Protect your Ecosystem with Rainforest Concern
We are so pleased to announce we are partnering with Rainforest Concern. A charity founded in 1993 whose mission is to protect threatened natural habitats and the biodiversity they contain, together with the indigenous people who depend on them for survival. They do this through direct conservation, purchasing land, registering ancestral indigenous territories and establishing ecological corridors to connect fragmented habitats.
Rainforest Concern also promotes sustainable livelihoods and is committed to delivering environmental education both in their project areas and in the UK. They use research and monitoring to help steer their conservation approach and better support the case for nature. They currently work in eight countries; Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Belize, Chile, Romania and India across a variety of critical habitats and the vast biodiversity they support.
Why did we choose Rainforest Concern?
Rainforest Concern carries out incredible work across the globe. What really stood out to us is the work they do in South America, as the continent plays such an important role at Ancient + Brave, and here is why.
We source a number of our ingredients from South America. These ingredients are approved by the Soil Association - this is where organic farming meets the highest standards. Our Santos coffee beans are from Brazil. ‘Santos’ is named after the coastal city Santos in southern Brazil's São Paulo state. The cacao in our Cacao + Collagen is sourced from Peru. Peru is the ninth-largest producer of cacao in the world. Cacao is typically grown in the basin of the Amazon Rainforest and at the foothills of the Andes Mountains.
Unsustainable agriculture is a major cause of forest deforestation and poor agricultural practices lead to soil erosion, river siltation and aquatic contamination - not a pretty picture. Trees in the rainforest are being cleared at a scary rate and we know it’s paramount to save as much rainforest as possible. It’s crucial for the survival of all species including the human race and Rainforest Concern are on the frontline of this mission.
Photo: Andean Spectacled Bear - Vulnerable Species
Rainforest Concern are working on incredible projects around the globe. One that really stood out, is the Neblina Reserve Project. The Neblina Reserve consists of over 2,200 hectares of threatened high altitude cloud forest in northwest Ecuador. Teeming with wildlife, this area of forest is unusually rich in orchids and epiphytes alongside endangered animal species such as spectacled bears, pumas, oncillas, ocelots, tapirs, toucans, rare frogs, hummingbirds and the highly endangered black-and-chestnut eagle.
The Neblina Reserve is located in the Tropical Andes global biodiversity hotspot. This hotspot is the most diverse in the world. It contains one sixth of all plant life in the world – making it the top for plant diversity, and it has the largest variety of mammal, birds and amphibian species.
Rainforest Concern works on multiple levels in the Neblina Cloud Forest. They work to protect against deforestation caused by unsustainable agriculture, extractive industries and infrastructure development, like road building. This is a multi-factor approach.
- Training rangers – Forest guards regularly patrol the reserve in pairs, to help protect the forest from hunting, illegal logging, or opportunistic cattle grazing, and look out for evidence of key species. Each guard needs to be equipped with the correct protective gear, such as boots, machetes and waterproof clothing (it rains a lot in rainforests!), which we support through our donations. They also need training in subjects ranging from species identification, and camera traps, to specialist mountain first aid. All of this costs money – for instance, it costs over £3,000 to run a first aid workshop for the forest guards.
- Educational programmes – The charity helps educate local children on the importance of protecting the cloud forest. This can be through the forest guards, or separate local educational initiatives. By educating children about the wonders of the forest, they can use their knowledge to influence their communities and, as the next generation, they will have the knowledge they need to help preserve the precious natural habitat for generations to come.
- Purchase land – Rainforest Concern not only manage and protect the reserve, they also strategically expand it, by buying adjoining forest. The Neblina Reserve was created to act as an ecological corridor between the Paso Alto Mountain range and the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve, to reduce habitat fragmentation. Ecological corridors assist the effectiveness of reserves by enabling animals and species to seasonally migrate from one area to another and for natural seed dispersal to continue. Threatened species, such as Andean bears, whose numbers are declining, can then move through the reserve, foraging for food, expanding their territories and increase the breeding pool (Andean bears are the only extant species of bear in South America).
Photo Credit: Neblina Cloud Forest Reserve with eco-corridors.
- Fund scientific research – Research is used in many ways – a project investigating amphibians in the Ecuadorian cloud forest has been key evidence in an ongoing court case, whilst a research project into Andean bear in the reserve is being used to help steer protection strategies. New technology brings new opportunities to strengthen conservation initiatives: a Rainforest Concern research project in Belize trialled specialised audio equipment to help rangers identify and locate illegal logging or concentrated animals’ calls. The equipment was used to help protect macaws from illegal animal traders. Rainforest Concern are looking for funds to trial this technology at the Neblina reserve to give the forest guards early warning of illegal felling.
It’s crucial that we give back whenever possible. By purchasing Ancient + Brave products you will contribute to this charity. 1% of our revenue will go to fund all of our 1% for the Planet charities.
If you wish to find out more on to get involved with this fantastic charity, please head to: https://www.rainforestconcern.org/get-involved/get-involved