International HSBC Climate Champions to tackle climate change at Wytham Woods
Earthwatch is set to receive a group of HSBC employees from Asia, the Middle East and North Africa at its Regional Climate Centre in Wytham Woods, near Oxford. The twelve volunteers will arrive on Sunday 29 May for seven days of hands-on scientific field research into the effects of climate change on temperate forests.
Europe’s temperate forests have been heavily impacted by humans resulting in increasingly fragmented forests. In the UK, 75% of forest patches are smaller than four acres. The research at Wytham will be one of the few studies to provide a comprehensive picture of the carbon cycle on fragmented forests.
Under the Climate Champion programme, the HSBC volunteers will work alongside Earthwatch scientists to gather data and establish the health of the woods through measuring tree growth, collecting soil samples or ground-leaf litter and helping with data transcription and analysis. The Climate Champions will also participate in regionally-relevant learning sessions to further their understanding on climate change issues, and develop and share ideas for sustainability projects to implement when they return to work.
The twelve Climate Champions hail from across the bank and include junior staff, senior managers and team leaders from six countries: Algeria, Lebanon, Oman, UAE, Pakistan and Egypt.
Richard Sylvester, Field Director at the Regional Climate Centre said: “The team at the centre are looking forward to receiving the HSBC Climate Champions. The Climate Champions have been brought together by a common vision to take action on climate change and make a positive difference in their region, workplace and communities. They are instrumental in helping our scientists gather data which will inform management plans and policy decisions in similar habitats worldwide.”
Since the Regional Climate Centre opened its doors in March 2008 more than 30 teams – involving over 300 HSBC Climate Champions have carried out forest-based research in Wytham Woods. In 2010, 10 teams of 117 Climate Champions from 22 countries helped to complete 672 hours of fieldwork.
Earthwatch is on track to meet targets of engaging nearly one-third of HSBC’s 300,000 employees worldwide in a conversation about climate change and its implications for business, communities and individuals. Of these, 2,200 employees will participate in the Climate Champion programme at Regional Climate Centres in Wytham Woods near Oxford, Brazil, China, India and the USA. Upon completion of the programme, Earthwatch and HSBC will have conducted the largest-known employee engagement programme on climate change.
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