Charity launches bid to protect rainforest the size of Wales in Rio’s back yard

Charity launches bid to protect rainforest the size of Wales in Rio’s back yard

Unique Welsh charity Size of Wales today announced that it will help protect an area of rainforest the size of the nation in South America.

As well as taking on a new project in Peru, the charity will renew its support for a project in Guyana. The two projects cover over 2 million hectares of the Amazon basin – roughly the size of Wales.

Together with projects across Africa, this puts the charity well on the way to its new ambition to help protect tropical forests twice the size of Wales.

Olympic hosts Rio have used the biggest stage on Earth to draw attention to the twin threats of climate change and deforestation.  With the Amazon rainforest providing a stunning backdrop to the games, the organisers have committed to planting a tree for every athlete taking part.

As 2016 looks set to be the world’s hottest year on record it is clear that planting trees and protecting forests like the Amazon are both crucial in the fight against climate change. These unique tropical forest habitats absorb around a fifth of manmade CO2 emissions every year.

Having already helped plant over 4 million trees and helped protect an area of rainforest the size of the nation, Size of Wales now aims to double this; as a unique national response to climate change and a positive reply to the country’s common use as a measurement of deforestation.

Size of Wales’ South American projects are run by its partner Forest Peoples Programme and support indigenous groups; the Wampis in Peru and the Wapichan in Guyana; in their efforts to secure legal rights to their traditional lands and forests.

Ron James, a Wapichan mapper involved in the community conserved forest project in Guyana said: “Without the support of Size of Wales we would not have advanced our work this far. Thanks to the solidarity of the people and businesses of Wales, in April this year we started formal land talks with our government regarding steps to secure legal title to our ancestral forest. We are so glad the charity has chosen to continue its support and help our villages realise our collective vision for a Wapichan Conserved Forest.”

Size of Wales’ Acting Director Lowri Jenkins said: “We’re so chuffed to be able to say we’re helping to protect an area of rainforest the size of Wales in South America, and support these worthwhile communities. We’re currently looking at new projects in Africa, which would mean Wales is protecting an area the size of itself on both continents. That’s an incredible achievement for our nation!

But they still need your help – Size of Wales need to raise funds to help protect these precious habitats and the unique communities that call them home.

“We’re asking everyone in Wales to join us on Friday the 14th of October for Go Green Day, our national fundraising day. Show your support for rainforests by wearing green and donating a few pounds.”

Every £1 donated by the Welsh public will be doubled by the charity’s match fund, meaning each donation goes twice as far.

Go to www.sizeofwales.org.uk for more information and details about Go Green Day.