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Global charity’s goal to plant one million trees launched in Hull

 

A BUSINESSMAN will today use Hull to launch an ambitious global campaign to plant more than one million trees in a fight against climate change and poverty.

Andrew Steel, who founded the Plant A Tree Today (PATT) Foundation, says Hull – and specifically the area’s businesses – have the chance to lead the world on mass-restoration of forests.

   

The charity’s goal of planting one million trees was being formally announced today (Tuesday, June 7) at Green City Hull, an event that forms part of the Humber area’s annual Business Week.

Mr Steel, who is originally from Hull, has returned from his work on forest restoration projects in Asia to launch his charity’s vision of planting one million trees across the continent, helping communities in places such as Thailand and Indonesia.

In a speech at Green City Hull, Mr Steel will say he would like businesses and individuals in East Yorkshire to contribute to this target, whether by offsetting their carbon emissions through planting trees, volunteering for the charity’s schemes overseas or by fundraising for the foundation.

He says: “We are a multi-national charity, with workers and projects from right across the world. But it would make me proud if Hull became one of the leading drivers in demonstrating how local people can make an international impact against deforestation and climate change.

“So here today, in support of the 2011 United Nations (UN) International Year of The Forest, what better place than this great city for the PATT Foundation to announce its global ambition – to plant over one million trees.”

Mr Steel, 40, retired from the Royal Navy to become a successful businessman working in Thailand in the forestry, precious natural oils and renewable energy sectors, including with companies such as Asia Forestry and Eqitech. He went on to set up the PATT Foundation in 2005, after seeing for himself the importance of forests to developing communities.

   

PATT works alongside major organisations – including the Thai government – and has support from multi-national brands such as Mercedes Benz, Orient Skies, PepsiCo, Merck and Crown Worldwide Group. The charity is also a UN Seed Award winner.

The charity aims to tackle climate change by planting native trees, reforesting areas which have been destroyed through illegal logging, development and agriculture – being responsible for huge replanting schemes in Thailand and across other parts of the world, including India. The foundation works with local forest communities to create sustainable employment opportunities and reduce poverty.

And during Green City Hull, Mr Steel will reveal details of one of the largest forest restoration projects in South East Asia – which will see global luxury resorts and spa management company Six Senses teaming up with the PATT Foundation to replant 180 acres of forest in the Chang Mai region of northern Thailand. This will, starting in July, see 200,000 trees planted every year for the next decade.

Now, Mr Steel is encouraging businesses in Hull to play their part in fighting climate change, with some businesses already pledging support – including Lowgate Garage in Sutton that donates money for a new tree every time it carries out a vehicle MOT and Eco-divers – a local driving school, which ensures all cars offset their carbon footprint.

He said: “Green City Hull is about helping businesses play a greater role in the city’s growing green economy and renewable energy industry. Therefore today, I make an offer to everyone in this room. “From residents to business leaders and to the next generation of green entrepreneurs – I ask every person to make a choice, help PATT shape a better future, starting from this city, and let us create forests and sustainable communities that we can be proud of.”

Speaking in support of the launch, Arnfinn Oines, Social & Environmental Conscience of Six Senses Resorts & Spas said: “Six Senses is pleased to work with PATT Foundation on one of the largest restoration projects in Asia. We are particularly pleased to use a methodology that creates a rich and biodiverse forest rather than just planting single species of trees.”

He added: “Not only does this project sequestrate large quantities of carbon, but also contributes to restoring biodiversity and provide social economic support to the communities surrounding Sri Lanna National Park in Northern-Thailand.”

Now in its seventh year, Business Week will feature more than 30 events between June 6 and June 10. Organisations from the private, public and voluntary sectors have come together to present the week-long extravaganza, culminating with this year’s Yorkshire International Business Convention.

Pupils from Mr Steel’s former Hull school, Andrew Marvell Business And Enterprise College, will also be attending Green City Hull to hear about the PATT Foundation’s work.

  • For more information about Andrew Steel, or to arrange interview opportunities with him, contact Christopher Parker of the PATT Foundation on 07875 155892 or visit www.pattfoundation.org
  • Businesses interested in knowing more about PATT Foundation can download an information booklet from our website with this link: PATT-InfoPack-Business.pdf

PATT Foundation
Debra Coombs Uk and European Country Manager : 07932755110
Email: Debra.coombs@archive.pattfoundation.org
UK MOBILE: +44 (0) 7932 755 110
UK Tel: +44 (0) 8006 126 136
www.pattfoundation.org