Addressing climate change is a collective responsibility. It requires immediate collaborative efforts to find sustainable solutions and take tangible actions toward a sustainable future. However, raising awareness is crucial when it comes to tackling these challenges. As the world’s most popular sport, football serves as an excellent platform to raise awareness about climate change, its impact on the planet, and why supporting climate projects worldwide is key to limiting global warming to 1.5. degrees by 2050. This is where the Football for Forests Campaign (F4F) comes in. This article explores what the F4F Campaign is about and why it is crucial for football clubs, businesses, and organizations to support certified and internationally recognized afforestation projects. It also highlights the reasons behind restoring tropical forests.
An article by Chamselassil Ayari, FORLIANCE
Harnessing the Power of Football to restore tropical forests
Football is by far the world’s most popular sport with the power to captivate millions of people across the globe. It enjoys an unparalleled global reach, transcending borders, cultures, and languages. It unites people from diverse backgrounds, sparking passion and enthusiasm across continents.
With at least 5 billion fans worldwide according to FIFA, football can engage fans, raise awareness, and inspire positive environmental action on a large scale. So why not harness the power of football to restore the rainforest, combat climate change, and support the well-being of local communities? This is the main idea behind the Football for Forests Campaign (F4F). Via an app that has been specially developed for the F4F Campaign, fans have the opportunity to submit tips for their team’s matches. For every goal scored, they can donate and compete with fans of other clubs to contribute towards this cause. “We don’t need to wait for the world to act when it’s already too late, we can start it right here ourselves, with 5 billion football fans and their smartphones!”, stated Charlotte Streck, founder of Football for Forests Campaign.
Inspiring football fans to take climate action
Football clubs and businesses are also competing to restore rainforest pitches. FORLIANCE is one of the first sponsors of the F4F Campaign. “As we face the consequences of climate change on a global level, I believe in the power of collective actions to restore forests and enhance natural carbon sinks that absorb carbon from the atmosphere,” Dirk Walterspacher, CEO and Co-Founder of FORLIANCE said.
FORLIANCE has been dedicated to designing and developing climate protection projects across various countries, including Colombia, the focus country of the F4F Campaign for 2023. For FORLIANCE it is about creating added value – not only for the environment – but also for local communities and the hosting countries in various ways, such as creating jobs, sharing expertise, and contributing to support local economies and improve livelihoods. „I believe in the power of football, which symbolizes endless passion, to inspire and unite efforts in making the Earth a better place for everyone, everywhere,“ added Walterspacher.
Why is it crucial to restore the tropical forest?
Tropical forests, which cover a mere 6% of the Earth’s land surface, hold remarkable significance as some of the most biodiverse and abundant ecosystems on our planet. They are home to ancient trees alongside a vast array of plant species, birds, mammals, and insects.
However, in recent decades, these precious ecosystems have faced significant threats due to deforestation and unsustainable land practices. By restoring tropical forests, we protect habitats and provide a chance for various species to thrive. Preserving biodiversity is crucial as each species plays a unique role in maintaining ecological balance and preserving the intricate web of life.
Countless benefits for the environment
Furthermore, tropical forests are essential in regulating water resources. They act as natural watersheds or sponges, capturing rainwater and allowing it to gradually flow into streams, rivers, and underground aquifers. They maintain water quality by filtering sediments and other pollutants from the water in the soil before it reaches a water source, such as a stream, lake, or river. By restoring these forests, we ensure a sustainable supply of water, particularly during dry seasons. Additionally, healthy forests help prevent soil erosion, protect against flooding, and maintain the overall hydrological balance of regions, benefiting both local communities and downstream ecosystems.
Moreover, tropical forests have a huge impact on climate change mitigation. Acting as carbon sinks, they absorb significant amounts of CO2 emissions. Restoring them means enhancing their capacity to sequester carbon, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and limiting global warming to 1,5 degrees, as enshrined by the Paris Agreement.
Providing economic opportunities for local communities
Restoring tropical forests also presents important economic opportunities. Sustainable practices, such as agroforestry and eco-tourism, provide livelihoods for local communities. Agroforestry systems combine food crops with trees, providing sustenance, income, and ecological benefits. Eco-tourism offers a chance to appreciate the natural wonders of tropical forests while supporting local economies.
Restoring tropical forests requires concerted efforts. By recognizing the importance of these invaluable ecosystems, we pave the way for a sustainable future. Restoring tropical forests allows us to conserve biodiversity, combat climate change, regulate water resources, and stimulate local economies.
Together with passionate football fans, FORLIANCE is embracing the vital mission of restoring tropical forests and paving the way towards a net-zero emissions future.
Join FORLIANCE and kick off your climate action journey. Contact us.