I got to respect Vivienne Westwood for her endless contribution to fashion but even more for her efforts to do her bit for our planet. Dame Vivienne has just announced that she is to invest £1 million of her own hard earned cash to support charity, Cool Earth.
The action is tohighlight World Bank’sexpenditure failings as a staggering 90% of funds pledged to halt deforestationremains unspent. The designer and environmental campaigner, coupled with Frank Field MP (founder of Cool Earth) aim to demonstrate how rapidly money can be deployed into rainforest programmes. The campaign called “No Fun Being Extinct”, (nofunbeingextinct.org) supported by fashion’s biggest names, such asKate Moss, Lily Cole and Sadie Frost will run for 18 months during which timeWestwood will aim to help Cool Earth secure three of the world’s mostendangered forest.
Former Minister, Frank Field founded the rainforest charity Cool Earth in 2007 as a vehicle to allow ordinary people to leap frog governments and take immediateaction in the fight against climate change by protecting rainforests. The conservation method is a ground up approach, which works with indigenouscommunities to make rainforest trees of greater economic value left standingthan cut down.
Despite a growing number of research papers highlighting community led management asthe most effective way to keep rainforest standing over traditional reserves,many communities are not receiving pledged funds. The Climate Investment Fund dedicated 600 million dollars(£390 million) to the Forest Investment Programme (FIP) to “tackle driversof deforestation” with UK tax payers providing the most generouscontribution – almost four years on, only 15 million dollars (£10million) has been spent, all of which has gone on administration and advisors.3 Vivienne Westwood will demonstrate how taxpayers money should bespent when it comes to saving rainforest for the benefit of the nations future.
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, “CoolEarth 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 British 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 haltdeforestation does exist.
Cool Earth has protected over 2.5 million acres of vulnerable rainforest since itslaunch 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. Vivienne will also be calling on the public to help protecttrees at Cool Earth’s new website launched on a November 28thcalled ‘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.