“We don’t want to put a stone in the river, we want to move the river itself”. (Werner Sels; General Director Lignaverda)
We also need to build a wall in Africa. But a wall made of trees, to stop the advance of the desert. Lignaverda is committed to financing this reforestation. “The process of growth has only just begun,” explains initiator Werner Sels. “My ambition is big. Very big.” Sixty Belgian entrepreneurs went to Namibia to find out.
Cycling for Climate: 60 Captains of Industry Ignite Namibian Reforestation
In a remarkable convergence of environmental stewardship and corporate leadership, 60 prominent entrepreneurs hailing from Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Dubai, the UK, and South Africa embarked on an extraordinary cycling journey through the arid landscapes of Namibia in February 2023. This monumental expedition, initiated by Lignaverda, seamlessly blended environmental consciousness with corporate activism, culminating in a symbolic showcase of commitment to combat desertification.
A Cycling Odyssey Through Namibia
Under the blazing Namibian sun, the group of cyclists, including CEOs, managing directors, and industry leaders, pedaled their way through challenging terrains, covering a remarkable 440 kilometers of unpaved paths and vast sand expanses. This physical endeavor served as more than just a feat of athleticism; it became a collective commitment to raising awareness about the urgent need for environmental conservation.
Arrival in De Riet: The Turning Point
The cycling odyssey reached its climax as the group arrived in De Riet, Namibia—a moment that would etch itself in the memories of these captains of industry. In this remote village, where houses are constructed from mud walls and corrugated roofs, the cyclists witnessed the tangible results of their commitment to combating desertification.
The Planting Ritual: A Symbol of Hope
Here, in the heart of Namibia, the entrepreneurs engaged in a unique and symbolic act—planting indigenous trees. The newly planted trees, destined to form the natural fortification of a burgeoning agroforestry project, represent more than just greenery. They symbolize a pledge to reverse the encroachment of deserts, a commitment to sustainable practices, and a belief in the power of collective action.
Community Engagement and Empowerment
The visit was not just about cycling or tree planting; it was a testament to the deep commitment of Lignaverda to community engagement and empowerment. Local inhabitants, particularly women, played an integral role in these initiatives. As the trees grow, so too does the promise of improved livelihoods, education, and sustainable agriculture for these communities.
From Pedals to Purpose: Corporate Activism in Action
The cycling expedition transcended a physical journey, transforming into a powerful demonstration of corporate activism. CEOs and industry leaders, accustomed to boardrooms and bottom lines, became agents of change, actively participating in the battle against climate change.
Namibian Reforestation Showcase: A Model for the World
The Namibian reforestation showcase stands as a model for the world, showcasing how corporate leaders can leverage their influence and resources to contribute meaningfully to environmental sustainability. It highlights the importance of collective responsibility and action in addressing global challenges such as desertification and climate change.
Looking Ahead: Sustainable Investment and Global Impact
As these captains of industry return to their respective nations, the impact of their Namibian cycling expedition reverberates. Lignaverda is now developing a sustainable investment program, further emphasizing the organization’s commitment to long-term ecological, social, and economic impact.
The #CyclingForClimate initiative in Namibia becomes more than just a journey—it transforms into a powerful narrative of environmental responsibility, corporate leadership, and the potential for a greener, more sustainable future. This cycling odyssey becomes a rallying cry, inspiring leaders worldwide to pedal towards a common goal: a planet safeguarded for future generations.
Read more in Trends (Dutch)
#cyclingforhteclimate_NAM_2023(Credits: Daan Degroote)