Monday, October 30, 2006

The 'Cool Earth' Project.

Are you interested in slowing or even stopping the destruction of the Amazonian rainforest? Would you like to own a piece of the forest while helping the local people at the same time to improve their lives? Well guess what? The Cool Earth Project is looking for your support. Here's some more information, summarised from their site and written by one of the founders Frank Field MP;

'Last March I came across a Sunday Times news report on the wealthy businessman Johan Eliasch. Johan had just bought a part of the Brazilian rainforest larger than the size of London. His goal was to protect the forest from further illegal logging. Johan’s estate consists of over 400,000 acres. I liked the idea and thought I might stretch my resources to buy 40 acres, a sniff in comparison to Johan’s impact. But it occurred to me that there were out there tens of millions of ordinary people like myself who would jump at the opportunity of playing their part in literally saving the planet. I emailed Johan asking if he would be interested in setting up an international trust to protect the rainforest which acts, quite literally, as the world’s lungs. Cool Earth, Johan’s title for our great adventure, was born from that initial meeting.

Cool Earth is about harnessing mass people power, along with big business, to leapfrog the clanking machinery of government. Around such an idea as Cool Earth, and utilising the internet, the political voice of individuals can be heard immediately. Our aim, by the end of the year, is to have launched this international trust which will allow every individual, family, school, university, church, trade union, women’s institute, youth group, to own and protect part of the world’s lungs. Chips will be placed in the trees so that each of us can, by satellite, keep an eye on our part of the forest by calling it up on our laptops.

Recognition of this economic necessity is the second unique aspect of Cool Earth. Our aim is to allow those countries who own the rainforest to draw down its capital value in a positive way. Cool Earth will offer trading arrangements with countries with rainforests, paying up front a capitalised rent for areas of the forest. Protecting the forest from illegal logging will immediately start to reduce these large carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Cool Earth will then sell on to individuals, voluntary organisations and companies and others, the stewardship of plots of this land above its market value. This second payment will be used to build hospitals, schools and environmentally sound transportation networks in participation with local and state governments.

It is time for a new people-based global organisation, one which doesn’t simply talk about saving the planet, but puts it money where its mouth is. I hope you will be part of that solution. '

To register your support for this idea and to get more information please go to; .


At 7:40 pm, Blogger Matt Burge said...

In 'The Independent' newspaper on Tuesday there was an article penned by the Brazilian environment and foreign ministers. In it they made clear their opposition to schemes involving foreign control/purchase of rainforest as a means of conservation. Not sure where that leaves 'Coolearth'-type initiatives, even in this supposedly free market world which I believe Brazil is a part of.

This appears to be a classic case of in-border controls clashing with cross-border environmental goals. I think the world will see more of these clashes as we look for solutions to mitigation climate change. The recent Stern report makes it clear that deforestation of virgin forest must stop.


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