Julian Lennon, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter and global philanthropist, has written and recorded a new song that will be performed for the first time at Everland’s Concert for Climate on June 4 as part of the United Nations Environment Programme’s World Environment Day
(WED) celebrations. Everland commissioned Lennon to create the theme song for its short documentary film series about the forest conservation projects it represents in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa. The concert will be at the Fotografiska Museum in Stockholm, Sweden, and live streamed by Looped.
Touching on the urgency to protect our natural world, the song aligns with Lennon’s work with The White Feather Foundation, which he founded in 2007 after being asked by Elders of The Mirning People to use his voice to help preserve their Indigenous culture. It also expresses Everland’s commitment to end deforestation and support Indigenous communities at the heart of forest conservation and protecting biodiversity.
The first film in the series is “Kasigau” – a story about the pioneering, community-centered Wildlife Works’ REDD+ project in Kenya located between Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks.
REDD+ is an acronym for a UN-envisioned climate change mitigation mechanism that stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation. The REDD+ approach has been successfully implemented at more than 70 projects globally. According to the IPCC’s latest climate mitigation report, reduced conversion of forests and other ecosystems is the most effective nature-based solution for mitigating carbon emissions.
“Kasigau” was filmed at the end of 2021 and shows the harsh reality of climate chaos in a rural African community as told by community members in the midst of experiencing severe drought. The film highlights how this community of 120,000 people came together to stop deforestation and how the REDD+ project is directing significant carbon finance for local sustainable development.
The world premiere of “Kasigau” is scheduled for September 6, 2022, at London’s Curzon Theatre. It will have its U.S. debut at the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in New York City on October 13 at a theater that will be announced later.
Discussing his new single, Lennon said, “When I learned about the impactful work happening at the forest conservation projects that Everland represents, which puts lndigenous rights and community investment at the center, I felt compelled to create a song for the series that would remind everyone of the vital need to protect nature. Forests are essential to maintaining life on earth and Indigenous people hold the key to safeguarding this most precious resource.”
The song will be showcased at the Concert for Climate emceed by well-known Swedish comedian and TV personality Kodjo Akolor. The concert is part of an event series hosted by Everland to celebrate this year’s World Environment Day and to launch its landmark The Forest Plan – a business plan that shows how it is possible to end deforestation.
During the concert, other notable artists will also lend their voices to raise awareness of the critical need to conserve nature. The lineup includes Julian Marley and The Uprising, Gennady, Raquel Bitton, Rusty Watson & The Legacy Singers with the Solid Gospel, and All Ways with Dara Hart and Josh Tosteson. Julia Butterfly Hill will welcome concert guests with a special recorded video message. Julia Butterfly is an American environmental activist who lived in a 180-foot-tall, roughly 1500-year-old California redwood tree for over two years to prevent Pacific Lumber Company loggers from cutting it down.On commissioning Lennon to write the documentary film theme song, Everland CEO and Co-founder Gerald Prolman said, “In addition to being an extraordinary artist, Julian Lennon is a globally recognized humanitarian who has long been a strong advocate for forest conservation and Indigenous peoples’ rights. We are most grateful and honored that he accepted our request to write an inspirational theme song for our forest conservation documentary series.”
The concert comes as the United Nations convenes the Stockholm+50 international meetings set up to help businesses, activists and policymakers report on the progress being made to realize the ambitions of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.