Earth Day in the midst of COVID-19:
a moment to recognize the value of forests
We are living in extraordinary times, and as the corona virus continues to spread, we hope that you and your families are able to stay safe. We are heartbroken by the significant loss of life across the globe.
Dr Jane Goodall recently said, "
Of all the things I learned during my years in the rainforest...one of the most important is how all life is interconnected. Every species has a role to play in the complex web of life. As an example, deforestation in the Congo Basin, the Amazon, and the tropical forests of Asia may seem unimportant to people in the United States or Europe, yet the loss of these forests (as well as other ecosystems) is altering global weather patterns and affecting people in all parts of the world. We humans are part of the natural world - we relate to each other and with all the other animals who inhabit the planet with us
Dr Goodall's words motivate us more than ever to do all we can to help restore the balance in some of the world's most precious ecosystems.
The theme for Earth Day 2020 is “Climate Action”, UN Sustainable Development Goal #13. As deforestation is the second largest contributor to climate change, we would like to draw your attention to a pioneering forest conservation project in the Congo Basin Rainforest on the frontier of deforestation.
The Wildlife Works Mai Ndombe REDD+ project is located in Mai-Ndombe
province in western Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), one of the least developed places on earth. Wildlife Works is the world’s leading REDD+ program development and management company.
REDD+ is an acronym for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, a UN envisioned climate change mitigation strategy that is an essential part of the Paris Climate Agreement.
While much of the world is experiencing the horrors of a life-threating pandemic for the first time, there are 180,000 people living in the Mai Ndombe project region who have been dealing with simultaneous outbreaks of Cholera, Malaria, Measles, Rubella and Ebola, where a vast majority of the victims of these killer diseases are children.
Although the community is now bracing to deal with Covid-19, the Mai Ndombe REDD+ project has been successful in stopping deforestation and offers the people a glimmer of hope for a better future.
In December 2019, Everland commissioned Impact Photographer Filip C Agoo to document the Mai Ndombe REDD+ project. Filip spent five weeks in the forest witnessing the Measles and Rubella epidemics firsthand. He captured heartbreaking and heartwarming photographs that show how Wildlife Works, a private sector forest conservation business, has helped to save lives during this silent crisis.
This Earth Day, we have Filip’s incredible photographs to share with you for the first time. These images document how Wildlife Works is bringing critical health care and other basic human services to a rural forest community in the Congo Basin Rainforest.
It is our hope that with the information, photos and video provided in this newsletter, you will be as moved as we are to support this community and Wildlife Works' efforts to protect this special place.