From one village in the Peruvian Amazon, Cool Earth has grown a network of rainforest champions around the globe.
People who are fighting on the front line of deforestation, and protecting the most biodiverse places on Earth. With your help, these individuals and communities are paving the way for a future where tropical deforestation plays no part in climate change.
In a year of headlines and heads of state predicting doomsday for biodiversity and humans alike, optimism shone through.
You helped our network of rainforest champions achieve amazing things. With your support they are now protecting almost a million acres of pristine rainforest from Peru to Papua New Guinea. In its deforestation-busting arsenal, Cool Earth has more support from individuals, trusts, and businesses than ever before.
Ensuring 2018 was a year of impact was important, but this year Cool Earth took time to reflect on the past decade of activities and make sure they’re on the right track.
In March you met the elusive spectacled bear after Biodiversity Officer Jaime Pena caught them on camera in the Awajún partnership. Earth Day in April was spent raising awareness of just how important trees are in our daily lives.
July’s root and branch review of progress in the Peru partnerships showed that no trees had been lost to logging or mining companies, a key proviso for Cool Earth funds to communities. We’ve come a long way since the early days of traipsing through rainforest to monitor deforestation rates. To complement reports from the ground, Cool Earth has developed its Monitoring and Evaluation team this year and armed them with the best satellite mapping technology and remote sensing skills to keep track of the forest’s biodiversity-rich canopy.
September was a pivotal month for Cool Earth’s Papua New Guinea partnership as a new forest agreement was signed by the village of Sololo. Having approached Cool Earth determined to protect their forest from advancing palm plantations, the community is investing in an education programme to address high illiteracy rates. Project manager Gellie is unrelenting in her ambition to place education and conservation in tandem.
‘We cannot do conservation without education. Education is enabling for the success of the conservation program.” – Gellie Akui, Project Manager
Cool Earth’s first trial of a direct giving model also took place in 2018. As you would expect, a ‘direct giving’ funding model sees funds given straight to each household, rather than a community association In Wabumari, Papua New Guinea. For some, the priority was essential supplies, but many families invested the money in building new homes. The community has decided to distribute funds in this way going forward, and the potential for this model in other partnerships will be explored in the coming years.
In the autumn, Cool Earth confirmed a further three years working alongside Fauna and Flora International in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It means expanding the fuel efficient stoves project to protect the habitat of endangered Grauer’s Gorilla. The community can also begin a farmer schools project which will help local people to develop incomes from sustainable crops.
Last year, businesses were the cornerstone of our work. You shouted about Cool Earth’s work, and hosted Polladas. Donated unclaimed dividend cheques and pledged your support in droves. 2018 saw more businesses than ever devote their time, energy and much needed funds to helping Cool Earth stop deforestation.