Our forest projects all work in different ways, in different countries and are delivered by different partners but they all have one thing in common: tackling climate change through the protection and/or replanting of tropical forests, in each instance working closely with the local communities.
This project aims to plant 10 million trees in Mbale, Eastern Uganda. Mbale is a large sprawling region that has been heavily deforested due to unsustainable agricultural practices and impoverished communities cutting trees for firewood and timber.
The project manages 39 tree nurseries that distribute free tree seedlings to members of the community and local institutions. In order to keep as many of the trees standing, the project educates the local communities on the secondary benefits the trees can provide. For example, trees that bear fruits or the option of honey farming by keeping beehives in the trees. Read more here.
Based at Lake Kariba in the north of the country, this project is implemented by South Pole. In order to set up a community-led wildlife management area that will protect the local wildlife, the land and its resources, training and sustainable livelihoods are provided to the local communities so they can live and work in a way that is less harmful to the environment. Some examples of the skills taught are conservation farming, crop rotation and the creation of fuel-wood plantations. Furthermore, anti-poaching and snare recovery teams have been trained and mobilised in the area to further ensure the protection of the wildlife.
South Pole also has a carbon offsetting programme whereby companies can offset their emissions by purchasing carbon credits through the project which helps to generate more money into the area for the communities. Read more here.
Democratic Republic of Congo
We support Fauna & Flora International (FFI) in setting up 2 nature reserves to be run by local communities. These reserves will protect vast amounts of tropical forest that provide a habitat for many endemic and endangered species including the Grauer’s Gorilla. The local communities – many of whom live in extreme poverty – have been taught about the importance of conserving nature and ways to live more sustainably with the forests. Additionally, many local families are benefiting from the creation of new jobs that have been created working in the reserves, for example bio-monitoring patrol teams. Read more here.
The Republic of Congo
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) are working to protect the Conkouati Douli National Park. This is an area of significant biodiversity. To protect the land, WCS ensure the local communities are empowered and provided with the means to live more sustainably with the environment and in a way that decreases their dependency on the forests resources. For example, micro-financing and training in areas such as agro-forestry. Eco-tourism within the park is also providing the impoverished community with job opportunities and a source of income. Read more here.
We are working with WWF Kenya on this project to protect Kenya’s biodiversity rich coastal forests. These forests hold many natural resources that, with sustainable management, could provide for the populations living in and around these forests without causing such degradation. This project therefore, aims to provide sustainable livelihoods and energy efficient alternatives to these communities in a bid to reduce their dependency on the forests and its natural resources. WWF are also working to ensure potentially destructive large-scale developments are implemented in a sustainable way. Read more here.
For this project we have partnered with International Animal Rescue to reforest an area of land that was damaged by a forest fire. Crucially, this land holds a high density of Borneo‘s wild orangutan population. The damage caused by the fire was exacerbated due to human activity such as forest degradation and drainage of the peat swamp. Not only will this project reforest the area, reducing the risk of further fires, it will also provide habitat and food for the pressured orangutan population. Furthermore, IAR will engage with the local community – many of them farmers – to educate and raise awareness about sustainable use of the environment and protection of biodiversity and tropical forests. These activities will also provide employment. Read more here.
This project is one of three projects Size of Wales supports that are implemented by Forest Peoples Programme. FPP’s primary aim is to protect the human rights and secure legal land rights for forest-dwelling indigenous communities. The Wampis of Peru are one such group. They have lived in the Peruvian Amazon for hundreds of years and naturally embody living sustainably and in harmony with their forest. Their territory stretches for 1.3 million hectares and much of it is at risk from illegal mining and logging. As well as being historically and spiritually significant to the Wampis, it is also a precious resource globally in the fight against climate change. Read more here.
The second of FPP’s projects, protecting the rights of the Wapichan. Like the Wampis, their vast territory is at risk from encroachment by the national government degrading the landscape with activities such as logging and mining. Their territory spans 1.4 million hectares. Their settlements, many of which have been gazetted populate the forests sparingly. However, the surrounding forests are just as important and as deeply entrenched in their culture and ancestry, and it is these vast swathes of tropical rainforest that we are working with FPP and the Wapichan to protect. Read more here.
The third of FPP’s projects, this time in east Africa. The Ogiek are an ancient tribe living on Mount Elgon. Their lands are under threat from the Kenyan Forest Service who are evicting the Ogiek’s from their ancestral land in the name of ‘conservation’. The reality is that without the Ogieks occupation of this land it becomes vulnerable to deforestation and poaching. It has been proven time and again – specifically in the case of the Ogieks too – that where indigenous people reside over the land, deforestation rates are lower. This is because of the symbiotic relationship between the forest-dwelling communities and their forests. Read more here.