A new project in Wales is seeking to bring the country’s people into the battle to save the rainforest. The project, called ‘Size of Wales’, aims to encourage its people to save an area of rainforest equal to the size of their country. The size target has been chosen symbolically – both to engage the Welsh people and because rainforest areas equivalent to the size of Wales are destroyed over six times every year.
An education scheme is in place to educate people on the positive impacts they can create, by making fewer journeys by car or plane, lessening the amount of energy used within homes, reducing food waste and buying products and services intelligently, from ethical and sustainable producers.
The project creators explain that the levels of carbon dioxide released into the environment after areas of rainforest are destroyed are equal to the emissions of all the world’s transport combined. This is because rotting or burning timber combines with atmospheric oxygen to create CO2 and it means that no amount of transport reduction can entirely mitigate the problems of deforestation.
The project is also working with a series of charities, education bodies and fundraisers to help maximise the potential of the work and aims to raise £2m in funding and sponsorship, which will be partially matched by a philanthropic organisation with ecology at its heart.
The effects of the project are already being seen and the organisers point to the impact that even a small and less resource rich developed country can have in effecting change. Already there have been enquiries about setting up a similar ‘size of Ireland’ project, which shows the positive changes that co-ordinated action at a grass roots level can have. Together, change is possible and people who have never even seen the rainforests with their own eyes can still understand their vital importance to our world and play their part in preserving them.