Updated: Feb 22, 2019
"RAINFOREST IS ONLY SAFE WHEN THERE IS A VILLAGE STRONG ENOUGH TO PROTECT IT. WE’VE PUT MORE RAINFOREST UNDER THE PROTECTION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE THAN ANY OTHER NGO OR GOVERNMENT."
"Helping Cool Eath to halt tropical deforestation makes a real difference. Perhaps the biggest difference we will make in our whole lives."
– Sir David Attenborough
What's the problem
The reality of climate change is no longer up for debate. It is real and it is happening now. Our changing climate is the most pressing challenge facing our world today with forest loss playing a major part in this, contributing to more than 12% of all CO2 emissions. Keeping rainforest standing is the simplest and cheapest way to mitigate climate change, but despite this we are destroying the world’s rainforest at a faster rate than ever.
Of the world’s remaining forests:
46% are fragmented
30% are degraded
and only 24% are intact
This loss is not just a crisis for the planet but a tragedy for local people who depend upon the forest for everything.
People have lived in the forest for countless generations and depend upon it for everything - food, clothing, medicine, water - their entire identity. A further 1.6 billion depend on the rainforests for their livelihoods. This means one in ten people in the world rely upon the rainforest.
Rainforest people are not just victims of deforestation. They are the only thing that will keep rainforest safe. Local people have been conclusively proven to be the forest’s most effective custodian, which is why each of Cool Earth's projects starts with a rainforest village.
How to fix it
Cool Earth works alongside rainforest communities to halt deforestation and climate change, with a vision of a a world where tropical deforestation and degradation has no role in climate change. Cool Earth believes the only way to halt destruction is to align the future of the rainforest with the people best placed to protect it. This means placing forest in the hands of the people who rely on its survival for their survival. Cool Earth works where the threat is greatest, with projects on the frontline of deforestation and they only work with villages that approach them, with the villages deciding how funds are spent and driving the partnership. These projects grow village by village to form a shield – protecting millions of acres of neighbouring forest.