Seal Rescue Ireland and Salesforce Partner to Plant 20,000 Trees and Address the Urgent Challenge of Climate Change
Wednesday, 25 November, 2020: Seal Rescue Ireland (SRI), Ireland’s only seal rescue centre, today announced that it is partnering with Salesforce to plant 20,000 native trees beginning this planting season, January 2021, to help protect wildlife and address the negative impacts of climate change.
Where Ireland’s surface was once 80% covered by native forests, less than 2% now remains. As a commitment to a brighter greener future and in support of their habitat restoration initiative, SRI is partnering with Salesforce to help reverse the effects of mass deforestation in Ireland and joining the global efforts to fight climate change.
Starting this planting season, the SRI team will put shovel to earth, prioritising areas where planting native trees will have the greatest environmental impacts—primarily along waterways and shorelines. The frequency and severity of storms are rising due to climate change, making survival for Ireland’s seal pups challenging as they can get injured, exhausted, drown or become separated from their mothers during extreme storm events. Tree planting has become a large focus in SRI’s proactive conservation efforts which have a proven threefold impact on improving the environment for seals and other species and also helps to combat coastal erosion.
SRI’s Executive Director Melanie Croce said, “Planting trees can help solve three out of the six main threats facing the seal pups that we rescue across Ireland. As a wildlife rehabilitation charity, SRI is best known for rescuing sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. But through this responsive approach, it has become increasingly apparent that the most effective way to help wildlife is by addressing the environmental threats that cause them to be rescued in the first place. Everything we do on land impacts the plants and animals around us, and planting native trees is a nature-based solution that simultaneously reverses some of the biggest threats facing seals in the wild: biodiversity loss, climate change and water pollution.”
David Dempsey, GM and Country Leader Salesforce Ireland said “At Salesforce, we consider the environment to be a key stakeholder and we are committed to harnessing our culture of innovation to improve the state of the world. We’re proud that our donation will help support Seal Rescue Ireland’s ambitious habitat restoration project and look forward to how our technology can help SRI store and track accurate ecological data to help combat climate change.”
Planting native trees creates food sources and habitat for terrestrial species, which is essential for protecting Ireland’s biodiversity and Seal population. Planting native trees alongside rivers and streams, called ‘riparian buffers’, provides a natural filtration system for surface water run-off, resulting in less sediment and pollution making its way to the sea which cause health issues in seals and other wildlife. With less sediment and pollutants, coastal waters are better able to support seagrass beds and kelp forests which provide carbon sinks, while also serving as vital nursery habitat for fish populations to recover. As trees grow, they soak up and store carbon, which is incredibly effective for fighting climate change. Furthermore, tree roots stabilise the earth preventing erosion and providing flood protection. All of these interconnected benefits can be achieved through the simple act of planting native trees.
In January, as a founding partner of 1t.org, and in support of its mission, Salesforce announced the company’s goal to support and mobilise the conservation, restoration, and growth of 100 million trees by the end of 2030. Reaching this goal means tapping into the full power of Salesforce, including technology, capital, and influence. It also means learning from others, and refining programs and methodology over time. This partnership with SRI is another step on a journey to 100 million trees.
Seal Rescue Ireland has already planted 3,488 native trees in Co. Wexford in Ireland to date, with a particular focus on habitat restoration in the watershed catchment area near their seal rescue centre in Courtown Harbour, Co Wexford. To find out how you can get involved in helping them to return spaces back to nature and create a better place for all species to thrive, visit their website at https://www.sealrescueireland.org/