Rainforest Trust - How We Helped Save 2,300 Acres Of Atlantic Rainforest
Aidan Bell Dec 11, 2017
At EnviroBuild we Donate 10% of our profit to Rainforest Trust to offset the carbon footprint of our production process. By only using recycled materials to fabricate our products and supporting a charity that protects our rainforests we hope to be an as ethical supplier of building materials as possible. Rainforest Trust is a non-profit charity that helps to preserve the world’s remaining rainforests by partnering with local and community organisations in vulnerable areas around the world. They buy large expanses of forested land and then manage it in a sustainable manner that benefits not only the local wildlife but the people who live there too.
Our latest donation, bought 2,300 acres of Atlantic forest in Cameroon. The Douala-Edea Wildlife Reserve was recently identified as one of the most important conservation landscapes in Central Africa. Rainforest Trust is working to increase the reserve’s protection level by making it into a national park. Not only that but it will expand its range to include 98,000 acres of mangroves, rivers and wetlands as well as 247 acres of marine habitat. The area the trust is working on will help to protect Chimpanzees, Colobus Monkeys, African Forest Elephants as well as Manatees, Humpback Dolphins and 3 species of turtle.
PHOTO BY TAMBAKO THE JAGUAR / FLICKR CC
As is often the case, deforestation is the biggest threat to this important African forest. Deforestation is occurring for a multiple reason but the biggest driver is the rapid urbanisation of surrounding area. Urbanisation has brought more and more people easier and easier access to the forest. With better access via rivers and newly constructed roads it has become easier to exploit its natural resources at an unsustainable rate. Poaching, fishing, agriculture and petroleum exploration have all contributed to the degradation of the natural ecosystem on Cameroons Atlantic coast. Although a Wildlife reserve already exists it is undermanned, under equipped and underfunded making efficient enforcement extremely difficult for the team of dedicated rangers.
There are over 10,000 people living in and around the current Douala-Edea Reserve. The majority of these people are subsistence fisherman and come from 1 of 40 villages in the area which are predominantly part of the Bakoko, Pongo and Malimba Tribes. The recent upturn in economic opportunities has attracted immigrants to the area from neighbouring African countries such as Nigeria and Ghana. As of 2003 a local partner of the Rainforest Trust has been working with the local communities on livelihood and management projects to help establish and protect the reserve.
PHOTO BY DANIEL TIVEAU FOR CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL FORESTRY RESEARCH (CIFOR) FLICKR RR
The conversion and expansion of the current reserve (395,200 acres) will create a National Park covering 741,000 acres. With the help of local partners such as the Cameroon Wildlife Conservation Society the Rainforest Trust will focus on improving 2 areas: Monitoring and enforcement and local community involvement.
With extra funding new rangers will be able to be hired and trained and new ranger stations will be constructed at strategic locations. With more rangers and stations larger areas will be able to be patrolled on a daily basis making it easier to catch illegal loggers and poachers.
By involving the local communities in the development of the National Reserve it will help to create an alternative income based on the natural surroundings that is none damaging. Not only that but it will bring local knowledge to the establishment of the reserve which can often be a forgotten but important resource.
COMMUNITY-BASED SOLUTIONS. PHOTO BY CIFOR
How can you help?
Ensure that you buy products that reduce the need for logging.
Support the Rainforest Trust by making a donation