28 July 2022 – World Nature Conservation Day, a day observed annually on the 28th of July, stresses the need for a healthy environment. The day highlights action required toward not only the maintenance, but also the regeneration of Earth’s natural resources. Action that will ensure a sustainable future for all Earth’s inhabitants. BLUU Car Rental, a key player in the travel and tourism industry, have therefore pledged to plant five thousand trees through Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) to help rebuild South Africa’s natural capital and protect nature-based tourism.
Society’s unsustainable relationship with nature has led to an immeasurable number of issues during the last century. Despite increased awareness of topics such as global climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss and various forms of pollution, we remain on the precipice of possibly irreversible environmental degradation. These processes undermine society’s ability to provide healthy and secure livelihoods for people and ecosystems.
In South Africa, natural resources form the foundation of the economy, and in particular provide the basis for much of our tourism industry. Tourism accounted for 6.7% of South Africa’s GDP, and contributed 1.5 million employment opportunities in 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry contributes more to the country’s GDP than agriculture, utilities and construction. However, unsustainable practices that lead to environmental damage imperil resources the tourism industry relies on. It is essential that business and other organisations implement real solutions to build a resilient travel and tourism sector.
Every economic sector is thus being tasked with the need to improve the planet for future generations through smart ESG strategies, and one company has chosen to contribute in one of the most sustainable ways possible. Through FTFA, BLUU Car Rental will be planting five thousand trees over the next five months. The tree planting began with one thousand trees planted on World Nature Conservation Day in Gauteng. BLUU Car Rental employee volunteers flocked to Skeen Primary School in Alexandra on the 28th of July to begin the initiative. The remaining four thousand trees will be planted in various areas of the Eastern and Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal as well as at FTFA’s reforestation project in the Kologha Forest.
Forests and other green spaces are referred to collectively as “Green Infrastructure” and provide multiple “Ecosystem Services”. Such systems play a vital role in regulating our climate, and especially extreme weather events like drought and flooding. Tree planting efforts are a triple win for society, improving livelihoods, absorbing and storing climate-altering greenhouse gases (GHGs), and providing habitat for species which increases biodiversity and the health of ecosystems.
This newly formed tree planting partnership will therefore support continued efforts and strengthen progress made toward charting a viable future for socio-economic and environmental wellbeing in South Africa. By supporting natural solutions such as reforestation and urban tree planting, BLUU Car Rental is lending a helping hand to fast-depleting resources, while positioning themselves as industry leaders in the fight against climate change.
“BLUU Car Rental selected FTFA’s tree planting initiatives because we want to make a difference in the community and we believe that education about environmental issues and climate change are key to ensuring a greener planet for all,” says Lindsay Versfeld, Marketing and Partnership Manager at BLUU Car Rental.
Susan Evans, Events and Tree Distribution Manager at FTFA adds “We recognize that a purposeful approach and scale are key to the effectiveness of these programmes and ensuring we are making a meaningful impact. Approximately 1845,02 tonnes of carbon will be sequestrated by BLUU Car Rental’s donation of 5000 trees.”