Conservationists team up with Toyota to save Philippine rain forestsTags: philippines restoration funding companies
Manila, Philippines - Efforts to protect Philippine rain forests from illegal logging received a boost from a US$1.5 million (1 million) corporate donation for a reforestation project, an environmental group said Thursday.
Conservation International said its partnership with Japan's Toyota Motor Corp., which will provide the funds over the next three years, will help restore northeastern forests in an area larger than Switzerland. Plans also include offering jobs to indigenous people to prevent illegal logging.
The initiative between the corporate and environmental communities "will demonstrate how forest protection efforts benefit both biodiversity and community development," the group said in a statement.
Conservation International said deforestation is responsible for almost a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions more than double the amount from the world's cars and trucks.
It said the Philippines is one of the most threatened of the world's 34 biodiversity hotspots regions where 75 percent of the planet's most-threatened mammals, birds and amphibians live within just 2.3 percent of the earth's surface.
Those locations have already lost at least 70 percent of their vegetation, it said.
The Penablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape, which is linked with the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park on the main northern island of Luzon, includes several threatened vertebrate species, such as the Philippine crocodile, the northern Luzon shrew rat and the country's national bird, the Philippine eagle.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and environmental officials were scheduled to attend the launch of the initiative Thursday.
© International Herald Tribune (France)
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