Tropical rainforests get major boost from Royal and Corporate support
BirdLife’s efforts to save threatened rainforests around the globe have received a major boost following the support of HSH Prince Albert II of
Speaking to delegates from governments, the private sector and conservation organisations at an evening event hosted by the Nature Society (Singapore) (local BirdLife Partner), HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco stressed that: “… the work of BirdLife allows whole areas to be protected and preserved – unique areas of the globe whose importance is key both for our survival and for our knowledge of the world”.
HSH Prince Albert II of
“I am particularly pleased that my Foundation - whose commitment to biodiversity and protection of the planet - is a faithful partner of BirdLife International, and has signed a framework partnership allowing our efforts to be united and our approaches to be shared on several projects throughout the world.”
Forests of Hope – a fresh approach to rainforest conservation
The BirdLife Global Partnership has been deeply engaged in forest conservation across the tropics for years, and is achieving significant successes on the ground. BirdLife’s ‘Forests of Hope’ programme is building on this wealth of experience, and expanding this work across the globe.
It uses an innovative approach towards large-scale forest restoration and conservation which addresses biodiversity conservation, eco-services preservation, social development and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Delegates at the event heard how Burung Indonesia (BirdLife Partner) and the RSPB (BirdLife Partner in the UK) and BirdLife International are conserving and restoring around 20% of Sumatra’s remaining lowland forest through the Harapan Rainforest Initiative.
Harapan Rainforest – the Indonesian word for ‘hope’ - is located on the
The Harapan concession has been recently licensed to the BirdLife consortium by the Indonesian Government under a completely new regulation that allows forests to be set-aside and managed for their long-term conservation and restoration. Harapan is the world’s first forest restoration concession of this type, and the license has been granted for nearly 100 years. Real hope.
The BirdLife consortium have employed over 200 staff - mainly from local communities - to ensure that the 100,000 hectares of forest are safe from fires and illegal logging. “We are working hard to ensure the indigenous communities who still live sustainably in the forest feel the benefits of the project, with many social development and employment opportunities being made available”, said Dr Marco Lambertini - Chief Executive of BirdLife International.
“Just three years into the project the results are already impressive, with a sharp decline in forest fires, illegal logging and poaching”, added Dr Lambertini.
Singapore Airlines contributes to 'Harapan Fund'
Recognising the effectiveness of BirdLife’s approach to tropical forest conservation and restoration, earlier today Singapore Airlines announced a US$3 million contribution to establish a 'Harapan Fund' managed by BirdLife.
"Forests are among the world’s chief carbon stores, and the arrestment of deforestation is a key step towards combating climate change,” said Mr Bey Soo Khiang - Singapore Airline’s Senior Executive Vice-President Marketing and Corporate Services. “The money contributed will be used to finance ongoing core operations such as the employment of forest patrols to prevent illegal logging and forest fires as well as plant and species protection programmes”.
"Singapore Airlines is pleased and excited to be a part of this initiative which has tangible environmental benefits not just for
"We are delighted that Singapore Airlines has decided to help us conserve tropical forests like Harapan”, said Dr Lambertini. “This will help to preserve their invaluable biodiversity and crucial eco-services, and combat greenhouse emissions from deforestation and forest fires. Singapore Airlines has shown real long-sighted vision and corporate environmental responsibility at a time when tropical forests need more help than ever".
Conserving forests across the tropics
Finally, delegates from the business world heard how BirdLife intends to grow a new global ‘
“This site is of global conservation importance and supports populations of five Critically Endangered bird species making it globally unique”, said His Excellency Chea Sam Ang - deputy chief of
Wider corporate support needed
To conserve sites like Harapan and Western Siem Pang, BirdLife needs others to join Singapore Airlines and invest in tropical forest conservation action around the globe.
“The combination of biodiversity conservation, haze prevention and tangible contribution to combat global warming, creates a strong ethical and business case for companies to invest in tropical forest conservation”, said Dr Geh Min from the Nature Society (Singapore). A global market of carbon credits from natural forests was discussed by the world’s governments in 2008 under the UN Convention on Climate Change, but is likely to take a decade to come into action.
“We can’t wait this long”, said Dr Geh. “Millions of hectares of tropical forests across the tropics are being lost - now is the time to invest in their restoration.
This is a wonderful chance for
To find out more about BirdLife’s Forests of Hope programme, please visit www.birdlife.org/forests
The event was held at The Arts House, Old Parliament Lane, Singapore, and organised by BirdLife International and Nature Society (Singapore) together with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. The venue and organisation was supported by The Hour Glass.