Your Impact Report
Lubutu

This year, you did something extraordinary. You helped local people in DR Congo protect their rainforest.

Without your support, the loggers and mining companies that were at their doorstep would have cleared their land. But thanks to you, their forest is safe.

That’s not the best bit. By investing in Cool Earth’s award-winning model, your donation is changing lives as well as keeping trees standing.

Here is a snapshot of what your donation at the beginning of this year is helping Lubutu to achieve.

You’ve helped turn mud into trees

You’ve helped fund a unique initiative that will save the forest and improve lives for women and children at the same time: a community-wide programme of installing energy efficient mud stoves throughout the villages. This will dramatically reduce the amount of fuelwood collected, which has a big impact on the forest. It will also make a big difference to the health of women and children, as the smoke from traditional stoves is dangerous.

So far, the training on constructing and using energy efficient stoves has exceeded expectations. 84 families have been trained to build the stoves and are using them on a regular basis. Early reports suggest a 50% drop in the use of fuel wood has occurred amongst the families involved. That’s great news for the forest and the families protecting it.

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You helped to train a biodiversity team to monitor the forest

A healthy forest is a biodiverse one. There’s even strong evidence to show that forest areas inhabited by large animals store more carbon. And the presence of rare fauna and flora is a great incentive for communities wanting to preserve their forest.

So the Lubutu biodiversity team were understandably over the moon when they found seven families of Grauer’s gorillas living in the forest areas protected with your support. The Grauer’s gorilla is the world’s largest great ape and it is in rapid decline. According to a recent report, numbers have dropped from 17,000 in 1995 to only 3,800 today.

Finding evidence of this rare species isn’t just great for Lubutu, it’s great for science. The images, video, and data that have been gathered can be used to further knowledge about this amazing ape.

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You’ve helped to fund workshops

Workshops educate the community about the project and what it’s trying to achieve. One outcome of the workshops in Lubutu this year was wider awareness of species in decline in the local area.

As a result of the workshops, our partner villages made the decision to stop hunting using 12-gauge shotguns. They’ve also stopped using toxic products and small-meshed fishing nets on spawning grounds.

The community is now using more sustainable methods of hunting and fishing, so families still have access to protein for their diet, but with less impact on the forest.

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And you've kept rainforest safe

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Against all the odds, this threatened area of forest is now safe and sound.

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