Published 16 November 2016
The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy reception held at Buckingham Palace

The Queen has hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace to showcase forestry projects dedicated to The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) conservation initiative.

The reception was attended by Sir David Attenborough who gave a speech thanking Her Majesty for "showing great leadership" by putting her name to the project.

"We are fortunate that you are still thinking about the future and how to make this a better world," Sir David said.

The QCC project was launched in 2015 when an appeal was made to all 52 Commonwealth nations to contribute areas of indigenous forest to be preserved in perpetuity to mark Her Majesty's lifetime of service to the Commonwealth.

Since then, around 20 Commonwealth countries have dedicated forestry projects or are planting new forests, with another 10 countries in the process of finalising their submissions.

The first country to offer a QCC dedication was Singapore, which was officially acknowledged on behalf of Her Majesty by The Princess Royal during a recent visit.

 

Canada's QCC commitment of the Great Bear Rainforest was recently unveiled by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry will visit a number of QCC dedications during his up-coming visit to The Caribbean.

The Queen acknowledged those countries that have already dedicated projects by presenting High Commissioners with a certificate of QCC partnership.

Displays also illustrated the variety of projects involved including from the Seychelles which is planting 20,000 new trees, to Australia which has dedicated a programme to plant 20 million trees.

The project was conceived by charity Cool Earth, and led by the Royal Commonwealth Society in partnership with Cool Earth and the Commonwealth Forestry Association. It was unveiled at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2015 in Malta.

The next CHGM will be held in the UK in 2018 and more nations are expected to have signed up to create a global network of indigenous forests to benefit communities and wildlife, now, and into the future.