1. Mr. Simmons and partners worked with CGI to obtain an accurate accounting of carbon emissions associated with the meeting.
2. The partners established a governance body that, in consultation with leading experts, chooses win-win projects in biodiversity-rich areas that also have potential to help benefit local communities.
3. The What is Missing (WIM) Foundation administers the purchasing of the offsets on behalf of CGI.
4. The offset projects chosen for this commitment will be publicized through Maya Lin's WIM Foundation and Memorial. As such, the commitment maker hopes to attract funding for the projects (and other worthy forest-related offset projects) well beyond the initial value of this commitment over time.
Background and Implementation Strategy:
Tropical forests are indispensible allies to us in the fight against climate change. Left standing, they absorb about 1/5th of the carbon dioxide that is emitted through the burning of fossil fuels. They also provide tropical forests are home to more than half of all species on Earth-- species that are going extinct at the fastest rate in 65 million years. And they are keystones in maintaining vital ecosystems that keep the Earth in balance, providing clean air, water, flood and erosion protection, and many other resources and services essential to all people and the economy.
Yet human activities driven by short-term interests are causing us to lose a football field's worth of tropical forest every second, and about 32 million acres (130,000 square kilometers) of tropical forest ever year- an area equal to the size of England. Annually this contributes to about 20 percent of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change-- more than all the world's cars, trucks, and airplanes combined.
Those joining together for this commitment are driven by a shared interest in taking tangible action that helps keep tropical forests standing. By investing in projects that can generate enough carbon credits to offset 2 CGI annual meetings, a tangible, immediate contribution will be made to save significant portions of forest. What's more, this commitment will help to raise awareness among CGI members about the vital role of forests in stabilizing the climate and protecting biodiversity and human well being. The partners are also committed to magnifying the impact of this commitment by promoting the selected offset projects during the building of Maya Lin's final Memorial, What is Missing-- a multi-site, multi-media tribute to vanished (and vanishing) parts of the natural world designed to inspire and empower people to to action. In so doing, it is expected that the initial investment of ,000 will generate far greater returns in the years ahead as it help inspire others to contribute to outstanding tropical forest protection projects.
Once again, CGI was the catalyst that inspired an extraordinary set of players to come together and do something above and beyond what they were planning to do to advance solutions on critical global challenges. When various members learned that Maya Lin was planning on doing her last memorial on the subject of biodiversity and ecosystem loss-- with a special emphasis on the loss of forests--they saw an opportunity to leverage resources not only to offset the CGI Annual Meting but also to create a partnership that could build new awareness on the issues and draw in new participants in solutions.