Matthew Owen, Director, Cool Earth
At Cool Earth we are passionate about saving the Amazonian rainforest.
Our partnership with Brother has helped us protect trees as well as empower rainforest communities to secure the future of this vital ecosystem.
Brother was our first large corporate backer. Up until then we had done a great job of inspiring individuals to support us but as a brand new charity, we were still finding our feet.
Brother did lots of research into what organisation would have the biggest possible impact and after two months of deliberation chose Cool Earth. It was a huge vote of confidence.
Brother recognised our vision from the outset and has worked alongside Cool Earth for five years, which makes it our longest standing and most dependable partner. One that has proved it is forward-thinking in terms of sustainability with an environment-first approach.
Brother has put three ticks in the biggest environmental boxes. It has helped save a habitat that supports 11,000 species and kept 85 million tonnes of CO2 out of the atmosphere. Perhaps most importantly, it has helped transfer vulnerable communities into future custodians of the rainforest.
On one level, Brother has helped fund safe, clean water for the largest community we work with in Cutivireni. You might not think getting water was a problem when you get three metres of rain a year. However, with droughts in three of the past five years and rivers increasingly polluted with mining spoil and sediment from upstream, linking the village to a natural spring 12 kms away has quite literally changed lives.
Solar driers have also been funded for the cacao harvest. These are simply sheltered drying rooms for the cocao beans with transparent roofs. However, they are critical to producing the highest quality of beans with little or no mould that get twice the price achieved in 2010.
On a more far-reaching scale, our partnership with Brother has meant the ability to plan a future with local communities that ensures the rainforest is intact rather than degraded by loggers.
As a geography graduate, with a keen interest in eco service systems, it is Cool Earth’s pioneering model that I am proud of. The tropics are littered with many grand plans to ‘save the rainforest’ that ran out of steam within a couple of years. By giving local people the chance to take the initiative to protect the forest that they have depended upon for generations, we have created a genuinely sustainable solution.
When Cool Earth launched in 2007, we wanted to protect 10,000 acres of forest that was about to be cleared. We’re now up to 330,000 acres that would, without a doubt, not be standing if it wasn’t for partners like Brother.
I would personally appeal to Brother’s customers to return their used ink and toner cartridges in order to support our work.
They are not making that return to help a ‘faceless rainforest’, the impact of using Brother’s free return scheme will be felt in our projects in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon within weeks. Taking one small green decision really will make a difference.
That difference won’t just be made in the Peruvian Amazon, Brother has also started to donate towards our new project in the Hunstein Range in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
PNG is one of the most biologically diverse places in the world, with 11,000 plant, 1,200 tree, 700 bird and 445 butterfly species. Culturally it is no less staggering, with more than 700 distinct languages spoken, a third of the world’s total.
Illegal logging means the Hunstein Range is experiencing one of the most rapid rates of deforestation in PNG. With Brother’s support, we are now partnering with the four communities of Wagu, Yigai, Gahom and Bitara.
Alongside direct rainforest protection, Brother’s donations are also going towards community investments. In Bitara, for example, the community is improving the community members’ access to healthcare.
With the nearest hospital a day’s boat trip away the community is investing in their Maracinmeri, a local service that combines both traditional and modern-medicinal methods. Ensuring the post is well equipped and manned by trained members is a life-saving step for our rainforest partners.
With Brother’s continued support, we can continue to take our conservation model across the globe.