The Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation (IFCF) has supported the planting of one million mangrove trees in Indonesia, helping villagers to rebuild their local economy and protect ecosystems, while helping to mitigate 187,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the life of the project.
Working in partnership with Eden Reforestation Projects, the IFCF donated $165,000 to the reforestation project to coincide with the Iceland’s 50th birthday. The project started in September 2019 and covers approximately 100 hectares of mangrove forest located on the southwest coast of Yapan Island in remote West Papua, Indonesia.
The support from IFCF and the active participation of the local community have resulted in positive impacts on local livelihoods and the environment. The project has employed 25 local people full-time, who previously had little or no income, with jobs including planters, forest guards, and site managers. Having a steady income allows Eden workers to put savings aside, invest in their households, start microenterprises to diversify their income opportunities, and provide healthcare for their families. The mangroves also nurture fish stocks and protect the coastal community from the impact of typhoons and tsunamis.
The mangrove forest in this area has been heavily exploited and, over the last ten years, this has had a tremendous impact on the West Papua ecoystem. The planting of the new trees will also help support the mangrove forests, which are some of the most carbon rich ecosystems in the world and rapidly sequester carbon. Mangrove restoration is seen as one of the most effective forms of land-based climate mitigation.
Richard Walker, Trustee of the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation and Managing Director of Iceland Foods said: “Iceland is passionate about playing its part in helping to stop global deforestation as well as supporting vulnerable communities in the UK and across the world. That is why, as part of our 50th birthday celebrations, we decided to support this reforestation project in Indonesia.
“The project will have a positive social and economic impact on the local community for years to come. These mangrove forests are so vital and help support an environment that has a high concentration of rare and endangered species.”