Meet María: Asháninka chief, mother and cacao-grower. When María fell seriously ill with an ectopic pregnancy in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest, her choices were severely limited.
With no money for the surgery she so urgently needed and with children who depend on her, the only option María could see for their survival was to sell her trees to illegal loggers. Until Cool Earth came along.
With urgent support, María received emergency medical care and made a strong recovery. Cool Earth then funded training for María and her village to learn how to harvest cacao beans from below the canopy, earning a sustainable living and keeping their forest standing.
Inspirational conservationist and passionate Springwatch presenter Gillian Burke kindly gave her time to present our appeal and bring the rainforest closer to home. Hear her reasons for doing so above.
Gillian and María were born in the same year, are both mothers, and are passionate about protecting our natural world. In the BBC Radio 4 Appeal, Gillian highlighted their similarities and yet the stark differences in the choices they face in their daily lives.
Carbon-storing, wildlife-homing, oxygen-releasing rainforest is essential for life on Earth. But every two seconds, a football-pitch sized area is destroyed. Protecting rainforest is one of the most vital actions we can take to reduce emissions and tackle climate breakdown.
Earth’s rainforests, and those who live there, are constantly under threat from illegal logging, palm oil companies, fires. The devastating and far-reaching effects of a global pandemic mean they are threatened now more than ever.
Covid-19 has now reached indigenous communities around the world. With many markets closed and food prices rocketing, there is a severe lack of even the most basic necessities.
Alongside our partner organisations on the ground, Cool Earth has acted quickly, helping to get food and supplies where they are most needed right now. We don’t know how long this crisis will last, but we will be here for rainforest communities long after it ends.
We’re committed to supporting families today and protecting rainforest for the future.