Forests of Hope Urgent appeal to protect tropical forests â€“ for birds and people
Forests of Hope Dear Friend, Tropical forests cover around 7% of the earth’s land, yet are home to over half of all known species. They are vitally important ecosystems – our planet’s lungs, rainmakers, and global climate engines. Over four billion people rely on tropical forests for their daily water. Over the past few years, BirdLife has pioneered an innovative method to establish the value of these forests in the eyes of local communities and governments. Our unique local-to-global approach has allowed us to work alongside our BirdLife Partners to pioneer a remarkable project in a Sumatran rainforest called Harapan. I’m very pleased to report that our conservation work at Harapan is proving very successful. We’ve designed and secured a new type of forest management licence which has saved the forest for nearly 100 years. Furthermore, the area we manage recently doubled from 50,000 to 100,000 hectares - larger than Singapore.
We know our successful action to safeguard nearly 20% of Sumatra’s remaining lowland rainforest can be replicated to effectively conserve forests around the world. This is BirdLife’s ‘Forests of Hope’ programme. We are now identifying a growing number of sites across the globe for our ‘Forests of Hope’ programme. The aim is to immediately halt their destruction, and to conserve and start restoring large blocks of natural forest covering at least five million hectares by 2015. Your money will help us to quickly grow our ‘Forests of Hope’ programme and conserve threatened forests – like Cambodia’s Western Siem Pang (opposite) around the globe for birds and for people. Your generous support will make a huge difference. Yours in conservation,
On the ground we have now trained over 140 new forest wardens from local tribes and achieved sharp declines in forest fires, illegal logging and poaching. Your generous support helped to make this happen. Thank you!
Dr Marco Lambertini Chief Executive
Cambodia’s Western Siem Pang Urgent opportunity to protect critical forest
Key Facts Country: Cambodia Site name: Western Siem Pang Forest Site area: 152,822 hectares Critically Endangered species: White-shouldered Ibis, Giant Ibis, White-rumped Vulture, Slender-billed Vulture, Red-headed Vulture. The forests of Western Siem Pang, Cambodia, are one of the last remnants of the ecosystem that once covered large areas in central Indochina. The forests are extensive, and BirdLife has identified a key site covering over 150,000 hectares, with 90% intact habitat and populations of an astonishing total of five Critically Endangered bird species.
This Important Bird Area was threatened by plans to log the forest and convert it into a biofuel plantation. BirdLife has just succeeded in revoking the logging license for Western Siem Pang. This is a major step towards the conservation of the forest which we now aim to manage under a new agreement with the Government of Cambodia. Similar to our approach in Harapan, we plan to turn the forest into a Protected Forest. This would represent a win-win arrangement for local people and the international community by conserving the area’s biodiversity and carbon stocks as the next phase in this ambitious BirdLife global programme.
“We now urgently need funds to further upscale our conservation work in Western Siem Pang, and save this forest for birds and people. This is a great opportunity and we need the funding to act quickly and save a critical forest for South-East Asia” Bou Vorsak, BirdLife Cambodia Programme
A recent BirdLife survey team recorded an astonishing 16 Giant Ibis (Critically Endangered) at Western Siem Pang.
An aerial view over part of Western Siem Pang forest, with a characteristic wet meadow and pool, of critical importance for some of the rarest species.
BirdLife’s Forest of Hope sites Aim: covering at least five million hectares by 2015
1 11 12
10 7 3
Affliliate Country Programme
Site 1: Maya Forest Location: Mexico Area: 1,000,000 ha
Site 7: Tsitongambarika Location: Madagascar Area: 60,000 ha
Site 2: Zoque Forest Location: Mexico Area: 960,000 ha
Site 8: Belum-Temengor Location: Malaysia (Peninsula) Area: 283,000 ha
Site 3: Gran Chaco Location: Paraguay Area: 1,000,000 ha Site 4: San Rafael Location: Paraguay Area: 69,000 ha Partically conserved Sites 5 & 6: Gola Location: Sierra Leone/Liberia Area: 255,000 ha
Site 9: Western Siem Pang Location: Cambodia Area: 153,000 ha Funding urgently required!
Site 11: Mt Irid-Angelo Location: Philippines (Luzon) Area: 61,000 ha Site 12: Mt HilongHilong and Diwata range Location: Philippines (Mindanao) Area: 477,000 ha
Site 10: Harapan Location: Indonesia Area: 100,000 ha Conserved!
Rainforest facts • More than 13 million species are found in rainforests. • They are home to nearly one third of all bird species. • Few tropical forests are predicted to survive until the end of the 21st century. • The rate of tropical deforestation is accelerating globally. • The burning and logging of tropical forests are major causes of climate change.
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