Managing the rainforest in a sustainable way
Conservation swaps or debt-for nature swaps are a way of reducing a country’s debt and benefitting nature and conservation at the same time. The most common type of
debt-for-nature swaps work like this. A country (e.g. the USA) that is owed money by another country (e.g. Peru), cancels part of the debt in exchange for an agreement by the debtor country to pay for conservation activities there. Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) (charities), like the WWF often help to arrange the swaps.
Promoting responsible management and use
The Forest Stewardship Council is an NGO that promotes the responsible management of the world’s forests. Approved companies can use its logo to show that their wood products have produced responsibly. Consumers – that’s people like you and me – can make a choice between buying approved products, with the logo, or products produced in a less responsible.
In 2008 the Gola Forest on Sierra Leone’s southern border with Liberia was protected from further deforestation by becoming a National Park. In recognition of the forest’s role
in reducing global warming by acting as a carbon sink, the 75,000 hectare park is supported by money from the European Commission, the French government and
NGOs such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Conservation International.
Protecting the rainforest videos:
In the Atlantic Forest
Example of rubber tapping
This is a technique where individual trees are felled only when they’re mature. The idea is the rainforest canopy is
then preserved, which protects the ground below and also helps slower-growing hardwoods, like mahogany.
The sap of the rubber tree is collected using taps. The rubber is collected every other month from the trees. This allows the tree to ‘rest’ but also the tree does not need to be cut down and is therefore sustainable.
Conservation and protection
Conservation International is an organisation that helps communities, societies and countries to protect and value a range of different ecosystems.
Nearly a quarter of the remaining Atlantic Forest is under some form of protection – as National and State Parks, biological reserves and ecological stations. The German government has invested in the protection of a number of areas
conservation corridors are being established to link up fragmented areas of rainforest. The World Bank is helping to fund these corridors, which enable species to move, feed and breed between different areas
the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund provides grants to help conserve threatened species, helps private landowners to manage their land sustainably, and provides support for other conservation projects
Ecotourism is when people visit a place because of its natural environment – and cause as little harm as possible. It aims to put back into the environment as much as it takes out, by conservation and education
The Una Ecopark in the Atlantic Forest:
is a private reserve – part of Conservation International’s work to conserve the forest
has a visitor centre to educate tourists and local people about Atlantic Forest
acts as a research and study centre for the Atlantic Forest, alongside the visitor centre
has a canopy walkway, so that visitors can experience nature at first hand and appreciate why the forest needs conserving
provides economic opportunities for the local community through nature-based tourism
uses part of its entrance fee to support conservation projects in the region
aims to show that income from ecotourism depends on conserving the Atlantic Forest as it is, and that – instead of destroying the rainforest to make money –
local people can make a good loving from ecotourism by conserving it instead