Official Launch of Football for Forests
Press Release

18 July 2023 | Football for Forests, a joint initiative created by think tank Climate Focus and Planet League, is committed to the restoration of tropical forests through the unity and passion of the global
football community.

To achieve this goal, the Football for Forests app was created. It was  officially launched during an evening event at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei in Berlin, jointly hosted by Football for Forests represented by Dr Charlotte Streck, Director of Climate Focus, and the global initiative We Play Green, represented by Morten Thorsby, the Norwegian international and 1. FC Union Berlin Player.

Morten Thorsby expresses his commitment to the initiative and its underlying principles, stating, “Rainforests hold immense significance for humanity. I firmly believe that We Play Green and Football for Forests can harness the power of the global football family to protect these ecosystems. We all have a role to play!”

Dr Charlotte Streck emphasizes the urgency to take action, stating, “The statistics speak for themselves: 17 football pitches worth of forest are destroyed every minute, totalling more than 1,500 football pitches during a single football match. This is a drastic and cruel reality that underscores the fact that this is no longer a game. It is vital that we all step up and actively fight against the destruction of our forests, preserving our habitat.”

Do good, have fun!
The Football for Forests app brings together the concepts of doing good and having fun. In the Forest Restoration League, both individuals and companies can pledge a monetary amount for every goal scored by their favourite team throughout the football season under the banner of Join the Team and Save the Tropical Forests! They can then track in realtime which team becomes the champion of tropical forest restoration. The Forest Restoration League allows football fans, clubs, and corporate sponsors to compete against each other and support their team through forest restoration.

The founders rely on the passion and dedication of the worldwide football community, as Dr Charlotte Streck explains,

“Football for Forests provides a unique opportunity for everyone to actively participate in forest restoration. Every goal, every fan, every company and every sponsor helps restore forests. Not only that, Football for Forests makes reforestation enjoyable! I am confident that together we can achieve great things. If the global fan community doesn’t have the power to counter deforestation, then who does?”

To further mobilise the fan base in anticipation of the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup, Football for Forests has released a special edition of the app. As Australia and New Zealand jointly host the tournament, the Forest Restoration League will expand to include national teams participating in the event.

Transparency and Traceability as Top Priorities
Donations received through the app directly fund forest rehabilitation projects in the Amazon region, currently focused on Colombia with plans for future expansion into Brazil. Ensuring transparency and traceability of funds for the fans and sponsors is of utmost importance to the founders. Therefore, Julio Rozo Grisales, Project Leader at Amazonia Emprende, a partner organization of Football for Forests, will be present at the launch event to share insights into their on-site work in Colombia.

“Through tree planting, we have already restored 30 pitches in Caquetá, in the Colombian Amazon region. Everyone can contribute, we involve local communities in reforestation efforts and collaborate with youth groups through a forest school, known as Escuela de Bosques. We aim to create awareness and sensitize all population groups to this issue, harnessing the power of the local community to protect our forests,” emphasizes Julio Rozo Grisales.

Prominent Support from Politics, Business and the Wider Society
Even before the official launch, Football for Forests has garnered broad support from politics, business and society. The Federal Foreign Office, represented by Jennifer Morgan, State Secretary and Special Envoy for International Climate Policy, has assumed patronage for today’s launch.

Jennifer Morgan underscores the importance of teamwork and collective effort in both football and climate diplomacy, stating, “As the Federal Foreign Office, we support the Football for Forests initiative, merging the enthusiasm for football with efforts for climate protection and tropical forest restoration.”

Several prominent individuals are also endorsing the initiative. Philipp Köster, journalist, football expert and founder of the magazine “11FREUNDE,” will host the evening’s event and moderate conversations between renowned personalities such as Elin Linnéa Landström, Swedish professional footballer and player of AS Roma; Rachel Corboz, French-American professional footballer and player of Stade de Reims; and Almuth Schult, former professional footballer and TV expert. Almuth Schult supports Football for Forests as an ambassador along with many other notable figures, including Tabea Kemme, former professional footballer and Women’s World Cup pundit for the upcoming tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

Philipp Köster expresses his enthusiasm for the project, stating, “I know how much football moves people. I am thrilled that this passion, usually seen on the pitch and in the stands, is now directly contributing to the vital protection of tropical forests!”

Almuth Schult shares her excitement, highlighting the collective impact beyond the pitch: “When players come together, they can have a significant influence on issues beyond the game. By working together, we can make a tangible contribution to the preservation and reforestation of rainforests. I am delighted to be part of the We Play Green team and support the Football for Forests initiative.”

Tabea Kemme reinforces the importance of individual responsibility as an ambassador for the initiative, stating, “We all need to take a stand and take action, and Football for Forests provides a platform to do just that. Download the app and get involved. Every goal counts, and everyone can contribute to making a difference.”

For more information about Football for Forests, please visit:

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