NHL pledges 1,600 trees to The Nature Conservancy

Wednesday, 05.29.2013 / 4:10 PM | NHL Green

In the 2012-13 regular season, players from around the NHL tallied a total of 32 hat tricks, including two apiece from Pittsburgh’s Chris Kunitz, Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin, and Toronto’s Nazem Kadri.

Inspired by Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, NHL Green launched Hat Tricks for Trees™, an initiative assisting The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) effort to save Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. NHL Green pledged to donate 50 trees to TNC’s Plant a Billion Trees campaign for every hat trick scored throughout the regular season.

Thanks to the League’s highest scoring players, NHL’s contribution this year totals 1,600 trees, helping to restore and rebuild the Atlantic Forest and its irreplaceable part in our global ecosystem. TNC has set a lofty and admirable goal of planting one billion trees in the Atlantic Forest by 2015, which has the potential to remove four million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.

Why Brazil’s Atlantic Forest? This Brazilian rainforest is home to 23 species of primates and 1,180 species of mammals, amphibians, reptiles and fish. Harboring 1,000 species of birds, almost 200 of which are not found anywhere else on Earth, it is considered the most important place for bird conservation in the Western Hemisphere by the American Bird Conservancy. For millions of local people, the rainforest is critical for their livelihoods and provides clean water and hydro energy.

On top of the forest’s vital role as a vessel for biodiversity, the area plays an equally important part as a living “lung” for the entire planet. Tropical forests such as Brazil’s Atlantic Forest store massive quantities of carbon dioxide and, in turn, release oxygen, helping to regulate the atmosphere and stabilize the global climate.

Five hundred years ago, the Atlantic Forest of Brazil covered approximately 330 million acres (about twice the size of Texas), but today more than 85% of this forest has been cleared and what remains is highly fragmented (due to coastal development, urban expansion, agriculture, exotic plantations, ranching, and illegal logging).

How does the Nature Conservancy works in the Atlantic Forest? The Nature Conservancy and a team of local, international, public and private partners have launched an ambitious campaign to plant a billion trees by 2015. To accomplish this, TNC will:

• Reforest degraded lands by planting one billion native trees

• Create forest corridors to protect, connect and buffer forested areas

• Establish and strengthen private and public protected areas

• Promote legal incentives and conservation easements to secure protection of privately owned lands

• Provide technical assistance for private landowners reforesting their lands

• Restore or preserve 30 million acres of rainforest by 2015

How can you help? You too can make a difference in this incredible campaign. For every $1 donated at plantabillion.org, TNC will plant 1 tree in the Atlantic Forest. With a quick and easy online donation, you can join the fight to save the Atlantic Forest and the crucial role it plays in global climate stabilization and endangered species protection.

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