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The legacy of Sky Rainforest Rescue


As the Sky Rainforest Rescue campaign came to an end in September, we’ve been celebrating the amazing range of results that have been achieved over the last six years with your support. Here, we reflect on how these successes help create a lasting legacy and an even wider impact in the Amazon, to go well beyond a billion trees.

This short video and brochure tell the story of Sky Rainforest Rescue, from the millions of people inspired by the Amazon here in the UK, to the work on the ground to provide a brighter future for the rainforest and the people who rely on it for their livelihoods.

And this impact report provides the detail behind our estimate that we have helped avoid over 3.7 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

Beyond a billion trees

First off, we believe we have shown what the power of partnerships can do. Tackling deforestation and its underlying causes in the tropics isn’t an easy task, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Partnerships of all kinds and scales are needed. In addition to bringing together Sky’s communication reach and WWF’s conservation expertise, the campaign has counted on a vast number of other collaborations both here in the UK and in the Amazon. Together, we have been able to innovate, test and implement actions to raise awareness and make change on the ground.

On the ground in our flagship project in the state of Acre, Brazil, our work with the Acre government and over 1,600 families has generated lessons and results that will help inform low-carbon development in the rest of the state. Here are some key aspects of the project’s legacy and wider reach:

  • Working models of how to transition farming away from slash and burn, that will be important as Brazil continues to build its measures to reach it deforestation reduction targets in the Amazon.
  • Concrete examples of how finance and other incentives from mechanisms such as payments for environmental services and REDD+ can reach communities living in the rainforest and improve their livelihoods.
  • Changes to the supply chains of sustainably harvested forest products, such as better prices and the state subsidy for wild rubber which has increased 400% thanks to the project, will benefit not only the families in the project area, but harvesters across the state.
  • What began as small-scale schools work has grown in scope, leading to curriculum changes that will mark a long-term shift towards locally relevant environmental education.
  • Changes we have advocated for in state policies and initiatives will create positive change cross the whole state. An example of this is the work to develop climate adaptation plans, an increasingly critical issue in Acre especially for those communities living along the rivers following the extreme floods earlier this year.
  • Thanks to exchanges supported by the project, decision makers from other parts of the Amazon have learnt about the approaches being taken. For example, the Bolivian Forest Incentives System was informed by the work in Acre.

Rubber tapper, Acre, Amazon © WWF-BrazilRubber tapper, Acre, Amazon © WWF-Brazil

What next in the Amazon

Funding from the Sky Rainforest Rescue campaign will continue to support the work in Acre into 2016. WWF is currently reviewing the last six years of work in Acre, and reflecting on the successes, lessons and challenges to date. This is informing plans for a new phase of work in the state that will embed and expand on the successes of the Sky Rainforest Rescue project. This new phase of work won’t be possible without our ongoing supporters and new funding partnerships.

This part of our portfolio of work in the Amazon which includes projects in Brazil’s Amazonas state, the Colombian Amazon and advocacy work at national and biome scale, including tackling the drivers of deforestation. Read more about our work in the Amazon.

Meanwhile in the UK, WWF and Sky will continue to work in partnership on Sky’s environmental strategy and to raise awareness of issues like climate change. How are Sky reflecting on the campaign? Read their blog by Lucy Carver, Sky’s Director of the Bigger Picture

I will continue to blog about WWF’s work in Acre – I’d love you to follow my blog page and leave me any feedback below!

And if you’ve been inspired to support our vital work in the Amazon, why not sponsor a jaguar.

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