Apple is helping to restore grasslands in Kenya’s Chyulu Hills


Apple has partnered with Conservation International to fund restoration in Kenya’s Chyulu Hills.
Apple has partnered with Conservation International to fund conservation.
Photo: Ninara/Flickr CC

As part of its environmental efforts, Apple recently made a donation to nonprofit Conservation International. Apple’s money will help restore degraded grasslands in the Chyulu Hills of Kenya.

“By restoring tens of thousands of hectares in the Chyulu Hills, we can remove carbon from the air, protect a critical wildlife corridor for elephants, and support the livelihoods of the Maasai people,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s VP of environmental, social, and policy initiatives.

Efforts to protect grassland in Kenya

Fast Company first reported on the initiative. It explains how “the grasslands at the foot of the hills, along with similar rangelands across Africa, have the potential to capture huge amounts of CO2.” However, as the landscape has been degraded by unsustainable land use, the soil has been left unable to sequester as much carbon. This has led to problems for both the local Masai herders and local wildlife.

The report continues that:

“Instead of focusing on planting [trees and grass], the team will test social interventions. For example, they might help Maasai herders shift to rotational grazing, which could help degraded areas of rangeland recover. The theory: With strategic interventions, the landscape can rebound on its own.”

Restoring degraded land could lead to 4 metric tons of CO2 removal per hectare. Across Africa alone there are 900 million hectares of degraded lands. This is an area larger than the whole of Brazil.

“Tackling the global climate challenge requires everyone to act with a fierce urgency,” Jackson told Fast Company. “At Apple, we’re bringing the same focus we have for creating innovative and groundbreaking products to creating climate solutions.”

Beyond Kenya: Apple’s push for sustainability

Under Tim Cook’s leadership, Apple’s environmental efforts have ramped up. Last year, Apple became the world’s first major tech company to be powered by 100% renewable energy. Apple has also pushed its suppliers to embrace clean energy.

In addition, Apple has additionally sponsored several environmental projects. These have included protecting a mangrove forest in Columbia, funding a forest management project in China, and a similar forestry project in the U.S. Earlier this week, a group made up of Apple and its suppliers sponsored three wind farms farms in China. Each farm is capable of generating 48 megawatts of clean energy.

Tim Cook talks climate change

Tim Cook addressed the subject of climate change in a speech earlier this year. He said that this is one topic too big for the government alone to solve. “We cannot be looking to the government to solve all the problems,” said Cook during the interview. “I think it takes the public sector, the private sector, and academia working together to solve these problems. Climate change is not going to be solved by government.”

Cook has frequently talked about making Apple a “force for good” in the world. This is just the latest example of that mission in action.


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