The preservation and conservation projects in North Carolina and Virginia which have been chosen to receive funding from the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund have been announced. The $5 million Fund is a ten year programme that seeks to protect bottomland forests in the area. The projects eligible for grants were chosen based on a number of different factors including its links to other conservation projects and its ecological quality.
John Keppler, Chairman and CEO of Enviva said: “We are very pleased to be working with our friends at The Nature Conservancy, Triangle Land Conservancy and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, who will join with the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund to preserve thousands of acres of high conservation value forestland.
“Enviva has always believed there are special places in the forest that should remain so. This year’s inaugural grants from the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund enable leading environmental organisations to protect those special places through forest stewardship, conservation, preservation and the promotion of sustainable harvesting.”
The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund, established by Enviva Holdings, LP and administered by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, is awarding $500,000 in 2016 to preservation and conservation programmes that span more than 2,000 acres of environmentally sensitive bottomland and wetland forests in North Carolina and Virginia. The 2016 Enviva Forest Conservation Fund matching-fund grant recipients are:
– The Nature Conservancy North Carolina Chapter, to assist with acquisition of 1,294 acres of forested wetland in the floodplain of the Roanoke River, Washington County, North Carolina. The property will be protected as part of The Nature Conservancy’s Roanoke River Preserve and includes extensive stands of cypress-tupelo and Atlantic white cedar forests;
– The Triangle Land Conservancy, to help finance purchase of a permanent conservation easement on 127 acres of bottomland hardwood forest, uplands, and lake area near Raleigh, North Carolina. The lake and wetlands on the property help filter water flowing into the Neuse River, the drinking water source for the Town of Clayton and Johnston County;
– The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, to assist with acquisition of 385 acres of hardwood bottomland, cypress-tupelo swamps and 2.6 miles of frontage along the State Scenic Nottoway River in Southampton County, Virginia. Conserving this land will provide water quality enhancement and flood storage capacity, and support a myriad of threatened and endangered flora and fauna; and
– The Nature Conservancy Virginia Chapter, to finance a conservation easement donation of a 408-acre floodplain tract along the Meherrin River, Southampton County, Virginia. This project blends working forest uses with limited harvest designations to maintain health and condition of floodplain forest communities.
Michael Lipford, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy Virginia Chapter, said: “The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund’s grant will help ensure Virginia’s forests continue to harbour wildlife, support recreation and forestry, and clean the air we breathe and the water we drink.
“The Nature Conservancy is pleased by Enviva’s commitment to conserve sensitive areas that help maintain the health, condition and sustainability of floodplain forests in southeast Virginia.”
The grant recipients were selected from a pool of high-quality applications submitted by local, state and national conservation organisations committed to protecting forests and environmentally sensitive areas in the Virginia-North Carolina coastal plain, an area that is home to three wood pellet production facilities and a deep-water marine terminal owned by Enviva.
Applications were evaluated by the Endowment based on a number of factors, including the ecological quality of the property, potential threats to the property’s integrity, its associated conservation values and links to other conservation areas.
The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund focuses on about 35 North Carolina and Virginia counties that include approximately 6 million acres of forests of all types. Of this total, about 20 percent are bottomland forests – low-lying, marshy areas near rivers and streams that are home to tree species such as cypress, gum and oak. Most of this is working forestland where harvest is recommended. Although less than 15 percent of Enviva’s wood supply in the region comes from bottomland forests, the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund targets sensitive bottomland areas because they offer a wide range of environmental and economic benefits. Many of them also face the threat of conversion to other uses.
Carlton N. Owen, president and CEO of the Endowment said: “The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund aims to be a catalyst that will attract other conservation investments to the region, particularly to the bottomlands of the Albemarle Sound drainage basin along the Roanoke, Chowan, Meherrin, Nottoway and Blackwater rivers.
“We received applications from best-in- class conservation organisations and are excited about the environmental and economic benefits our first round of grants will provide for communities throughout North Carolina and Virginia.”
Along with the 2016 grants, the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is sponsoring two additional initiatives that protect the region’s forests and environmentally sensitive areas:
– In consultation with leading academic and environmental organisations, the Endowment has identified four specific bottomland forest ecosystems that will be priority conservation targets – cypress-tupelo swamps, Atlantic white cedar stands, pocosins and Carolina bays. Enviva does not take wood from these sensitive areas and is working with its suppliers and landowners to preserve them.
– The Endowment has empanelled a multi-stakeholder panel to develop enhanced, science-based forestry practices for working bottomland forests, building on the generations-old tradition of sustainable forestry there. This “blue-ribbon committee” is developing specific measures to protect these areas, which Enviva intends to incorporate in its supply practices.
Mr Keppler added: “The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is an important pillar in Enviva’s commitment to sustainability, but it is just one part of our company’s mission to improve the environmental conditions in the communities we serve.
“We maintain forest sustainability certifications at every level of our production process. We are developing a proprietary ‘track and trace’ system that will enable us to identify the source of every truckload of wood we use. And our overarching goal is to displace coal with a fuel that can reduce lifetime greenhouse gas emissions. Enviva works every day to ensure sustainable use and protection of our resources.”
For more information on the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund visit the website.
Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage
While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.
If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.
Repair and Maintain Appliances
Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.
Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.
When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.
Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full
It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.
The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.
Recycle Water in Your Yard
Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.
You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.
Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants
Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.
Install Water-Saving Features
The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.
There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.
Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City
Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.
If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.
Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism
When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.
After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.
How was it started?
It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.
How to go about it?
So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.
If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.
What can be learned?
Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .