Sailing allows us to travel long distances with relatively low carbon emissions, but the reality is that all yachts burn diesel for motive power and to generate electricity. Conscious of this impact, ARC organiser World Cruising Club has teamed up with local non-profit forestry organisations in Gran Canaria to develop and sponsor a carbon offset project, planting trees where they are most needed, to help offset the carbon emissions created during the ARC crossing.
Since 2010, almost 1500 native trees have now been planted by ARC and ARC+ volunteers on a deforested site in the mountains above Las Palmas de Gran Canaria; not only helping to offset carbon emissions, but also helping to recreate one of the most threatened eco-systems on Gran Canaria. As part of a five year commitment, paid for by World Cruising Club, the ARC Forest will eventually cover a hectare of land (10,000 m²), improving bio-diversity, reducing soil erosion and mitigating flooding. Managing the project is the Canaries based environmental charity Foresta, ensuring that the small trees planted by crews will grow to become a true sustainable forest, linking areas of historic indigenous woodland to make a “green cordon” around the mountain tops and restoring the native cloud forest eco-system.
Today, over 40 ARC participants travelled by bus to the ARC Forest site and worked hard throughout the morning planting over 200 trees over three hours. Foresta volunteer Pascal Lehette, talked us through the ARC Forest preparations, informing participants on the different types of tree being planted, as well as demonstrating how to successfully plant the trees to ensure maximum likelihood of survival.
Once the trees had been planted, Chief Forester Sergio provided crews with a tasty picnic lunch on site with a great view over Las Palmas, before returning by bus back to the Marina at 1300.
Many thanks goes to the participants who attended today’s Forest trip as well as organisation Foresta for their on-going support.