(RTTNews) - Walmart Foundation, Cargill and McDonald's said they will invest more than $6 million in a million-acre grazing initiative to help restore grasslands and address the issue of climate change.
The initiative, led by the World Bank, aims to make lasting improvements to the grasslands of the Northern Great Plains.
The new program, known as the Ranch Systems and Viability Planning or RSVP network, aims to meet the global demand for protein and also address the issues of climate change and nature loss. The Northern Great Plains eco-region comprises about 25 percent of the total area of the Great Plains of North America.
The initiative will support ranchers across Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota by providing them with technical expertise, training and tools to help advance sustainable cattle grazing practices to improve the health of the land.
Well-managed cattle grazing can deliver conservation benefits such as healthy grasslands, improved soil, and the preservation of key habitats.
"Ranchers are the most important stewards of the grasslands of the Northern Great Plains. As managers of over 70 percent of the remaining intact grasslands within this region, they hold the keys to its future," said Martha Kauffman, managing director of World Wildlife Fund's Northern Great Plains program.
Walmart Foundation noted that the program supports its focus to bring more sustainable, regenerative practices to the beef industry and also support ranchers in the beef supply chain.
According to McDonald's, the program will enable the fast-food chain to leverage its relationships from the farm to the restaurant to help significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
For Cargill, the project is also part of the company's BeefUp Sustainability initiative, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the company's beef supply chain by 30 percent by 2030.
Companies are increasingly focusing on activities to address the issue of climate change. Amazon co-founded the Climate Pledge, a plan to make companies carbon neutral by 2040 and reach the goal of the Paris Accord ten years ahead of schedule.
Microsoft and Starbucks are among the major companies that have announced plans to reduce their carbon emissions and become carbon negative.
Burger King said in July that it tested a new recipe for cow's diet to offer its customers reduced methane emission beef. The fast-food chain partnered with scientists to develop and test a new diet for cows, which will help reduce cows' daily methane emissions.
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