International Year of Forests
A belated Happy 2011 from Seacology! We can't think of a better way to welcome the New Year than by joining the United Nations in celebrating 2011 as the International Year of Forests. Forests provide habitat for up to two-thirds of plant and animal species on earth, but tragically are being lost at fatal rates, with deforestation causing as many as 100 species extinctions per day. While forests are found in all of the planet's regions, tropical rainforests found around the globe's center contain the most biodiversity. And with many of the world's islands found in these tropical regions, Seacology projects often project some of these highly endangered forests. Below are a sampling of Seacology's recent forest preservation projects. To learn more about forests around the world, visit http://rainforests.mongabay.com/
Lai River, Papua New Guinea - In the mountainous forest of the Baiyer, Jimi, and Lai Valleys in Papua New Guinea, inhabitants have been reliant on a footbridge built of cane, which needed to be rebuilt every three months. Seacology funded the construction of a permanent bridge. The community recently celebrated the construction of their new bridge with vibrant festivities, as seen in the photo below.
Onongoch, Fefen Island, Chuuk - Seacology is supporting the Onongoch community with a new village meeting hall, as well as needed water tanks and toilets. In exchange, the community is protecting 15 acres of the Chunuf forest, part of the West Fefen Area of Biodiversity Significance, and home to several endangered birds and many endemic flora and fauna. Below, the beautiful Chunuf forest near Onongoch.
Flores Island, Indonesia - Seacology now has two projects on Indonesia's Flores Island. Working with the communities of Cunca Lolos and Benteng Dewa, we have protected over 27,000 acres of the 63,738-acre Mbeliling rainforest, which both villages border (see photo, below). Our projects have funded a community health clinic and new fresh water system, helping these islanders and their environment. To learn more about Seacology's projects on Flores Island, read our recent blog post on Karen's trip to Indonesia.