Rainforest Foundation UK News
Indigenous women stand up for their children's rights to a better future
Indigenous women in Gabon are speaking out about the need for equality for their people and better rights protection for their children.
Since The Rainforest Foundation UK, (RFUK), began its Community Legal Fieldworkers programme in Gabon, and thanks to the commitment of their mothers, who have attended a series of focus groups and spoken out about their concerns, around 20 children have obtained birth certificates. These communities have also now begun to discuss the process of realising their basic civil rights with local authorities.
Laurence Duprat, Rights and Legal Capacity Building Programme Coordinator for RFUK said that indigenous women in Gabon have led this process from the start because they are concerned about their children’s future.
The world’s largest furniture retailer, Ikea, has become the latest high-profile victim of a flawed environmental certification system, after the announcement of the suspension of its Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) compliance certificate.
As was reported in the Times newspaper on Sunday 23rd February, the certification was stripped from Swedwood, Ikea’s forestry subsidiary, after inspections at their logging operations in North Karelia, Russia, revealed that areas important for wildlife had been felled for timber. The company has leases to log 700,000 acres. Under the rules of its FSC certification, it is supposed to avoid damage to areas of ‘high conservation value’ forest, and to protect other valuable habitats.
[Photo: Robert Svensson]
When five-year-old Charlie Schoonover read a blurb about deforestation in his children’s encyclopaedia, he didn’t simply turn the page. He couldn’t. In fact, he refused to go to sleep that night until his mum, Jenny, had figured out a way to help the rainforests.
The Schoonover family, who are currently based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, engaged into some intensive research that night and the following morning, came across the Rainforest Foundation UK’s (RFUK) website and made a donation.
But Charlie felt he hadn’t done enough to make much of a difference and wanted to think of ways to encourage more people to raise money because “a little bit of money would come up to be a lot”.
CHOOSING ETHICALLY SOURCED CHRISTMAS PUD & MINCE PIES CAN HELP REDUCE THREATS TO RAINFORESTS, SAYS NEW SURVEY
A new survey reveals that a growing number of seasonal foods including Christmas puddings and mince pies now only use palm oil which is produced in way that reduces harm to the world’s rainforests.
Many of the biggest names in Christmas party food including the Co-operative Group, M&S, Premiere Food and Waitrose makers of some of the UK's most popular Christmas puddings and mince pies, have all made a commitment to reduce or only use sustainably sourced palm oil in their products.
In the survey carried out by the Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) and Ethical Consumer magazine some of the UK's biggest Christmas party food companies were surveyed on their use of palm oil or its derivatives.
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.