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05:28 AM - 17 Jan 19
RT @jessillustrator: Free Downloadable A3 sized poster of this watercolor & gouache now at @illustrationweb Scrapbook feature of my work an…
05:28 AM - 17 Jan 19
RT @ArrestAllMimics: Over 130 conversations with humans leading their lives and inspiring with creativity. Listen now on your fav podcast p…
11:10 PM - 16 Jan 19
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12:00 PM - 16 Jan 19
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11:30 AM - 16 Jan 19
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09:00 AM - 16 Jan 19
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06:50 AM - 16 Jan 19
RT @ArrestAllMimics: Catch up on @andSutherland's interview on the show, the studio named number 1 #design studio in the UK two years runni…
06:36 AM - 16 Jan 19
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09:00 AM - 15 Jan 19
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05:50 AM - 14 Jan 19
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01:39 PM - 11 Jan 19
01:39 PM - 11 Jan 19
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12:42 PM - 11 Jan 19
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11:30 AM - 11 Jan 19
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10:15 AM - 11 Jan 19
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10:01 AM - 11 Jan 19
RT @MoIllustrations: Hi! I'm Mohan Ballard & I'm an Illustrator who creates hand painted City Scenes and architectural work. I'm represente…
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RT @vickysworld: Hello nice, hello #throwbackthursday. Here's my illustration of beautiful sunny nice I created last summer. Thinking warm…

One Million Achieved!

Five years after our pledge to donate 1% of our turnover to WeForest, we are thrilled to have hit the 1 million tree mark!

How Planting Trees Cuts Carbon and Sustains Communities

Illustration by Donough O'Malley

In 2013 Illustration, one of the world’s leading illustration and animation agents, decided to do something about the cause and consequence of climate change; it pledged to donate 1% of its total income towards planting one million trees. Five years and one million trees later, Illustration has sequestered over 85,000 tons of CO2, reforested over 1,300 acres of East and southern Africa and trained over 650 men and women in the better stewardship of their environment. “When we got the news that we had reached our objective, there was a moment of disbelief before the cheers rang out in our offices around the globe,” says Illustration’s managing director Harry Lyon-Smith.

While some debate the precise causes and extent of climate change, the environmental damage caused by the increasing rate of deforestation is self-evident. Deforestation drives climate change because there are fewer trees to absorb the greenhouse gases that fuel global warming. “Forest still covers about 30 percent of the planet,” says Illustration’s managing director Harry Lyon-Smith, “but with an area half the size of England being lost every year, the world’s rainforest could completely vanish in the next eighty to a hundred years.” Planting more trees helps to reduce excess carbon from the atmosphere. 

Illustration’s reforestation programme is operated by WeForest, an international non-profit association with a goal of transforming 250,000 ha of forest landscape by 2021. Other corporate sponsors include Nike, Barclays and Marriott. WeForest specialises in biodiverse tree planting with a team of professionals spread over three continents and twelve countries, and cites research which shows that even if carbon dioxide emissions came to a sudden halt, the carbon dioxide already in the Earth's atmosphere could continue to warm our planet for hundreds of years. WeForest believes that the ability of trees to both suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and create sun deflecting clouds represents a simple, cost-effective solution to climate change and runs projects in Africa, Brazil, and India.

What is sometimes overlooked is that the negative impacts of deforestation go far beyond contributing to global warming. The loss of forests often damages the wellbeing of local communities and deprives animals and plants of natural habitat (eighty percent of Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests, and many cannot survive the deforestation that destroys their homes). Removing trees breaks the ‘water cycle’ which returns water vapour to the soil (they are called ‘rain forests’ for good reason) which is why so many forests cleared for agriculture in the developing world rapidly become deserts with negative socio-economic as well as environmental outcomes. “Our reforestation programme goes beyond combatting climate change,” says Harry. “By training local farmers to manage their environment more sustainably, jobs are created, poverty is alleviated and a community’s quality of life is enhanced.” As well as creating hundreds of jobs for local people, Illustration’s programme has brought all kinds of additional benefits to local people, such as installing almost 1,000 free beehives on the farms so that local farmers can add honey to their family’s diet and sell the surplus in local markets to boost their incomes. As Harry puts it, “By making local communities part of the solution and its direct beneficiaries, we give them the perfect incentive to stick to the plan that benefits everyone on the planet.”

So now that Illustration has achieved its objective of planting one million trees in just five years, what next? “That’s easy,” says Harry, “we’re going to carry on planting trees because the local and global benefits are so strong. Also, I think a lot of our clients get a buzz from knowing that by commissioning our exceptionally talent artists, they not only gain significant creative advantage but are also helping to combat climate change and alleviate poverty.”

You can find out more about Illustration tree planting programme here.

 

 

Our planting and growing partners 

 

 

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