May 31, 2012

Cool Earth’s conservation model has gone viral

Cool Earth’s conservation model has gone viral, with village after village lining up to work with Cool Earth to protect their forest. In just five years, Cool Earth has partnered with forty-four indigenous communities and galvanised them into forming a protective shield millions of acres of rainforest. In 2012, Cool Earth will be launching three new rainforest projects across three continents. Read more to find out about what’s on the cards for Cool Earth.

Cool Earth may be young, at just five years-old, but their unique approach to rainforest protection has seen forty-four indigenous communities galvanised into shielding 2.5 million acres of pristine rainforest.

You could call this viral conservation, with village after village lining up to work with Cool Earth to protect their forest.

In 2012, Cool Earth will launch three new rainforest projects across three continents, in northern Peru, Papua New Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Taking on the Congo

This year Cool Earth will launch a project in the Democratic Republic of Congo which is home to more than 50% of Africa’s tropical forests. Stability is finally returning to the country after years of war, but ranked as one of the world’s least developed countries, the pressures on the forests of Africa’s largest rainforest nation are mounting.

Cool Earth is partnering with long-term partner Fauna and Flora International to protect the forests of eastern DRC. Threats in this area include mining and logging as well as charcoal production. These rainforests are of particular importance for their biodiversity, being one of the only forests in Africa to survive the last ice age. The forests contain one of the few remaining habitats for animals such as the Grauer’s gorilla, the opaki and bonobo. Traditionally local people in DRC have not necessarily benefited from conservation efforts in the country. Cool Earth will be focusing on ensuring local people reap the benefits of rainforest protection.

Protecting the forests of Papua New Guinea

New Guinea is the world’s largest tropical island and has an unrivalled diversity of people, plants and animals. It is also facing huge threats of deforestation. Already a quarter of Papua New Guinea’s rainforest has been lost but with so much forest destroyed elsewhere in the region, the rates of destruction are accelerating, making it a priority project for Cool Earth.

As with all of Cool Earth’s projects, local partners are key to success. In PNG, we are working hand in hand with the Green Lights Trust who have over 20 years experience working with communities in the West Sepik. Grant funding to six communities has already been used to fund clinics, two teachers and village emergency funds. Over the coming year, Cool Earth will be working to raise funds to extend this approach of strengthening local communities to neighbouring forest communities in West Sepik.

Saving the forests of Northern Peru

In November 2010 Cool Earth began a partnership with the Awajun-Huambisa in northern Peru in the Department of Amazonas. The region has faced continued economic and political pressures that have led to deforestation, making the protection of this area very important.

The first step was to invest in radio communications to link up dozens of communities to provide a quick response network to illegal logging. Support has also been given to an association of women craft producers, including gaining legal certification as well as helping to bring their product to market. Developing this source of income relieves the pressure on the communities to sell their trees to loggers to earn a livelihood.

By giving regularly to Cool Earth, you can be a part of sending Cool Earth’s conservation model viral. Please help us to safeguard three of the world’s deforestation hotspots.



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