As we see out 2020, there’s a lot to be hopeful about. This year, it feels like there have been more conversations than ever before about human’s impact on the natural world, how we can protect our planet and the vital importance of climate action.
From fires in the Amazon to the prevalence of zoonotic diseases like Covid-19, our relationship with nature is not as it should be. While Covid-19 hasn’t been directly linked to deforestation, it is clear that its origins lie in our constant misuse of nature. It’s up to all of us to protect our essential natural resources and support the local custodians that work to protect it year-round if we are to avoid this kind of challenge going forward.
Cool Earth’s Programme Manager Ali Skeats recently took part in a hope-filled panel at the Eden Project’s Festival of Discovery. The importance of rainforest, its stewards and the role of nature in tackling the climate crisis was clear. As was the prevailing hope that the panellists felt about our future on Earth if we work together.
Ali was keen to emphasise the hope she feels both from her work alongside local communities at Cool Earth, and from people increasingly using their voices to speak up and enact change:
“I also get a lot of hope from the people in villages in Papua New Guinea, and the stories I hear from Cool Earth’s other rainforest partnerships. I see the way people’s attitudes are when they are living in the rainforest, when they want to protect it, not just because it’s their land but also because they have pride in their land, their resources, and how they can be used in their families and in their clan groups. The love of the environment, that people in tropical forest have of their homes,and that we all have [with our local environment] too. This gives me hope that the drive is there and that these conversations are being had now, and I think that’s a great thing for our progress.”
Every year that Cool Earth works alongside local people, the more evident it becomes that with support, these local communities are the greatest custodians of their land. In 2020, so many of you have engaged with Cool Earth’s mission to halt deforestation by working alongside local people best placed to keep rainforest standing. From sustainable clothing start-ups to steadfast business partners nearing their decade of support, your commitment to our cause has made an immense difference this year.
Vital funds donated changed lives and kept forest standing. By helping indigenous communities in Peru remain resilient throughout the Covid-19 crisis, providing essential health and sanitation support in Papua New Guinea, and continuing to develop income-generating activities that change lives and keep forest standing, there’s much you should be proud of. We look forward to bringing you a full highlights document of 2020 next month, jam-packed with positivity, your impact and how Cool Earth is going into 2021 full of optimism and confidence thanks to your continued backing.