Rainforest Foundation UK News
RFUK’s work in Peru- achievements and challenges
Read our new briefing on RFUK’s programme in Peru! In 2009 we launched a project with our partner, the Central Ashaninka del Río Ene (CARE), to support indigenous Ashaninka populations in the Peruvian Amazon to defend their rights and protect their forest. Our work has focussed on four areas:
- Indigenous participation in management of natural protected areas
- Territorial security, forest resource use and tackling the negative impacts of logging
- Small scale cocoa production to improve the wellbeing of Ashaninka families
- Defending Ashaninka lands from large scale infrastructure projects
Weatherman Michael Fish is marking the 25th anniversary of the 1987 storms by encouraging more people to plan for the unexpected and make sure they have a Will.
“What I’ve learned from my years of forecasting is that however prepared you are, the weather can still be unpredictable.” says Michael. “Life’s a bit like that too, that’s why we’re encouraging people to make sure they’ve got their Will sorted.”
Writing a Will is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. What’s more, it’s a lot more affordable and straightforward than you may think.
Click here for details on RFUK supporter discounts on will writing.
As a charity working to protect rainforests we generally discourage the use of paper where possible. However, paper can be a very powerful thing.
In fact, without it much of the Rainforest Foundation UK’s work could not continue. It might be a signature on a petition, a cheque to support our work or a pledge in your Will that, after taking care of loved ones, helps to ensure the future of rainforests.
An impressive 75% of the UK population supports a charity in their lifetime, yet only 7% actually leave a charitable gift in their Will. Despite being such an important piece of paper, only 40% of the UK population has a Will at all.
This week is Remember A Charity Week, the UK’s largest cross-charity campaign to highlight the importance of gifts left to charities in Wills.
We’re not asking for a donation, we’re simply asking people to think about us and hopefully, when the time is right, after taking care of their loved ones, they’ll remember us in their Will and help our work to live on.
The Rainforest Foundation UK is a relatively small charity in comparison to many of the recipients of charity legacies. This means that donations and gifts in Wills make an even bigger impact to our work protecting rainforests. With smaller overheads and running costs than many larger charities we can ensure that a greater percentage of your gift is spent where it’s needed most.
Whatever the amount, we’re extremely grateful for any gift that has been left to us, as it will ensure the protection of rainforests and the rights of rainforest communities for many years to come.
See how a gift in your will can make a difference here
RFUK research in Republic of Congo reveals vulnerability of indigenous forest communities to climate change
Forest communities in the Congo Basin, the second largest rainforest in the world, are already experiencing the impacts of climate change and are likely to be among those hardest hit, RFUK field research in the county has documented.
RFUK travelled to the remote northern province of Likouala, in the Republic of Congo, in July 2012, to carry out research on the impacts of climate change on indigenous forest communities alongside Congolese NGO, Forum pour la Gouvernance et les Droits de l’Homme (FGDH), and partners from indigenous peoples organisations. RFUK spent nine days in the community of Boucy Boucy in northern Republic of Congo working with the 200-person strong community of Bayaka forest peoples.
The research is part of a regional study, also being carried out in Kenya and Nambia. RFUK is heading up the research in the Republic of Congo with local NGOs and indigenous peoples organisations. The goal of the research is to analyse and document how indigenous peoples in Africa are affected by climate change and identify strategies that could minimize its adverse impacts.
Rainforest Roulette? Carbon markets might do more harm than good for efforts to tackle deforestation and climate change
London – Using markets to try and keep carbon stored in the world’s forests might be a dangerous mistake, according to a new report published by the Rainforest Foundation UK today, as governments prepare to meet later this week for a new round of negotiations on funding for climate mitigation, including for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (‘REDD’).
Key findings of the report are that:
• A forest carbon market may increase rather than reduce the cost of tackling climate change;
• Legal reform under REDD tends to favour carbon traders and not forest communities;
• Ownership of the carbon stored in forests is contested, unclear and susceptible to fraud;
• A forest carbon market might not reduce greenhouse gas emissions due to major design loopholes;
• Alternative, more cost-effective, ways of reducing deforestation, and for raising the necessary funds, exist and are viable.
“Instead of protecting forests, the use of carbon markets will mostly protect the interests of heavily polluting companies.” said Simon Counsell, Executive Director of the Rainforest Foundation UK and one of the authors of the report. “They would be able to carry on polluting, whilst their payments to offset emissions in poor tropical forest countries will probably be very inefficient and ineffective,” he continued.
UN negotiations taking place in Bangkok from August 30th aim to agree on a global mechanism to finance the protection of forests in poor countries. Many governments and the private sector favour the use of carbon markets. The authors compare this potential decision to betting the future of the rainforest on a game of roulette.
“With the global carbon markets already in crisis, and after a number of high-profile scams involving forest carbon, choosing the market-based approach would be a very risky bet for protecting forests. There are viable alternatives on the table”, said Nathaniel Dyer, Policy Advisor for the Rainforest Foundation UK.
The report suggests that efforts to restrict imports of illegal timber, improvements in forest governance, and giving recognition to the land rights of people living in the forests, would be more successful.
We have just launched a new project that will give special training to teams of young African lawyers, who will to work with local communities in Congo rainforest countries to help them stop the illegal destruction of their rainforest homelands. These ‘Community Lawyers’ will be deployed in the places where communities’ rights are most in danger of abuse.
Together we can ensure that forest communities in Gabon and the Central African Republic have a legal voice.
We have had a generous offer from a donor who has agreed to match every donation you make towards this appeal. This means that every pound you give will be doubled - helping twice as many forest communities gain the legal rights to protect their ancestral rainforest lands. Please help us shout twice as loud!
New Internationalist journalist wins Amnesty Media Award for her piece featuring our project in Peru!
New Internationalist's Vanessa Baird (pictured left with Helena Drakakis of The Big Issue) was declared one of the winners of this year's Amnesty Media Awards for excellence in human rights journalism for her coverage of the plight of the indigenous Ashaninka people of Peru, including visits to several communities in our RFUK project area and interviews with our Peruvian partners CARE. Winner of the Consumer Magazine category, her article 'Nature's Defenders - can indigenous people save the planet?' featured the struggle of indigenous peoples in Peru to defend the Amazon rainforest, their ancestral home. Vanessa gave a heartfelt account of the concerns of the Ashaninka people of the Ene river, who are resisting the Peruvian government's attempt to build a mega-dam in their territory - the focus of our Ban The Dam campaign. Winners were announced last night at a ceremony in London.
The New York Times released a feature piece yesterday about the struggles of the indigenous Ashaninka communities of Peru in the face of the Pakitzapango Dam, a plight we have been attempting to publically highlight for some time with our Peruvian partner organisation CARE. The piece entitled 'Dam Project Threatens a Way of Life in Peru' examines the peril set to devastate communities with the proposed 2,200-megawatt Pakitzapango hydroelectric dam, which would flood much of the Ene River valley, and belong to a proposed five dam network that under a 2010 energy agreement would generate more than 6,500 megawatts, primarily for export to neighboring Brazil. The dams would displace thousands of people in the process.
Last week, Rainforest Foundation UK Executive Director Simon Counsell (pictured second from left) participated in a lively and fascinating rainforest debate entitled ‘Are the rainforests for sale?', held at The Eden Project in Cornwall, as chaired by journalist and news presenter George Alagiah, and alongside a panel of experts. The debate sparked discussion on solutions to deforestation, ranging from global financial incentives to sustainable palm oil to ecotourism. A blog post regarding the event can be found on The Eden Project's website by thinking here.
Congratulation and Thank you to Anne, Alex, Kyara, Lila, Nicola and Sei Yon who yesterday completed the 2012 London Marathon in support of the Rainforest Foundation UK. Your efforts in training and fundraising have been hugely appreciated; together you have raised vital funding for our projects and we are extremely grateful for that. A second huge thank you is due to Tomas and Sheona, who provided massages for our weary runners and to our team of volunteers who did a brilliant job as usual.
We have a number of Gold Bond places for the 2013 Virgin London Marathon.
If you want to register early for next year to secure your place, email email@example.com give us a call on +44 (0) 207 485 0193 and we will send you an application form and info pack to get you off and running!