Apple invests to save Colombian mangrove forest

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Apple invests in mangrove forests like this one. They could be key to fighting climate change.
Mangrove forests like this one could be key to fighting climate change.
Photo: Blue Forests/Flickr CC

Apple is on a mission to help save the world’s disappearing mangrove forests.

Mangrove forests suck up a huge amount of carbon dioxide from the air. Half of all mangrove forests on Earth have been lost since 1940, but Apple is making a big investment to help save one particular forest in Colombia in an effort to curb climate change.

In an effort to offset the emissions from its fleet of Apple Maps cars driving around the globe, Apple announced today that it has invested in a mangrove forest on Colombia’s coast. The plans to protect and restore mangroves in the 27,000-acre forest.

Over the next two years, the forest will offset 17,000 metric tons of emissions. That’s about the same amount of emissions its cars will release over the next decade.

Saving the mangroves

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s VP of environment, policy, and social initiatives revealed the plan to an audience at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco this morning.

“These forests are critical because they’re one of nature’s most important tools in the battle against climate change–they can absorb and store up to ten times more carbon than a terrestrial forest,” said Lisa Jackson.

Mangrove trees have the densest carbon storage of any habitat on Earth. They store carbon in their branches and leaves like most trees but also push carbon back down into the ground through their underwater roots. Climate change experts believe that preserving and regrowing mangrove forests is one of the key ways for humans to cool down the planet after carbon emissions have led to a global rise in temperatures.

“I’m here today to tell you–unequivocally–that there is no conflict between a healthy planet and a healthy bottom line,” said Jackson. “It’s a false choice, and it’s one we must reject.”

This isn’t the first time Apple has invested in a forest. In 2015 the company purchased 36,000 acres of private forest land that is now being sustainably harvested and used for all of its packagings.