Rainforest Foundation UK News
Forced labour and discrimination is widespread among indigenous ‘Pygmy’ communities across the Congo Basin – says the Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK)
On a day when human rights successes are being celebrated across the globe, thousands of ‘Pygmies’ in the Congo Basin are still heavily discriminated against, are victims of violence and, with many being subject to forced labour by their Bantu farming neighbours.
The nomadic, hunter-gatherer forest people have been forced to settle close to roads and rivers since the colonial era and for work, health care and education in modern times but many are without birth certificates, lack basic citizenship and rights to their lands and remain, to this day, severely socially and economically marginalised.
Is climate change starting to affect the Congolese rainforest?
New report says local indigenous peoples believe it is …
Indigenous peoples in the Congolese rainforest are noticing environmental changes that might be attributable to climate change – says a new report published by the Rainforest Foundation UK, (RFUK) .
The study amongst indigenous ‘Pygmies’ in two communities in the rainforests of northern Republic of Congo, co-ordinated by RFUK, reveals that they had observed increased temperature, lower rainfall levels and changes in the seasonality of the forest over the past 20 years. The communities’ perception that there is now a much longer dry season correlates with historical climate data.
The communities also reported an increasing rarity of medicinal plants, less abundant forest resources (such as fruits, seeds, flowers and animals) and deforestation, which may be indirectly linked to climate change
HELP US DOUBLE OUR EFFORTS TO SECURE THE RAINFOREST HOME FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN THE AMAZON AND CONGO BASIN
As 2013 draws to a close we urgently need to raise funds for our work next year and are aiming to raise a very ambitious £50,000 to support our work to secure, protect and defend the homes and habitats of the Congo Basin rainforest.
This year RFUK launched a campaign to raise awareness of a new threat to the Congo Basin: 1.6 million hectares of new palm oil developments planned for the world’s second largest rainforest. New plantations threaten the livelihoods of rainforest communities as well as precious habitat for endangered great apes, forest elephants and even aquatic mammals.
We must support communities to challenge palm oil and logging companies, secure their rights, and influence national and international laws to protect rainforests, their inhabitants and the rare wildlife they contain.
From Thursday 5th December until Saturday 7th December, the donations made through the Big Give are doubled. But hurry, only limited matched funds are released each day at 10am!
More funds will be released Friday and Saturday at 10am so please try again if you can’t get through on Thursday.
Click on the Big Give banner above to make your donation.
Ground-breaking new website puts African forest communities on the map
As Ministers at the climate summit announce new actions to protect forests, a new initiative holds the potential to avert large-scale deforestation in Africa and ease conflict over valuable forest resources.
RFUK's new interactive website www.MappingForRights.org, launched today, provides, for the first time, regional governments and international agencies with accurate interactive maps showing the location of communities living in the forest and how and where they are using their environment. Uniquely, the site allows users to see how other activities in the forest, such as industrial logging concessions and clearance for palm oil, impact on existing forest inhabitants
RALLY FOR THE RAINFOREST AT OUR ONLINE CHRISTMAS AUCTION – AND BAG YOURSELF SOME CELEBRITY, LUXURY OR ECO GOODIES!
‘The 12 Days of Christmas’, the RFUK’s fabulous and exclusive public auction of one-off gifts donated by celebrities, luxury labels and esteemed Foundation friends, returns for a fourth fantastic year! Open to everyone through an RFUK pop-up shop on eBay, the 12 day auction, running from November 20 to December 1, will offer various gleaming goodies for every savvy shopper ready to raise funds to protect the world’s rainforests.
The auction can be found at www.ebay.co.uk/12days
Savvy party goers can glam-up this Christmas and at the same time help save chimpanzees and gorillas by simply choosing to pucker up using rainforest-friendly lippy say campaigners.
The call comes as a new survey reveals that many of the UK's leading cosmetic companies including Clarins, Estée Lauder and Revlon are implicated in the destruction of rainforests across South-East Asia and the impending destruction of rainforests in Africa's Congo Basin.
Do you ever check the ingredients behind the label? When you read Sodium Laurel Sulfates (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfates (SLES), Glycerine and surfactants on your shampoo and conditioner bottles, do you ever wonder what exactly are you putting on your head?
These ingredients are mostly derived from vegetable oils and animal fats, but more often than not a significant proportion of them are derived from palm oil.
For our latest research, carried out with Ethical Consumer magazine, we surveyed over 20 of the UK's biggest cosmetics and toiletries companies about their use of palm oil or its derivatives.
Some of the biggest names in the toiletries industry including Procter and Gamble and Superdrug as well as ‘ethical’ brands Jason and Avalon, have scored poorly, while the top-scoring companies in the survey include Honesty Cosmetics, Little Satsuma and Pure Nuff Stuff.
A major conference has called for the amount of land recognised as owned or managed by indigenous peoples to be doubled by 2018.
Participants at the conference, which included RFUK staff, also voiced the need for a global map that identifies the local communities in each area and its boundaries.
RFUK’s sister organisation, The Rainforest Foundation Norway, (RFN), has condemned the Norwegian Government for ignoring its own recommendation to sever its financial interest in an oil and gas giant that operates in a remote part of Peru’s rainforest.
In 2011, the Norwegian Government's Council on Ethics recommended the country’s $700bn sovereign wealth fund should disinvest its holdings in Spanish company Repsol because of its operations in an area inhabited by indigenous people living in "voluntary isolation".
Two years on, and the company is to press ahead with exploration of 21 wells, conducting seismic tests, and cutting 3,770kms of 1.5 metre-wide paths through the forest. All the tests and 20 of the wells are scheduled to be inside a proposed reserve for indigenous people.
If you have been unsuccessful in gaining a place in the Virgin Money London Marathon 2014, don’t worry, you can still join the Rainforest Foundation’s team of runners - and make crossing that finishing line count even more. Click here to apply.
Already have a place?
If you are one of the lucky ones and have already secured your place through the public ballot, we’d love you to join our marathon team and raise money for The Rainforest Foundation. Click here for more info.