Thanks to you splendid Adventurists 2014 was a fantastic year for Cool Earth. These are just eight milestones that your fundraising has helped us achieve.
1. WE FULLY FUNDED OUR AWACACHI PROJECT IN ECUADOR
This project has secured the long-term protection of 55,000 acres of Ecuadorian Chocó forest, one of the most endangered regions on the planet. This key tract of forest is forming a forest corridor to link more than 900,000 acres of protected rainforest, protecting the habitat of 33 species on the IUCN Red List, including the Great Green Macaw.
2. WE LAUNCHED OUR AWAJÚN PROJECT IN PERU
Our new project in Peru works with seven Awajún villages that lie close to the Ecuadorian border.
“I AM PROUD TO BE ABLE TO DECLARE MYSELF AN AWAJÚN WOMAN. I AM AWAJÚN BY MY BLOOD, BY MY TRADITIONS AND BY MY HOME IN THE RAINFOREST. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW THAT OUR HOME NEEDS PROTECTING.”
Marcelina, a tribeswoman from the Amazon village of Urakuza.
3. WE EQUIPPED RAINFOREST SCHOOLS
No education leaves rainforest villages vulnerable to exploitation. Without the means to read the agreements pressed on them by loggers, how can villages know what they are committing themselves to?
This is why Cool Earth spends more on schools than just about anything.
This year, we’ve equipped six rainforest schools with learning resources. Read more about our schools programme here.
4. VIVIENNE WESTWOOD TOOK THE RAINFOREST TO THE CATWALK
Vivinne Westwood visited our Ashaninka project and was so inspired she themed her show in Paris this Spring around the rainforest. Models were sent down the runway in traditional dyed cotton, headdresses adorned with macaw feathers, and jewellery made by the AMARNO women’s cooperative, who we support. Check out some more photos from the show here.
5. WE MAPPED OUR LUBUTU PROJECT
Across the Atlantic in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we’ve been mapping our new project’s boundaries. Registering borders is the first step to securing a community’s forest – enabling them to respond to any incursions. So far this year we’ve had 10 awareness meetings, four field trips, nine people trained in biodiversity monitoring, 45 people trained in GPS mapping, over 350 people at community meetings and more than 600,000 acres of community forest demarcated.
6. WE SAVED OUR 100,000,000TH TREE
Earlier this year we reached a fantastic milestone: we saved 100,000,000 trees. Placed end to end, these trees would reach around the earth 75 times. Cycling their length would be the same as doing the Tour de France 819 times. That’s a lot of trees.
7. WE PRODUCED THE FIRST COOL EARTH CHOCOLATE BAR
This year, we produced the first ever Cool Earth Chocolate Bar. It’s exclusive, organic, single origin, handmade and traceable right back to our partner villages. What more could you want? This chocolate has doubled local income for our Ashaninka partners in Peru – earning far more than logging could ever pay. Click here to see the process from tree to bar.
8. AND FINALLY… WE SAVED HALF A MILLION ACRES
Our aim for 2014 was to protect 500,000 acres. And as the best Christmas present we could have wished for, we reached that ambitious milestone in mid December. In the next two years, we want to save another half a million acres. Ambitious? Yes! But with you crazy lot adventuring round the world and raising tons of cash in the process, we reckon we’ve got a mighty good chance of reaching that goal.