Welsh environment charity aims high for rainforest protection

by Search Gate staff. Published Mon 14 Sep 2015 11:30
Charity looks to increase its protection of rainforest
Charity looks to increase its protection of rainforest

Environmental charity Size of Wales intends to double the area of tropical rainforest it helps protect as its contribution to tackling climate change.

Having spent the last five years successfully raising funds to help sustain an area of tropical forest the size of the small nation (roughly 2 million hectares or 4.9 million acres), the Cardiff-based charity now seeks additional support to double the area of protected rainforest, to twice the size of Wales.

Size of Wales currently supports 15 forest projects in Africa and South America. These schemes ensure forests are kept standing, to benefit local communities and tackle climate change. The charity is supported by the Welsh Government, by large private donors like the Waterloo Foundation and by the Welsh public.

A fund-raising campaign, backed by the Welsh Government, existing donors and HRH the Prince of Wales, will begin shortly, aimed at businesses in Wales and the Welsh community worldwide. The charity has published a downloadable report detailing their recent work.

Carl Sargeant, Minister for Natural Resources said: “We love what Size of Wales is doing, and we encourage businesses and the community as a whole to support them. There are few intergenerational challenges as important and urgent as combatting climate change and, as in many other areas, Wales is punching above its weight.

“This innovative scheme was developed in Wales and has received international recognition. The creative and important contribution made by Size of Wales forms part of our national response to this critical issue and shows how action on climate is also helping to support local communities.

“We are pleased to support the Size of Wales in this important campaign.”

Size of Wales board of trustees chairman, Peter Davies, who is also the Sustainable Futures Commissioner for Wales and Chair of the Climate Change Commission, said: “Tropical forests absorb a fifth of man-made CO2 emissions and play a vital part in tackling climate change. We’ve been successful so far in mobilising a Welsh national response to protect forests and from next year we want to do even more. We hope businesses operating in Wales will step up and that Welsh people wherever they are will take part in this truly community-wide effort.”

Size of Wales also runs a successful education programme reaching primary and secondary schools across Wales. The charity’s education programme offers visits, workshops and free course material and reaches 169 schools (and over 15,000 children) across Wales.

Size of Wales’ match fund allows the charity to double funds raised by communities and organisations in Wales. To date, core costs for the charity’s small administration staff have been secured so that all donated funds go directly to help protect forests. They work with large charities like WWF and RSPB to select sustainable projects and ensure value for money invested.

Supporters of Size of Wales are linked directly to rainforest projects and communities, and their contributions assist the sustainable management of forest resources having a significant impact in reducing global carbon emissions. In addition to conserving existing tropical forests across Africa and South America, Size of Wales also supports local communities to plant trees for the benefit of people, wildlife and soils.

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