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Fact: Originally, six million square miles of tropical rainforest existed worldwide. But as a result of deforestation, only 2.4 million square miles remain.
HELPING TO SAVE PRECIOUS HABITAT FOR THE BENEFIT OF WILDLIFE
In the end, it’s all about habitat. If you want to save endangered species from extinction in the wild, the only way to do it is to protect their natural habitat. This simple but powerful philosophy has underpinned Rainforest Trust’s conservation work for the last 30 years, during which time over 18 million acres of rainforest have been placed under permanent protection, either by land purchase or by land designation as new National Parks, Community Forests or Protected Areas.
Help for Wildlife will be working in partnership with Rainforest Trust UK to protect areas of Rainforest around the world. An example of a recently funded project is the Rungan River Peat Swamp Forest, which is a 385,000-acre mosaic of threatened peat swamp and lowland rainforest in in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). The Rungan River landscape is one of the largest regions of lowland forest in Borneo that is currently unprotected, and is at grave risk of destruction from conversion to oil palm and acacia plantations.
Saving rainforests is also vital in the fight to protect our planet, as trees and peat swamps store vast quantities of carbon which could otherwise enter the atmosphere and drive climate change. The Rungan River Peat Swamp Forest holds an estimated 283 million metric tons of CO2, which is equivalent to the carbon emissions of 56 million cars per year.
Rainforest Trust has succesfully raised enough funds to permanently overturn logging concessions in the Rungan River Peat Swamp Forest and enable to be designated as a Permanent Protected Area. It only cost £1.50 to protect an acre of this vital wildlife habitat, and thanks to a generous friend of Rainforest Trust donations to this project were doubled, meaning every pound given saved twice as much rainforest.
This area supports very high densities of Bornean Orangutans and is home to over 2,000 individuals, which is 4% of the global population. And with recent research showing that Borneo has lost half its population of Orangutans through hunting and habitat loss in just the last sixteen years, there is no time to lose if we want to save these magnificent creatures from extinction.
We are now looking at other Rainforest Trust projects that fit our brief and will announce which project we have decided to support very soon.
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