Ecosia – the ‘Green’ Search Engine

While we’re on the subject of the ‘new green’ are you using Ecosia – the Green Search Engine?

Ecosia donates 80% of its revenue to the protection of the rainforest. You can search either from their home page or by installing their browser plug-in to make Ecosia your default search engine.

When I first started using Ecosia it would show you how much of the rainforest you had saved with your search. This became very confusing for users. So they are now showing how much (in Euros) is being donated to the rainforest project.

From Ecosia FAQs:

Where does Ecosia save rainforest and how exactly do you do it?

Ecosia does not protect the rainforest by itself. Instead, it donates at least 80% of its income to a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) program, which aims to save the rainforest. Your Ecosia searches help to protect the tropical forest in the Brazilian Juruena national park.This national park is under the protection of the ARPA Program (Amazon Region Protected Areas), the world´s largest protection program of its kind. Several governmental and non-governmental organizations support the ARPA Program to protect 15% (60 million hectares / 230,000 square miles) of Brazilian rainforest. This objective should be fulfilled before 2016.

The Juruena region was declared a national park in 2006. With an area of 1.9 million hectares (7,336 square miles), the Juruena national park is as large as Slovenia and closes the grid of two protection belt areas, which shall preserve the Amazonas from destruction. Scientists and government representatives took part in two WWF expeditions and explored the undiscovered areas in Juruena. A management plan determined some regions for sustainable economic use, while in other areas the access will be prohibited completely. They are also developing norms of protection and have agreed to create an infrastructure for the region.

The WWF works with the local population living near the protected area with the aim of creating employment for them and to gain their support for the national park. In schools, the curriculum is environmentally oriented, and with the help of forestry workers, children and local people are learning to develop a sustainable and competitive use for the forest. With the aim of breeding cattle legally and organically, WWF also co-operates with farmers and slaughterhouses around the national park vicinity.

The population density in the area of Juruena is very low. Even before the region was declared a national park, there were already Indian reserves in the south and east. With the intention of establishing a regular exchange of views, meetings take place once a year with the Indian authorities. For example, one of the results of these meetings is the fishing rights conceded to the locals within the communal area.

Four experts from WWF Germany are in charge of the protection project. The rainforest´s main enemy remains unauthorized deforestation. Because of that, rangers must constantly watch and patrol the park, which is a huge task considering the large area of the Juruena region.

Why is it important to save rainforests?

Rainforest are the Earth’s oldest and also most important ecosystems. To protect the rainforests, is one of the major challenges of the 21st century. Some rainforest facts:

  • Rainforests are the most diverse ecosystems on the planet containing more species of plants and animals than all the earth’s other ecosystems combined – possibly as many as 30-40 million species – two-thirds of the entire world’s wildlife species.
  • Tropical Forests are the Earth’s oldest ecosystems. Fossil records show that the forests of South-East Asia have survived in their present form for at least 70 million years.
  • A single hectare of tropical rainforest may contain 200 tree species. The same area of temperate forest typically contains only 10 to 15 species.
  • Rainforests act as giant reservoirs of moisture and warmth, releasing water throughout the year as the perennial streams and rivers that support the lives of billions of people, meeting the needs of 40 per cent of the farmers in the developing countries.
  • Rainforests worldwide are home to an estimated 50 million indigenous forest peoples.
  • Tropical deforestation is the second largest cause of climate change.
  • Rainforests contain medicines – an estimated one in four of all purchases from pharmacies in countries such as Britain contain an active ingredient derived from a tropical forest species.
  • Many prescription drugs currently sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources. And while 25 per cent of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest ingredients, less than 1 per cent of tropical trees and plants have been tested by scientists.
  • The US National Cancer Institute has identified 3000 plants that are active against cancer cells. 70 per cent of these plants are found in the rainforest. Twenty-five percent of the active ingredients in today’s cancer-fighting drugs come from organisms found only in the rainforest.
  • Despite their immense importance, the rainforest are highly endangered by logging operations. Within the last 50 years more than half of the rainforests vanished. Every year a rainforest area larger than England is cut down!

(Source: www.telegraph.co.uk)

Who owns the saved rainforest?

The rainforest Ecosia saves is neither owned by Ecosia nor the WWF. The saved area is part of a national park, which strictly speaking is owned by the Brazilian state.

Is there enough rainforest to be saved?

The total size of the Amazon rainforest is about seven million km². Ecosia has only saved a very little piece of this vast area so far. As you can see on our statistics page there is still a lot of rainforest remaining to be saved by environmental projects like Ecosia.

For more information visit Ecosia.

 

©Earth Goddess Wisdom


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