Posted on 22/03/2010
Two students from Royal Holloway, University of London are hoping to save the planet by offering staff and students the chance to buy a piece of the Ecuadorian rainforest, with the aim of saving 135 acres - the same size of the university campus.
Ashley Coates, a first year History student, and Anna Willmott-Stanton, who is studying French and Literature, are spearheading the Royal Holloway Rainforest Project through international conservation charity, the World Land Trust.
Over the last 50 years a third of the world′s rainforests have been lost, an average of 23,483 football pitches per day. With widespread rainforest destruction set to continue, Ashley and Anna want to save an area of the Ecuadorian rainforest and are asking College students and staff to help by buying up parts of the land. The area they are trying to preserve is home to some of South America’s most impressive species, including the howler monkey and jaguar. The forest also contains more than 1,600 species of birds and 4,000 species of orchids.
The World Land Trust has calculated the price per acre of rainforest is £50 – which means the total amount needed to save 135 acres is £6,750. Ashley and Anna say if all the 8,000 students at the College donated just £1 the target would be reached in no time. Anyone donating more than £10 will receive a certificate.
Ashley said, “These rainforests are irreplaceable so once they’re gone they’ll be lost forever. We thought this idea would be a great way for Royal Holloway students and staff to make a measurable contribution. With this scheme you actually buy part of the rainforest, which will be identifiable on a map, and contribute to something that will be valued for years to come.”
Since 1989, the World Land Trust has helped save 400,000 acres of rainforest through raising money and donating it to nature reserves.
John Burton, CEO of the World Land Trust, said: “World Land Trust congratulates Royal Holloway on its initiative to save an area of tropical rainforest in Ecuador equal to the size of the Royal Holloway campus. World Land Trust is saving real acres in real places, permanently, and this donation will go towards protecting an area of high species biodiversity that would otherwise have been lost.”
To make a donation or to find out more visit: http://www.royalhollowayrainforest.com