Africa loses more than 10 million acres of forest every year -- twice the world’s deforestation rate. Global demand for forest and extractive industry products is growing, with competition for Africa’s natural resources at an all-time high. Meanwhile population growth in Africa is faster than anywhere else, with accompanying poverty, and basic needs unmet. To be effective, forest and species conservation must address the deeply rooted human problems associated with poverty. As Jane says, “How can we even try to save the chimpanzees and forests if the people are so obviously struggling to survive?”
- We educate farmers on sustainable farming methods such as rotating crops for soil fertility and re-cropping rather than clearing forest to make new fields
- We promote the use of fuel efficient stoves that reduce the need for fuel wood by two-thirds and are made from local materials – saving time, money and trees
- We organize micro-credit programmes that allow villagers – especially women – to obtain capital for small business ventures by pooling their own money seeded by JGI funds. The payback rate is impressive – over 85 percent.
- We work with villages to improve health through training and infrastructure development, including spring protection, shallow and bore wells, and ventilated improved pit latrines
- We place a special emphasis on girls’ education, providing scholarships that have help girls in Tanzania complete secondary school and beyond.