ARocha’s ‘Love Forests’ campaign
A Rocha’s ‘Love Forests’ campaign www.arocha.org/donateforests supports a range of activities to protect and restore endangered forests. We want to see both the people and the wildlife that rely on them thriving together.
The Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, on the Kenyan coast, is one Africa’s most important forests for wildlife. A small antelope, the weird Golden-rumped Elephant-shrew and six very rare birds, including the tiny Sokoke Scops Owl, are almost entirely confined to this forest. When A Rocha began to work here, many local people illegally felled the trees, but our long-term involvement with them is changing attitudes. Villagers now want to protect this remarkable forest for themselves and future generations.
Most of the once-extensive Huarango forests on the SE coast of Peru have been felled, but the remnants still play a major role in traditional agriculture, providing farmers and their stock with much-needed shade. Our reforestation project planted 26,000 Huarango (and other native trees) with communities in Ica over a three-year period, and we are now planting more new forests in the north of the country.
The Asian Elephant is classified as ‘Endangered’ by IUCN as their numbers have been rapidly decreasing, mainly due to the destruction and fragmentation of their forest habitats and conflicts with the expanding human population. A Rocha India has been studying the herds in Bannerghatta National Park and investigated the pattern of conflicts between elephants and farmers around the park, leading to the introduction of chilli-tobacco barriers which are helping to protect crops – and elephants.
Climate Stewards www.climatestewards.org is part of the A Rocha network and offers voluntary carbon offsetting through tree-planting projects in Ghana. Working with A Rocha Ghana, we enable schools and local communities to plant indigenous trees which not only lock up carbon, but improve livelihoods through agro-forestry and sustainable forest products, and restore local biodiversity as new forest areas are created. Local farmer Afsha Alhadji Dramani (pictured) says she likes the cool shade on her land and is proud of what she has achieved. ‘If we were given support I would plant more trees,’ she says. ‘We have birds and butterflies. Before, the place was bare; now we have forest.’
The Climate Stewards message is about encouraging organisations and individuals to ‘reduce what you can and offset what you can’t’. Through our web-based calculator, organisations and individuals can offset any combination of flights, land travel, office heat and power and other carbon emissions. Our partners choose to offset their carbon emissions for various reasons, but many see it as part of their desire to be good stewards of the environment, and to make that clear to their partners and supporters.