Since 2009 BBM have donated money, which formerly had been used for printing and posting Christmas cards, towards safeguarding areas of the virgin Ashaninka rainforest of Peru through the charity, Cool Earth, who work alongside indigenous villages to halt rainforest destruction.
The Ashaninka are Peru’s largest indigenous nation. They have lived in Peru’s Central Selva for thousands of years and their way of life depends entirely upon the forest.
Ten years ago (2003) the community of Cutivireni was 200 miles from the arc of deforestation. By 2008, the loggers were one mile away and offered hard cash for their trees. With every family below the poverty line but desperate to keep their forest standing, the village elder, Cesar Bustamante, contacted Cool Earth.
Five years on not a single tree has been lost to loggers.
Why save rainforest? Rainforests cover only about 6% of the world’s surface and yet contain more than two thirds of the biodiversity and absorb about half of the world’s carbon. Each acre generates about 76,000 tonnes of fresh water into the global rain cycle annually but every year deforestation puts more CO2 into the atmosphere than the entire global transport sector.
facts from: http://www.coolearth.org
If one ever needed hard evidence that we as a society are not ready to be sustainable you simply have to look at what sustainability issues have been ejected from regulatory control because of the abolition of the Code for Sustainable Homes. Government has been keen to unlock the obstacles to house building and besides the obvious land supply and planning control issues they have been directed to the extra development costs involved in meeting the various levels required within the Code for Sustainable Homes. So in a way, it means that even with new build, start from scratch projects we have found excuses not to be as sustainable as we can be. What example does it set that as a developed country we cannot afford to build to environmentally sustainable standards?
The real issue is not that we supposedly cannot afford to build to truly sustainable standards, it is that we as a country decided to leave the supply of social and affordable house building to market forces. We need public money going back into building a large part of the housing supply and fast.
Ian McKay Dip Arch RIBA