NEW YORK, May 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Global beauty brand The Body Shop today unveils plans for its new Bio-Bridges initiative which aims to regenerate 75 million square meters of forest around the world and protect it from exploitation, poaching and unsustainable harvesting by 2020. The initiative is just one element of The Body Shop's new Commitment to Enrich Not Exploit™ the world – including our people, products and planet – and supports the brand in its aim to be the world's most ethical and sustainable global business.
Bio-Bridges regenerate and reconnect corridors between healthy rainforest, linking deforested or degraded lands, so isolated and endangered plant species can regenerate, and animals can safely reconnect to breed and thrive again. The Body Shop begins building its first Bio-Bridges this year in Vietnam and India.
"We want to focus on actively enriching the world's biodiversity. These areas of forest in Vietnam are biological treasure troves that are being destroyed through poaching and illegal logging," says Christopher Davis, The Body Shop's Director of Corporate Responsibility and Campaigns. "Bio-Bridges are an innovative way to create protected corridors of biodiversity that allow the wider forest to flourish and its inhabitants to breed and thrive. In Vietnam, within 5 to 10 years we hope to be able to see endangered species multiply."
The Body Shop sources ingredients from all around the world, and protecting the biodiversity of the world helps to ensure a long-term, healthy and thriving environment for these ingredients and protects the planet from the effects of climate change. Another integral part of the initiative aims to engage the local communities in the long-term protection of the Bio-Bridge habitat by helping to provide a more sustainable way of life for the people who live in the surrounding areas.
The first project is in Khe Nuoc Trong forest of North Central Vietnam, home of rare species such as the Red Shanked Douc, Saola (known as the Asian Unicorn and one of the rarest animals on earth), Bengal Slow Loris and Burmese Python. These species are threatened by hunting for food and medicine and illegally logged with nearby habitats still suffering from the effects of Agent Orange used during the Vietnam War.
In this first project, The Body Shop is working with World Land Trust and its partner, Vietnam-based Viet Nature Conservation Centre, to protect the area and its wildlife through regular patrolling and utilizing camera-traps. Viet Nature also works closely with the local schools and community to encourage sustainable forest resource use and farming.
The second Bio-Bridge project will begin in late 2016 in the Garo Hills of India. This project will also be delivered in partnership with World Land Trust and their partner, Wildlife Trust of India.
The Body Shop unveiled the campaign to the public on May 24 by transforming Westminster Bridge in London into a pseudo-Bio-Bridge with five 6-foot tall monkey topiaries to resemble Reggie, a mythical Red-Shanked Douc from Vietnam that will be the consumer face of the initiative.
A campaign to "Help Reggie Find Love" gives customers the opportunity to directly support the project and follow Reggie throughout his journey to find a mate with the help of the new Bio-Bridges. Every customer transaction at The Body Shop through the end of August will restore and protect one square metre of habitat in the forest.
"To help raise awareness of this serious issue in a different way and allow our customers to make a direct and positive impact with every purchase, 65 countries across the world will share the 'Help Reggie Find Love' campaign online and in-stores," says Davis.
About The Body Shop
Founded in 1976 in Brighton, England, by Anita Roddick, The Body Shop is a global beauty brand. The Body Shop seeks to make a positive difference in the world by offering high-quality, naturally-inspired skincare, hair care and make-up produced ethically and sustainably. The Body Shop pioneered the philosophy that business can be a force for good and after being acquired by L'Oréal in 2006, it is scaling up its vision. The Body Shop has more than 3,000 stores in more than 60 countries.
About Enrich Not Exploit™
The Enrich Not Exploit ™ Commitment is The Body Shop's pioneering new global CSR strategy that underpins all aspects of The Body Shop's operation and supports The Body Shop in its aim to be the world's most ethical and sustainable global business.
The new Commitment embraces the bold ethical principles from which The Body Shop was built and is an extensive program of global activity and measurable targets that touches all areas of the business. Under each of The Commitment's three pillars: enrich our people, enrich our products and enrich our planet, The Body Shop has specific, measurable targets by 2020 that make the business accountable for delivery. In total there are 14 targets within the new Commitment.
World Land Trust
Full details can be found here.
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SOURCE The Body Shop