So why are we doing this?
The world is facing high rates of biodiversity loss which will accelerate in the coming 30 years as a result of climate change and growing human populations. According to WWF (2018) we have already seen an average decline of 60 per cent in the size of populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians in just over 40 years!
Loss of biodiversity not only makes the earth less interesting to live in, it also has massive and irreversible economic consequences for the planet and the human race.
An estimated 40 per cent of the world’s economy and 80 per cent of the needs of the poor are currently derived from biological resources depending on the existing biodiversity that ensures clean water, clean air, food and protection from global climate change.
What will we do?
With Sustainable Development Goal # 15 (Life on Land) as a beacon the Hempel Foundation will work to create sustainable solutions to sustain biodiversity through partnerships with international NGO’s, science institutions and others who are experts in their fields and share our concern.
The Foundation’s first partnership will be with WWF in Uganda where we will support the development of sustainable solutions to ensure protection and use of the existing biodiversity in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park which is one of the most biodiverse and unique ecosystems in Uganda. The Park is challenged by lack of resources and an increasing pressure from the local population living in areas surrounding the park.
Specific activities will include creation of mechanisms to allow for payment of ecosystem services, creation of alternative sources of revenue for local farmers and strengthening capacity of local park management structures.
If we succeed we will have contributed significantly to ensuring clean water for future generations as well as protection from the consequences of climate change. And we will hopefully learn more about how we can most effectively work to sustain the biodiversity of our planet on which we all depend.
Sustaining biodiversity will be a third strategic focus area in the Hempel Foundation’s donation strategy.