The Size of Wales Going Green
Blog post from Chair of Size of Wales, Peter Davies
Last Friday saw Go Green Day – Wales’ biggest green fundraising day run by Size of Wales with support from Cynnal Cymru. Schools and businesses across Wales took part to raise funds to support the protection of tropical rain forests.
The Size of Wales is a unique Welsh charity which is helping to protect an area of rain forest twice the size of Wales. It grew out of Wales Council for Voluntary Action’s Millennium Development Goals Task Force and was established in 2010 with support of the Waterloo Foundation, as part of our national response to the challenge of climate change. It recognised the deforestation caused more CO2 emissions than all the worlds transport and that the size of Wales was becoming a measure for the devastating loss of our tropical forests. The aim was to turn a measure of the problem into a model for a solution.
Over the last 6 years we have worked with partners to raise over £2.4 million to support the protection of an area of rain forest the size of Wales and now are set on track to double the area supported. The matched fund provided by Waterloo Foundation have been critical to the success of the project so that every £ raised by our partners is doubled. The support of Welsh Government has also been critical in providing core support so that no funds go towards administration costs and every penny goes to our partner projects – including the Welsh Government’s flagship 10 million trees partnership with Mbale .
Our forest projects undergo a rigorous assessment process undertaken with Bangor University. The major forest conservation projects focus on working with indigenous communities to secure their land rights – such as the Wapichan people in Guyana. Lord Stern has recently highlighted that honouring the land rights of indigenous peoples would lead to a safer climate for everybody.
The Size of Wales is then a small charity with a big ambition of mobilising a nation to meet the challenge of climate change. The education outreach programme is a critical part of this work, providing inspirational school assemblies and workshops funded with support from Ajahma Trust. It is also about being fun and just a bit quirky as was evident from the launch event at the Principality Stadium (note the wig and the specially produced socks by Corgi!) and all the various activities around Wales last Friday.
Our challenge is to ensure that every organisation no matter what its size makes its contribution to tackling climate change and that our small nation lives up to our ambition to tackle climate change for future generations.