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Rooting for Change: Local initiatives with a global impact

13/05/2022

Locations

United Kingdom

Empowering local communities and tackling global heating through forestation and preservation

Rooting for Change is a Fieldfisher brand that began in 2019 and will now have a global footprint. As part of its continued commitment to civil society, Fieldfisher is investing £110,000 in a portfolio of forestation and preservation projects across the globe. These projects will support communities in the global south by giving them the tools, resources and funds needed to improve livelihoods and tackle the climate crisis.

Fieldfisher will be working with five organisations to deliver Rooting for Change. The signature programme will ensure lasting impact by creating a Barefoot Ecologists' College in a very established South Indian community that has pioneered ecological innovation since the 1960s and is lauded by experts internationally. Fieldfisher will be the seed funders of this project, working with a long-term partner organisation in Pitchandikulam Forest, Auroville – a relationship brought in for the first phase of Rooting for Change.

Joss Brooks, Project Lead at Pitchandikulam Forest comments: "The project will create a collaborative network of practical barefoot ecologists in the nurseries and plantations at field and village level who can ensure the success of reforestation work. It will nurture the sense of working and caring for our watersheds, and through learning more practical useful science, the conversation between the top of the hill and the sea can be strengthened with down to earth ecology."

The firm will also be investing in two mangrove forestation projects – one in Indonesia with Women's Earth Alliance (WEA), and one in Bangladesh with Centre for Coastal Environmental Conservation (CCEC). Mangroves act as natural barrier between the ocean and coastal communities, keeping homes and people safe. They also store around four times more carbon than forests, making them one of the most effective carbon sinks. These two partnerships were introduced to the firm by German charity, Plant for the Planet, who the firm will continue to work closely with.

The final project is UK-based charity, Cool Earth. We have already been supporting Cool Earth through our partnership with Planet Mark (read more about our work with them here). Now, we are boosting our funding for Cool Earth to help protect areas of the Peruvian Amazon through community investment. Empowering women's co-operatives and indigenous communities through people-first conservation ensures that the true climate experts are listened to; this is the key to a safer planet.

Rachael Wild, Sustainability Programme Lead at Fieldfisher, highlights the importance of green investment: "In our latest portfolio, we are supporting the crucial strands of education, community, conservation and protection. Having these as the focus points of our global project means that Rooting for Change has evolved from a reforestation initiative to one that sees the climate crisis as something that can only be tackled with a holistic approach."

All of these projects have been carefully selected through extensive research to ensure maximum impact on people and planet. Careful due diligence was also conducted over the last six months to make sure the firm partnered with reliable and responsible organisations that align with our sustainability mission. Our ultimate goal is to invest in projects that impact not just the environment, but communities most affected by the risks of climate change. Through forestation and preservation, we will be tackling global heating and, importantly, creating livelihoods for local communities, empowering women and indigenous groups, and generating eco-education opportunities.

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