August 9, 2017

Celebrating Rainforest Champions

On the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, we’re celebrating our Rainforest Champions.

With a little help from you, our Rainforest Champions are working overtime to protect the forest they live in. Now is your chance to meet a few of our Rainforest Champions from around the globe.

Rainforest Champion: Jaime Peña, Biodiversity Officer

Jaime is the Asháninka’s resident animal lover, walking for up to ten hours a day to monitor rainforest species. He uses his camera trap photos to analyse and determine animal breeding seasons.

Using this data, Jaime is developing sustainable hunting workshops to educate communities about when to avoiding hunting certain species. Animals are particularly vulnerable when they are breeding, or have young. He is hopeful that, combined with the introduction of chickens and fish farms, workshops will reduce the pressure on the forest and improve biodiversity.

Jaime’s mission is to secure the future for his favourite rainforest animal, the elusive spectacled bear, let’s make this possible.

Rainforest Champion: Edgar Ambrocio, Nutrition Technician

Edgar is the Asháninka nutrition guru and is heading the new and improved Nutrition Programme. He’s teaching families how to grow and cook vegetables to help improve the nutrition in communities.

In the past communities have relied on a traditional diet of yucca, a low maintenance plant with little nutritional value. With the added work of taking on new vegetables grow, Edgar would be the first to tell you that introducing a new nutrition programme hasn’t been easy.

Yet, his nutrition techniques are paying off. Children are eating vegetables more than ever before. With people like Edgar, communities can grow stronger and continue to protect their forest.

Rainforest Champion: Chabuca Bustemante, Tsimi President

She would be the first the admit she never enjoyed cooking and her children neither liked, nor ate vegetables if they could help it. With Edgar’s help, the nutrition project has changed all that.

Her children now eat the ‘five a day’, with her fifth child asking for seconds during Cool Earth’s visit in May.

From having little interest or understanding of food to encouraging others to follow her lead in under a year Chabuca has been instrumental in promoting nutrition within the community.

Rainforest Champion: Alafu Sabitu, Traditional King

Community members, like the traditional king, are key to ensuring people are using the rainforest’s natural resources in a way that conserves the rainforest, rather than destroy it.

As traditional king, it is Alafu’s duty is to tell the community to protect the forest so it remains standing for the next generation instead of becoming a desert.

The forest is the source of everything for the people of the Regolu Reserve, from food to minerals, they need the forest to survive.

Rainforest Champion: Alusi Enoch, Wabumari Committee

Alusi is the women’s representative on the Wabumari committee responsible for supporting groups like STALIE develop businesses and income generating ideas. Working towards the sustainable livelihoods that keep the forest standing.

This year, the group were awarded K5000 (£1200) by the Wabumari committee to work towards sustainable incomes for women. One stitch at time.

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