute, the world lost 18 million hectares of tree cover in 2015, equivalent to 9 times the size of Wales.
  • Scientists believe that global warming and deforestation may contribute to the spread of pandemics through reduced eco-diversity and the disruption of habitats.

Contact: Jamie Green, Size of Wales Communications and Marketing Manager – [email protected]


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