Rainforest Preservation in Amazonian Ecuador 2000

Contact: Health & Habitat, 76 Lee Street, Mill Valley, CA 94941. Phone: (415)

383-6130, Fax: (415) 381-9214, email: healthhab@igc.org.

Organization: Health & Habitat is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization founded in 1987. Its purpose is to promote a holistic approach to life, health, and the environment, and to help achieve a healthy state of equilibrium through education, research, conservation of natural resources, and public charity. Health & Habitat has raised and distributed over $1 million in support of its projects. Sandra Ross volunteers her time as Executive Director, assisted by volunteers and one part-time assistant. Office space is provided rent free and overhead is kept to a minimum in order to direct donations more fully into charitable purposes. Dr. Edward S. Ross of the California Academy of Sciences volunteers his talents as scientific advisor, along with some of his colleagues.

Project: Rainforest Preservation in Amazonian Ecuador. Purchase of endangered rainforest in Napo Province, Amazon Basin. Health & Habitat owns 450 acres of protected rainforest, including an ecotourist lodge, together with its Ecuadorian partner, Jatun Sacha Foundation which owns another 5,000 acres. Purchase of adjacent parcels is critical as they are in danger of being logged. This will seriously degrade the existing preserves and greatly reduce the animal populations which need consistent forest canopy for survival. Rainforest cannot regenerate when it is clear-cut. There is no shade for the little trees, and the rain washes away the sparse soil. Some trees do come in, but seeds of the larger ones are brought by animals - which won't venture out from the safety of mature forest.

Strategy and Plan of Action: Health & Habitat will buy the land (adjacent to its other holdings) and register it as a preserve, thereby forbidding logging and other destruction. Jatun Sacha park guards will patrol it as needed.

Funding Already Committed: Matching funds available from a private foundation.

Crisis: Tropical rainforests once covered 14% of Earth's terrestrial surface, but due to cattle rearing, agricultural use, development projects, roads, mining, oil exploration, and extraction for timber, now only 6% remains. If destruction continues at the present rate, all of these forests will be gone by the year 2050. Demolition of rainforests would have tremendous impact on the entire planet causing climate changes (increase global warming), losses in biodiversity, and depletion of rainforest resources. It would also have a devastating effect on people who live in and near rainforests, as recently in Honduras.

Rainforests provide the sole habitat for over half the plant and animal species on Earth, making them the most biologically diverse habitats. Deforestation robs the world of countless species, many of which have not yet been discovered and identified by scientists. Each extinction represents a permanent loss in unique genetic material. By preserving rainforest, we can save at least some of the world's genetic library.

Your Help: Your donation will be added to others until there is enough to buy a whole parcel - $25,000 - $35,000. Consecutive parcels will be acquired until the boarder of the Waorani preserve is reached - about 15 miles away. Total cost about one million dollars. The larger the protected area, the better it preserves genetic material crucial to survival of equatorial rainforests. Donations of any size much needed and appreciated. You can mail your check to the above address.

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