But when it comes to making a living, the options for rainforest communities are far less diverse. The country is amongst the poorest in Asia, with 40% of the population living on less than $1 per day.
Gadaisu, a low-lying village on the coast, partnered with Cool Earth to grow incomes, improve health and develop a stronger voice to stand up for their forest.
To tackle these challenges, Cool Earth has developed a direct giving model that is proving to be a huge success in the households of Gadaisu. This approach has been proven to help the most marginalised voices in society to be able to contribute ideas and actions that improve lives and reduce pressures on their environment.
The pressure to lease land for extractive industries is particularly challenging for young people who want to see development in their villages yet protect their rainforest.
Access to higher education remains expensive and unattainable, holding many people back from securing regular employment or having their voice heard in community decisions.
Plantations of oil palm are growing in number across Papua New Guinea. Many communities have little control if landowners want to sell large swathes of forest. Once forest has been converted for oil palm, it may never return to the intricate levels of diversity that were once found.
Deforestation isn’t all bulldozers and beefburgers. It’s a broken leg. It’s needing cash to send your kids to school. It’s…Read More Papua New Guinea | What have toilets got to do with deforestation?
Avoiding fish-eating snakes. Taping up a leaking kayak. Interviewing in a monsoon. There are rarely two days the same when…Read More A Year in Photos: 2019 | Behind the lens with Cool Earth’s in-house photographer