Cool Earth Update

Written by: Callie

Posted on July 7, 2014

Cool Earth is the charity that works alongside indigenous villages to halt rainforest destruction. 

With two new projects more than 6,000 miles apart, 2014 started busy but has just moved up a gear. We’re tackling debt bondage, welcoming new communities and adding 50,000 acres of forest to the shield you’ve created.

Cool Earth’s projects are keeping more than 408,000 acres of rainforest standing across eight countries. That’s 97,920,000 trees saved, 106 million tonnes of CO2 locked in and five million acres shielded.

With such rapid growth in our projects, we’re investing in our teams on the ground to ensure local people continue to be at the heart of every decision.

 ASHANINKA PROJECT

Our Ashaninka Project continues to go from strength to strength. This autumn we’ll be implementing our Saving Rainforest – Strengthening Lives campaign that will be bringing healthcare access to our 15 partner villages. We’re also beginning work with two new communities to try and clear their debt bondage to loggers.

 SAVING RAINFOREST – STRENGTHENING LIVES

A child born in our Ashaninka Project is currently ten times less likely to reach their first birthday than if they were born in the UK.

The nearest doctor is ten gruelling hours away by boat and truck. And if you live in the furthest village, you first face a 12-hour walk. This remoteness puts our partners at great risk, especially pregnant women and babies.

That’s why we have a very simple goal this year; to equip each of our 15 partner villages with a Medical Outpost and trained team of first-aiders and midwives. It’s less grand than it sounds. Just a weather-proof shed with a concrete floor and basic supplies will make a life changing difference and ensure our partners are strong enough to defend their forest and their families.

We’re teaming up with NGO One Heart World-Wide that has developed a unique model to prevent the deaths of mothers and their infants in remote rural areas of the world. We’ll have everything in place in the Autumn ahead of the rainy season.

DEBT BONDAGE

All our projects grow organically when neighbouring villages ask to partner with us. This month, two communities along the Rio Tambo have approached Cool Earth to join our Ashaninka Project. Situated just north of our current partners, the communities will add to the shield by forming a northern buffer to the forest that our project currently shields from the west.

At present, the two communities are in debt bondage to loggers. This is a vile process where loggers prey on the poverty of rainforest villages, offering them the basic necessities that they lack. But the offers of housing, outboard motors and funds for emergency healthcare all come with a catch. It has to be repaid in trees. The loggers undervalue the trees and overvalue their help and villages soon owe the loggers hundreds of thousands of dollars. This locks them into destruction. We need to raise £90,000 to clear these villages of their debt and build livelihoods to get them back in control of their future.

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

As President of the Community Association that heads up our Ashaninka Project, Julian Quispe is central to our work. Here he chats to us about his role in the project and his concerns for logging communities.co22 co21