Considering last week's report from the United Nations, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), Gemperle Family Farms is expanding their philanthropic giving in the areas of preservation of natural ecosystems and the diversity of plant and animal species.
"After we read portions of the report we decided as a family business that we needed to do something," said Heidi Gemperle, a Seattle veterinarian and longtime advocate for land and animal habitat conservation. "We felt that we needed to do more to preserve our Earth's ecosystem for future generations." The United Nations report concluded that up to 1 million species (about 25%) are threatened with extinction within decades, over 40% of amphibian species threatened with extinction, over 33% of marine mammals threatened with extinction. Loss of pollinator insects alone may result in a $235 billion to $577 billion of global crop loss.
Gemperle Family Farms is calling on all businesses to join forces in the preservation of our ecosystem and its vital contributions to the world population. "If every business does a small part, we can become a web of action and change," stated Gemperle. "There is a network of awe-inspiring nonprofits on the ground doing sound science and community-based projects. The easiest way to create change is to fund these organizations so they can continue their work. That's why we started the #PreserveNatureDonations challenge."
This year Gemperle Family Farms has chosen two organizations, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation for sizable donations. "We are calling on all businesses and individuals to join the #PreserveNatureDonations challenge," stated Gemperle. "Let's start the conversation and move everyone to action in supporting organizations committed to improving the Earth's environment for future generations."
Inspired by his time in Africa while serving in the Peace Corp, Mike Gemperle, VP of Gemperle Family Farms saw firsthand how illegal poaching and degradation of environments has decimated many animal species in Africa. "I feel that there is so much more to do in this world when it comes to animal welfare and species preservation. Species like the mountain gorillas in Rwanda and Congo are near extinction because of systematic abuse and mistreatment that occurs." Gemperle Farms feels that it is important to fund projects around the world that work with the local indigenous communities, so this year they chose to donate to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.
Gemperle Family Farms lives and breathes animal welfare and ecosystem preservation daily.
"We are always looking at best science-based practices for reducing our carbon and water footprint, as well as lowering energy use in our barns," stated Mike Gemperle. "In our orchard division, we practice sustainable farming methods such as micro sprinklers to reduce water use, all-natural fertilizer and planting cover crops and pollinator habitat to enhance bee population health. We have also invested in renewable energy solar projects to reduce our carbon footprint. We do what we can on our local farms, however, as a family we feel compelled to expand our efforts to worldwide causes."
The Gemperle Family feels it is important to support the conservation of pollinators, and other invertebrates which are considered essential to biological diversity and an ecosystem's health. Therefore, a second donation was made to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
Gemperle Farms encourages all businesses large and small to join the nature preservation conversation.
"It's easy to join the movement," said Heidi Gemperle. "Simply donate to an environmental oriented organization that inspires you. Then share your story via social media and use the hashtag #PreserveNatureDonations. If you don't know where to start, visit Charity Navigator to find a charity that resonates with you and your beliefs."