Dame Vivienne Westwood is investing her own funds to launch a 7 million pound fundraising campaign supporting the rainforest charity Cool Earth, founded by Frank Field MP, to demonstrate how rapidly money can be deployed into rainforest programs.
The action is to expose the World Bank’s expenditure failings as a staggering 90% of funds pledged to halt deforestation remains unspent.
The campaign called – No Fun Being Extinct – will run for 18 months and is supported by fashion names such as Kate Moss, Lily Cole and Sadie Frost. The aim is to help secure three of the world’s most endangered forest.
Former Minister Frank Field founded the rainforest charity Cool Earth in 2007 as a vehicle to allow ordinary people to leapfrog governments and take immediate action in the fight against climate change by protecting rainforests. The conservation method is a ground up approach, which works with indigenous communities to make rainforest trees of greater economic value left standing than cut down.
Despite a growing number of research papers highlighting community led management as the most effective way to keep rainforest standing over traditional reserves, many communities are not receiving pledged funds.
The Climate Investment Fund dedicated $600 million (£390 million) to the Forest Investment Programme (FIP) to “tackle drivers of deforestation” with UK tax payers providing the most generous contribution – almost four years on, only $15 million (£10 million) has been spent, all of which has gone on administration and advisors.
Frank Field founded Cool Earth as a result of his utter despair at governments’ failure to solve the problem of deforestation, “The lack of action in spite of such generous funding is a real disgrace. It shows that political will is just as important as money.”
Fashion designer and environmental campaigner, Vivienne Westwood, has been working closely with Cool Earth over the last 3 years, “Cool Earth has a plan to save the rainforest. If we don’t save the rainforest forget it! I am personally supporting Cool Earth and investing in our future. I’m inviting anyone interested in saving our beautiful world to join me.”
Frank and Vivienne are calling on the government to invest in community-led forestry management, which has been proven to be the most effective way to halt deforestation. Vivienne is presenting a report to No. 10 to showing how her funds have been spent to show that an effective mechanism to halt deforestation does exist.
Cool Earth has protected over 2.5 million acres of vulnerable rainforest since its launch in 2007, which has cost just £1.75 million with less than 10% spent on administration. This is because the charity has worked from the ground-up with local communities who have a clear interest in keeping the forest standing. This works out as costing just a half of a percent of the FIP’s budget.
Vivienne will also be calling on the public to help protect trees at Cool Earth’s new website launched on November 28th called ‘No Fun Being Extinct’. Individuals can save as little as 3 trees for £3 on the website at www.nofunbeingextinct.org. Every tree makes a difference.