Producer Membership Recruitment Campaign

The Soil Association have a target to increase the number of organic farmers in the UK to 35%. Restore Our Planet’s donation was to assist them in achieving this vision through increased publicity and support.

The Soil Association’s ‘Producer Membership Programme’ provides a range of support to organic producers. This includes a free technical helpline with up-to-date technical and marketing information, online access to a range of technical literature and services, reduced rates for all training, farm visit service, and local support from one of their new regional offices. Our support was enabled the Soil Association to review their services and to expand promotional materials. This has enabled the them to attract 4000 new producers to become licensees of their scheme and to increase the number of enquiries to their conversion service by 42%.

Our grant also enable the Soil Association to demonstrate the support they offer to all organic producers, which was an integral part of securing a regional presence in four regions of England.

Say NO to Heathrow Expansion

95% of businesses say there’s no gain from expanding Heathrow.

If they don’t want it, who does?

The latest polls show that only 4% of British companies want Heathrow expansion, but 37% want a new high-speed rail line to the North. So let’s stop using business as an excuse for expansion.

Operation Ocean Task Force – Albatross protection

Restore Our Planet are supporting the RSPB task force who protect the Albatross by educating the world’s fishermen regarding the use of longlines. All 21 species of albatross are threatened or near threatened with extinction, mainly because so many of them are caught on fishing long lines each year. Lines up to 80 miles long may contain 10,000 hooks baited with albatross’ favourite food, often squid. They seize the baits, become hooked and get dragged underwater where they drown.

It is estimated that 300,000 seabirds are killed in this way each year, 100,000 of which are albatrosses. Albatross do not start breeding until they are at least seven years old. Each species of albatross lays only one egg at a time some once every two years, with individuals known to live up to 80 years each death is a real tragedy. Support from Restore Our Planet has given a huge boost to the work of the RSPB/BirdLife International Albatross Task Force.

It has enabled RSPB to put in place Task Force Instructors in some of the key fishing ports in the southern hemisphere. These intrepid and dedicated staff are making a real difference by meeting with fishermen in ports and on boats and showing them the simple measures they can take to prevent albatrosses becoming caught and drowned on longline hooks.

For more information, visit www.rspb.org.uk and click on the Albatross Task Force link. This provides the latest updates from the Task Force who are keeping web diaries (or blogs) of their experiences.

Fight against Bird Hunting in Malta

The illegal hunting and trapping of birds is widespread across the Mediterranean.

Restore Our Planet have helped fund the work of the Hawk & Owl Trust with Birdlife Malta tackle the illegal killing of raptors over Malta where some 5,000 are killed every year. Hunters were monitored and arrests coordinated. A poster was also produced featuring raptors such as honey buzzards and marsh harriers migrating together with a report on how bird tourism could augment other visitors to Malta in the relevant months, if the hunting can be controlled.

In dealing with the issue of illegal trapping and hunting of birds Restore’s long term focus is on the RSPB’s campaign presently active in Cyprus and Malta. (For more detail see RSPB listing in Campaigns)

Developing a Low Carbon Future

The clean, efficient and renewable technologies that can heat our homes, power our vehicles and keep the lights on already exist. The global shift towards these clean alternatives has already begun but we need to work much harder if we are to meet our climate change targets required to protect our planet. For the last two years more was invested globally in clean energy production than fossil fuels and nuclear energy.

In 2011 it is expected that China will invest more in clean energy than fossil fuels. Currently Britain is lagging behind. Greenpeace plans to undertake a number of research projects that they have identified as crucially important in educating the public and decision-makers about how we become a low carbon society.

Specific activities within the project will include: commissioning of joint NGO policy report to show how UK incentives could be in the right place for sustainable biomass production; developing the terms of reference with Oxford University to prepare for researching a report on a strategy for the building stock; feeding in to the Energy market Reform process; a long term vision looking at a sustainable energy system for 2030/2050.

The overall objective of this project is to ensure that decision-makers in the UK make the right choices in planning how we use and produce energy in the future.

Get Serious About CO2

Friends of the Earth ( FoE ) is calling for local action to prevent dangerous climate change through their Get Serious About CO2 campaign which calls on local authorities to cut their carbon emissions.

Emissions from local activities such as powering homes and offices or travelling to work or school amount to a massive 80% of the UK`s total climate pollution. If we are to meet our national commitments in the world leading Climate Change Act we need to tackle climate change where we can get the best results, locally. FoE are calling for local councils to commit to cutting their emissions by 40% by 2020 and Government to introduce a nationwide system of local carbon budgets. At a local level they will work closely with their network of 230 grassroots volunteer groups to encourage their councils to create and lead strategies to reduce carbon emissions in homes, businesses an transport.

At national level FoE will provide decision makers with research demonstrating the benefits to local economies and people of cutting carbon emissions. Many councils and decision makers are already on board but more need to sign up to persuade the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to introduce local carbon budgets for every council and to provide government support to help them reach targets.

The latest science tells us that carbon emissions need to fall immediately, and quickly, so that we avoid dangerous climate change. The alternative is that billions of the world`s poorest people will be left homeless and hungry and species and habitats will continue to be destroyed.

For more information about the campaign watch this short film (opens a new window)

Iberian Lynx habitat protection

The Iberian Lynx is the most endangered big cat in the world. Its population decimated by habitat fragmentation, centuries of human persecution and vanishing prey.

WWF’s objectives, in order to help conserve the last remaining Lynx, are to stabilise and increase the remaining breeding populations, and ensure that adequate areas of Mediterranean forest are protected in order to guarantee the long-term viability of the Iberian Lynx.

Since 2002 the territories of 8 female lynxes have been restored with the birth of over 50 kittens.

Camera traps have been used to record each individual and to better understand those that remain. Also radio collars enable lynxes to be followed as they move into new territories.This helps prevent poaching and also to identify which roads are too dangerous to cross.

WWF has been managing a captive breeding programme and releasing lynxes to formally occupied habitats. By mid 2015 45 captive-bred lynxes had been released. In particular the authorities are being encouraged to remain vigilant as poaching and road kills remain a threat. The new population in Extremadura is already growing with two of the released females having six cubs in early 2017.

In 2001 when Restore provided funding towards this project there were fewer than 100 lynx left. By 2017 there were over 300.

Ambatotsirongorongo Forest Restoration

Located on the coast of southern Madagascar ( approx. 30 kms west of Tolanaro )and opening to the Indian Ocean, Ambatotsirongorongo Forest ( AF ), a Protected Area in the process of creation, extends across four Rural Communes, namely Sarisambo, Ankaramena, Ranopiso and Analapatsy. Despite its relatively small size AF ( project area 673.3 ha ), which is divided into three fragments, is particularly rich in both flora and fauna. Recent inventories show 220 species of flora and 17 mammal species including 7 species of lemur, 56 species of herpetofaunic have been identified including 16 species of amphibians and 40 species of reptiles. Of the 59 bird species, 20 are endemic to Madagascar.

Today, further to various pressures, anthropic mainly, the areas covered by the forest fragments have dangerously decreased so the existence of that biodiversity is seriously threatened.

The objectives of this project are to restore the forest area and ensure its long term viability. The main intervention strategies involve: a participatory approach with the involvement of all communities and stakeholders; the promotion of a nursery specialist job as a new income-generating activity; capacity building in forest restoration techniques; monthly based monitoring.

Ultimately it is envisaged this will result in a community owned project with 310.2 ha of restored forest ( protected 363 ha ), income-generating activity via the nursery and the local expertise to continue in the future.

Restore Our Planet has agreed support for the five years of this project.

Tigers Forever Initiative – habitat protection

The Wildlife Conservation Society works throughout the world to save ‘Living Landscapes’ – large wild ecosystems that are amongst the most biologically important regions on earth. Over the past 100 years WCS has helped governments around the world create more than 130 parks and protected areas, spanning hundreds of thousands of square miles.

Restore Our Planet’s support was focused at protecting tiger habitats. Tigers are critically endangered today having been reduced to 5% of their former abundance in just 100 years. Restore Our Planet’s support has helped allow WCS to take the lead in creating synergy among their individual tiger projects to bolster their impact on tiger conservation at the global level.

This has resulted in the formation of the ‘Tigers Forever’ initiative. This initiative is an ambitious programme aimed at increasing tiger populations across key WCS sites by 50% over 10 years. The focus being India, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, China and Malaysia. Activities supported include identifying and protecting critical habitats, training park guards and educational campaigns about traditional medicines.

Enrichment planting in the Kazimzumbwi Forest

This project is a beneficiary of the Gaia/African Biodiversity Network Micro-Projects Fund.

This project is focused on Pugu and Kazimzumbwi Forests near Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Both forest reserves have become severely degraded due to human`s irresponsible interaction with the environment and the consequences of severe poverty. Encroachment by farmers, businessmen and more recently pastoralists have all contributed.

The government has now recognised the shortfalls of its previous resource management approaches and has formulated new enabling policies in favour of community involvement in natural resource management which promote awareness and a shift from regulation to participatory management.

As a result community dialogues and research will be conducted on the valuable indigenous knowledge held by elders. Awareness raising campaigns regarding forest protection and tree planting will take place at schools and in the community and tree seedlings for planting will be distributed between 430 smallholder farmers and 10 primary schools.