Synchronicity Earth

Synchronicity Earth is a charitable foundation with an ambitious vision: a sustainable planet that values the interconnectivity and interdependence of all living things.

Our Blog

Leaping to the rescue: million dollar fund for frogs

As a founding partner of the Amphibian Survival Alliance (ASA), the world’s largest partnership for amphibian conservation, we are thrilled to announce a bold new step in the quest to save amphibians. Together with Rainforest Trust, Global Wildlife Conservation and the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation, the ASA has announced a million dollar fund – called the Leapfrog Conservation Fund – to strategically protect and manage key habitats for frogs, salamanders, caecilians and many other species over the coming year. This…

Mapping for Rights in the Congo Basin

Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) recently launched Mapping for Rights, a web-based tool developed to improve forest governance in the Congo Basin. What is it? Mapping for Rights provides geographical information on the presence of indigenous peoples and other forest communities in the Congo Basin; it maps their rights and their use of forests. It also houses information on other forest uses such as logging and palm oil concessions, REDD+* projects, mining and gas permits, infrastructure projects and protected areas. It…

Losing the battle but winning the war?

On Tuesday 10 December, the European Parliament voted narrowly (by 326 to 342) against a proposal to phase-out deep-sea bottom trawl and gillnet fishing in the North East Atlantic. Since then, 20 MEPs have corrected their vote (the new tally is 343 to 330): the majority of Parliament – in effect – voted for a phase-out, but obscure procedures meant that they registered the incorrect vote. In a Kafkaesque twist, revisions to the count will not be reflected in the…

The need for more transparency

I have just watched the end of an Alliance Breakfast meeting about next gen donors, which was held in London last week. I was inspired to hear people talk about the need for transparency in the world of social change. There seems to be a veil of secrecy over the spending behaviours of people and over the work done by NGOs. The funny thing is, though, that if individual donors were more open about what they did fund, they may…

Conservation problems, and how the sector creates them

Imagine being a highly skilled Executive Director who has to write proposals for funding. While you’d like to stay true to your mission (to save corals), donors are more interested in saving the whale, so you explain why reefs are important for cetaceans and apply for the limited amount of money available. All the while, you know you have only a slim chance of success. Applying for a grant could be a waste of time. But funds are running out…

BirdLife International

Following on from our blog that introduced our latest partners and projects, we are pleased to provide details about another of our recently funded forest projects. Synchronicity Earth is supporting BirdLife for its work in São Tomé and Principe to protect important forest habitat and its biodiversity from a proposed palm oil plantation. Click here to find out more about the project. Tweet São Tomé Grosbeak, São Tomé (Credit: Martim Pinheiro de Melo, Birdlife International)

UK petition to stop French deep-sea trawlers destroying UK marine habitats

This week, we've launched our first ever official e-Petition to ask the UK parliament to take a strong position against French deep-sea trawlers ravaging UK deep-sea ecosystems. My last blog on the subject highlighted the obstacles to establishing EU policy banning destructive fishing practices that are ravaging our precious marine habitats. The European Parliament is set to discuss the issue at a plenary on 10th December. Strong member state action is needed to ensure that these destructive practices are discontinued.…

The saola lives on……

The beautiful, little known and Critically Endangered species – the saola, was captured on camera earlier this month for the first time in almost 15 years. The species was not discovered by scientists until 1992 and has since become known as the Asian Unicorn due to its mystical and elusive nature and its two long parallel horns, giving it the appearance of an antelope, despite being a bovine. Saola (Credit: Bill Robichaud) There is hope that this photo (snapped using…

Dyanmique des Groupes des Peuples Autochtones

Following on from our blog that introduced our latest partners and projects, we are pleased to provide details about another of our recently funded forest projects. Synchronicity Earth is funding the Dyanmique des Groupes des Peuples Autochtones (DGPA) to develop advocacy tools that highlight the link between protecting cultural heritage and improved forest conservation through the use of participatory video. Click here to find out more about the project. More to follow so watch this space for details on our…

Greasing palms: tales of corruption in the forestry sector

Indonesia’s 2010 moratorium on logging and new plantations within primary forests and peatlands is often held up as a symbol of hope for tropical forest conservation. In reality, it has been poorly observed and is therefore, largely ineffective: figures produced by Human Rights Watch suggest that illegal logging – costing the country an estimated 2 billion USD in 2011 alone – continues apace, with off-the-books deals devastating the country’s coffers, its forests and the lives of the species (including the…

Political intransigence and the deep sea

Yesterday (Nov 4th) the Fisheries Committee of the EU rejected a proposal from the European Commission to phase out deep-sea bottom-trawling in the northeast Atlantic. This activity accounts for just over one per cent of the total catch in the region and experts believe that without government subsidies, the practice would be unviable. Despite being an unsound business practice, it is still carried out by a small number of fishing vessels in EU waters. Its impacts are vast – effectively…

Ocean Governance and Nature and the New Economy; Global Economic Symposium, Part II

In my previous blog on the Global Economic Symposium in Kiel, I described my happy surprise at hearing ideas about compassion, altruism and cooperation take centre stage in discussions between bank CEOs, academics and corporate leaders. The Governing the World’s Oceans panel began with a similarly incongruous (yet important) question: “Do you think the world considers the ocean when talking about economics?” The panel was made up of five, predominantly marine-focused, people: Jose Maria Figueres, President, Carbon War Room; Former…

Winter Newsletter

Since our last newsletter we have been busy working on expanding our network of partnerships and we are very pleased to have formed new and exciting alliances. To find out more about our new projects and partners please take a look at our portofolio pages. Following on from the success of our fundraising event 'Evolutionary Distinct' for the Zoological Society of London's EDGE of Existence programme we have held several intimate salons allowing guests to engage further on a specific…

What on Earth

On Saturday 26th October, Synchronicity Earth hosted a magical evening at London’s Whitechapel Gallery. Called “What on Earth?” the event created a space for guests to consider what we’re doing to our planet and how we can change. The evening began with a stunning and arresting visual narrative by Mattias Klum, award-winning National Geographic photographer and film-maker, and Johan Rockström, Executive Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre. Their beautiful presentation warned of the implications of crossing nine scientifically established ‘planetary…

Posters at Dawn

Synchronicity Earth's partner – BLOOM association – has launched a spectacular campaign in France to raise public awareness of the destruction caused by deep-sea fishing. Their stunning visuals are now prominently displayed in Gare du Nord, Paris and aim to increase concern about the fate of precious deep-sea ecosystems, which are threatened by destructive bottom trawling practices. French and Spanish MEPs are the leading opponents of the legislative proposal by the European Commission to phase-out bottom trawl fishing and establish…

Wildlife Comeback in Europe

The Zoological Society of London, Birdlife International and the European Bird Census Council have recently launched a new report, commissioned by Rewilding Europe, about the recovery of selected mammal and bird species in Europe. The report - Wildlife comeback in Europe, focuses on the positive changes wildlife conservation activities have had in the past 50 years. While biodiversity is declining globally, this report highlights how 37 European mammal and bird species have increased in numbers in the past 50 years.…

International Day of the Girl

Friday 11th October 2013 marked the second International Day of the Girl – a day for listening to the voices of 250 million adolescent girls living in poverty around the world. This year’s theme was “Innovating for Girls’ Education” Over the last nine months, the Nike Foundation and Girl Effect partners have spoken to over 500 girls across the world about their hopes for the future. These girls' voices have made up the GIRL DECLARATION - a call to action…

World Bank and IMF Annual Meeting 2013

What will it mean for the environment and the world’s poorest? The five-day World Bank annual meeting kicked off yesterday in Washington DC to discuss important worldwide matters, ranging from the economy and climate change to poverty and conversely -prosperity. The annual meeting brings together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, as well as private sector executives, academics and scientists. Many development and conservation agencies will also have a presence this week in Washington, along with civil society groups…

How safe are Protected Areas?

Protected Areas are sites set aside to protect particular places, ecosystems, species or cultures. Given their association with human displacements and related ecological and humanitarian impacts within and beyond their borders, critiques of Protected Areas are not new. Their conservation effectiveness is widely questioned, particularly in terms of their ability to prevent deforestation and protect important biodiversity. Their efficacy is now being further challenged by the rapidly increasing spread of industrial activities, such as oil exploration and agri-business, within their…

Thoughts from Kiel

The last words I expected to hear at the Global Economic Symposium in Kiel, Germany were compassion, altruism and cooperation. Given the symposium's make up - CEOs from the biggest banks in the world, corporate leaders, academics from all disciplines, philosophers, leading world religious thinkers and multilateral organisations - I expected the concept of inclusivity to be hoped for when debating the main theme, redefining success, but I didn't hold out much hope that this concept would get much air-time.…

Joint statement of NGOs on the arrest of Virunga Park Ranger, Rodrigue Katembo Mugaruka

We are pleased to report that Rodrigue Mugaruka was released on 7th October 2013, after 17 days’ imprisonment. He was not charged. For more information click here. Press Release - 2nd October 2013 Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) - On Thursday, 19th September, Rodrigue Katembo Mugaruka a warden in Virunga National Park and recipient of the Abraham Conservation Award was arrested by Congolese security forces and taken to Goma. We, the undersigned, are extremely concerned about the ranger's well-being and…

Deep Sea Conservation Coalition

Following on from our blog that introduced our latest partners and projects, we are pleased to provide details about another of our recently funded ocean projects. Synchronicity Earth is funding the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition to advocate for strong European and international legislation to protect the deep sea. Click here to find out more about the project. More to follow so watch this space for details on our other new partners and projects. Tweet

International Crane Foundation

Following on from our blog that introduced our latest partners and projects, we are pleased to provide details about another of our recently funded freshwater projects. Synchronicity Earth is supporting the International Crane Foundation (ICF) in its work to restore the Zambezi river basin and improve existing large dams for biodiversity and people. Click here to find out more about the project. More to follow so watch this space for details on our other new partners and projects. Tweet

Economic growth and biodiversity: the true costs

This month’s edition of The Economist magazine contains a 14-page special feature on the relationship between economic growth and biodiversity. It describes an environmental Kuznets curve, whereby ecological conditions worsen in the early stages of development but improve after a certain level of prosperity has been reached – by which time people and nation-states have the technical means to satisfy their needs, and therefore the luxury of being able to think about matters beyond their immediate survival. Unfortunately, there is…

Wildlife Conservation Society

Following on from our blog that introduced our latest partners and projects, we are pleased to provide details about another of our recently funded ocean projects. Synchronicity Earth is supporting the Wildlife Conservation Society to empower Kenyan communities in sustainably managing their fisheries and protecting coral reefs. Click here to find out more about the project. More to follow so watch this space for details on our other new partners and projects. Tweet

IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Unit

Following on from our blog that introduced our latest partners and projects, we are pleased to provide details about another of our recently funded freshwater projects. Synchronicity Earth is providing core funding to the Freshwater Biodiversity Unit of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and collaborating to raise the profile of the world’s freshwater biodiversity crisis – about which many environmental organisations and donors are seemingly unaware. Click here to find out more about the project. More…

The UN, the High Seas, and an agreement to (perhaps) develop policy

Last Friday, the world's governments resolved to look into the possibility of developing a legal agreement to protect the high seas - the 75% of the ocean that lie beyond national jurisdiction. So far so good - except that the meeting giving rise to this resolution was held behind closed doors, excluding civil society bodies and pointing to a worrying lack of transparency. Their exclusion might not have been so ominous were it not for the fact that the same…

Oceans Initiative

Following on from our blog that introduced our latest partners and projects, we are pleased to provide details about one of our most recently funded ocean projects. Synchronicity Earth is supporting Oceans Initiative to develop a cost-effective and scalable tool to estimate marine mammal abundance, helping to reduce the threat from fisheries bycatch. Click here to find out more about the project. More to follow so watch this space for details on our other new partners and projects. Tweet Gray…

Land grabs Papua New Guinea

Traditionally, around 95% of land in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has been held under customary tenure and it has been illegal for foreign companies to make deals on this land. However, between 2003 and 2011, 72 Special Agricultural and Business Leases (SABLs) covering 5.1million hectares of customary land (11% of PNG's total land area) were granted to unrepresentative landholders and subsequently subleased to foreign owned companies for up to 99 years. These massive land grabs threaten important, biodiverse forest and…

Living Rivers Siam

Following on from our blog that introduced our latest partners and projects, we are pleased to provide details about one of our most recently funded freshwater projects. Synchronicity Earth is supporting Living Rivers Siam to mobilise Thai communities and organisations to campaign against the most damaging and unwanted dams in the highly biodiverse Mekong region. Click here to find out more about the project. More to follow so watch this space for details on our other new partners and projects.…

Addicted to fossil fuel

Following the discovery of a 7.2bn (USD) oil reserve in the Yasuni national park in 2007, the Ecuadorian government came up with a plan to preserve one of the world’s most biodiverse forests. If the world’s richest nations would provide revenues at half of the reserve’s estimated value, then the oil would be kept underground. Last week, the government announced that it would start drilling: the plan had failed. Ecuador is one of only a handful of OPEC members that…

Whitley Fund for Nature – Call for applications for the Whitley Awards 2014

We recently blogged about the Whitley Award Winners 2013. The application period for the Whitley Awards 2014 is now open – the deadline for applications is 31st October 2013. Please visit www.whitleyaward.org to download an application form and find guidance on how to apply, as well as full eligibility criteria. The Awards will be presented by WFN Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, at the annual Whitley Awards Ceremony in May 2014 and successful applicants will receive funding in June 2014.…

One Reef

Following on from our blog that introduced our latest partners and projects, we are pleased to provide details about one of our most recently funded ocean projects. Synchronicity Earth is supporting One Reef to scale up coral reef protection across Micronesia, while providing long-term sustainable livelihoods to Pacific Islanders. Click here to find out more about the project. More to follow on Wednesday so watch this space for details on our other new partners and projects. Reef in Chuuk State,…

SDI Response to Recent Smear Campaign

Sustainable Development Institute (SDI), Liberia has been subject to a smear campaign in the national media following the release of a report and fact sheet about the social and environmental impact of Sime Derby's palm oil operations in Liberia. Today, it issued a press release, outlining the role of particular government officials in spearheading the disinformation campaign, and highlighting the work that SDI is doing to ensure that communities are properly represented in decisions about their land. Click here to…

Philanthropic Effectiveness Revisited

It’s always affirming to find a book or essay that expresses with clarity the ideas you’re grappling with, as does Peter Buffet’s recent article about charity in the NY Times. Photo: The New York Times Company 2013 Experience has shaped his ideas about philanthropy’s purpose and sharpened his insights into the misguided notions that block its effectiveness. His essay deserves reading in its entirety, but a few gems are worth sharing. They are – hopefully not too badly – paraphrased…

Press Release on the sustainable management of natural resources in Virunga National Park, DRC

Yesterday, one of our partners (Reseau Cref), along with other civil society organisations working in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), released this press release (click here for the English translation). It alleges that SOCO International's "local engagement program" is increasingly associated with human rights abuses, and calls for their immediate cessation. SOCO International (a British oil company) is undertaking oil exploration near and within Virunga National Park - a UNESCO World Heritage Site: local communities - and particularly those…

Forest Peoples Programme

Since our initial round of funding early this year, we have been carrying out further in-depth research on four of our portfolios – freshwater, tropical forests, oceans and species. Through this we have been able to extend our geograpichal coverage, scale-up support for exisiting partners and forge new relationships with on the ground environmental organisations. By tackling key focal areas in each of our portfolios we hope to slowly build an interconnecting web of projects and relationships, that together will…

Knowing when to leave a party…

Come rain or shine, festivals are a mainstay of the British summer. There are so many that people of all persuasions can find one that suits – that is, if they are not put off by the idea of tents and portable latrines. True, there is a ‘hippy’ vibe to many festivals, but the majority of people who attend are as conventional as they come: festivals are their opportunity to lose the tie, relax and tune in to a different…

Will Congo’s Poor Benefit from World’s Largest Dam Project? Part Three

By Rudo Sanyanga In the spirit of engaging with our partners please see below a blog by Rudo Sanyanga. Rudo is the Africa Program Director at International Rivers, one of our partners within our freshwater portfolio. This is the final of three blogs by Rudo that looks back on a scoping trip that was undertaken as part of the project we are supporting – Protecting the Congo River. Part One and Part Two of this blog can be viewed by…

Will Congo’s Poor Benefit from World’s Largest Dam Project? Part Two

By Rudo Sanyanga In the spirit of engaging with our partners please see below a blog by Rudo Sanyanga. Rudo is the Africa Program Director at International Rivers, one of our partners within our freshwater portfolio. This is the second of three blogs by Rudo that looks back on a scoping trip that was undertaken as part of the project we are supporting – Protecting the Congo River. Part One of this blog can be viewed here. Visiting dams and…

Will Congo’s Poor Benefit from World’s Largest Dam Project? Part One

By Rudo Sanyanga In the spirit of engaging with our partners please see below a blog by Rudo Sanyanga. Rudo is the Africa Program Director at International Rivers, one of our partners within our freshwater portfolio. The blog which will be in three parts looks back on a scoping trip that was undertaken as part of the project we are supporting – Protecting the Congo River. Africa’s poorest nation, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), plans to build the world’s…

Food Choices - Part Two

Following on from Food Choices - Part One, I continue to discuss the pressures placed on natural resources by meat production, specifically on water and its inhabitants. Water: In addition to direct impacts of land clearance and farming methods on freshwater ecosystems, including pollution and siltation; meat production requires huge amounts of water input -it takes much more water to produce any animal product than crop products with equivalent nutritional value. Beef and dairy cattle are estimated to contribute to…

Patrons of Nature

On 25 June 2013, Adam and I attended the second meeting of the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) Patrons of Nature, graciously hosted by HSH Prince Albert II in the Prince’s Palace of Monaco. As individuals coming together as Patrons of Nature our primary objective is to help take the aims and mission of the IUCN a bit further, whether through visibility, links to other networks, raising funds or raising awareness. The IUCN has a unique structure…

Food Choices - Part One

A couple of weeks ago I started a blog about vegetarian week, and now, I am continuing on my journey of exploration about what we really should eat and the reasons behind food choices! What is a vegetarian? Being a vegetarian, as you may know, means not eating meat (yes, that includes poultry) and fish. Take it a step further and you can be classed as a vegan – not consuming any animal products including dairy and eggs and not…

A conversation with Dr Sylvia Earle and Dr Heather Koldewey

Last Wednesday Synchronicity Earth and Project Ocean joined forces to host a lunch at Selfridges for members of the Environmental Funders Network (EFN), featuring a conversation between Sylvia Earle and Heather Koldewey. Sylvia Earle is regarded as a legend in the marine world with Time Magazine naming her their first ‘Hero for the Planet’. Sylvia was chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and has since set up Mission Blue (a global initiative formed in response to…

Vegetarian Week

Two weeks ago it was Vegetarian Week. It is true that there are enough designated awareness weeks of the year to mean it probably went unnoticed by most. But why should there be a vegetarian week or, for that matter, lifestyle? The aim of Vegetarian week is to highlight how easy it is to eat vegetarian and how delicious the food can be. No more are vegetarians stuck with a boring salad or nut roast, rather they are presented (in…

And the thought on everyone’s mind is… FOOD!

Today is World Environment Day and the theme for this year is ‘THINK before you EAT and help SAVE our environment’ – THINK.EAT.SAVE. Think.Eat.Save is an anti-food waste campaign. It encourages people to think about the environmental impact of their food choices, as well as providing information to help people make informed decisions about where their food comes from. According to the FAO 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year – this is equal to the total amount…

New Environmental Jerusalem

Recently, I attended the launch of a report on the State of Nature in the UK and its Overseas Territories – the result of a research and monitoring partnership between 25 UK-based conservation organisations. Sir David Attenborough introduced the report: his speech echoed my husband - Adam’s - belief that London is the New Jerusalem. Why? In part, because the UK has a long-standing ethical core that values nature. It is not willing to live without it. Nature is a…

Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered species map

We have long supported and admired the work of the Zoological Society of London’s Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) programme. We hosted an event last year that led to increased financial support for the programme and more protection of the magnificent EDGE creatures. The EDGE team has now produced a map of the world’s most threatened and unique species to show where EDGE species occur in greatest densities and thus where conservation should be prioritised. You can view the…

Partner news: MSC standards “too lenient” say Bloom Association and others

A recent study conducted by marine experts including Synchronicity Earth partner, Claire Nouvian, shows that Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standards are falling. The study was published in the hope that MSC 'will take criticism as an incentive to improve standards and processes’. MSC is the world’s leading eco-label scheme for marine fisheries, created in 1997 to improve their sustainability and provide opportunities for consumers to source environmentally responsible products. In the fifteen years since its formation, 200 fisheries have been…

Synchronicity Earth event: The Future of Africa’s Forests

Following the success of two previous such gatherings at our trustees’ home, we hosted a salon on the Future of Africa’s Forests last Tuesday evening. Simon Counsell, Director of Rainforest Foundation UK provided an excellent overview of threats to forests and their inhabitants in the Congo Basin – particularly as the palm oil companies that were once responsible for widespread deforestation and biodiversity-loss in Malaysia and Indonesia are beginning to operate there. Silas Siakor, a campaigner from Sustainable Development Institute…

The World’s Biggest Dam

Just a few days ago the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) announced that work is to commence on the biggest dam in the world in 2015. The Grand Inga dam proposed for the highly diverse Congo River will be the biggest dam ever built and is expected to cause major problems to local people, wildlife and even the Atlantic Ocean. The World Bank recently upped its interest in large dam developments in Africa and World Bank…

Dive deeper, aim higher, fly further!

By Olivia Taylor In the spirit of engaging young people who are involved in conservation, please see below a third blog from Olivia Taylor who is giving her own perspective on shark conservation in South Africa. The first time you see a shark in open water and all you have on is a skimpy costume, diving fins and a mask, it feels as though your heart has literally stopped beating. But after the initial shock has worn off you start…

Whitley Award Winners

The Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) is a UK registered charity offering awards and grants to outstanding nature conservationists around the world. Similarly to the Goldman Environmental Prize that we wrote about last week, the Whitley Awards are granted to exceptional individuals doing conservation across the globe. This year WFN granted one Gold Award to Çağan Şekercioğlu for his work initiating community-based conservation, ecological restoration and ecotourism in Turkey. Çağan previously won a joint Whitley gold Award in 2008 and…

The Goldman Environmental Prize

In April 2013, the winners of the Goldman Prize for Environmental Excellence were announced. Awards were granted to six activists from around the world doing amazing work to protect their environment and the people that depend on it. Winners included: Jonathan Deal from South Africa, who led a successful campaign against fracking in South Africa to protect the Karoo, a semi-desert region important for its agriculture, beauty and wildlife Azzam Alwash from Iraq, who returned from living in the US…

Earth Day

Today is the 43rd annual Earth Day. Across the globe, over 1 billion people in 192 countries will be participating. Last year some of the efforts included: • In Iraq 5 million trees were planted • In Sultanate, Oman every school (7000+) was called upon to take part in environmental actions • In Madhya Pradesh, India free energy efficient solar lamps were given out to villagers • In Sao Paulo, Brazil hundreds of skateboarders took to the streets to promote…

The English national curriculum and nature: a plea for better environmental literacy

This weekend, the Sunday Times published a letter calling for more and better education about nature in English schools. It was signed by our marine advisor, Prof. Alex Rogers, alongside 89 signatories (including Sir David Attenborough, George Monbiot, Barry Gardiner MP, and Baroness Young of Old Scone) and argued that teaching about the natural environment is more critical than ever due to ongoing and inexorable habitat destruction, worldwide. It made the point, too, that children benefit from spending time in…

The Bird and the Bee

By Henry Ficklin In the spirit of engaging young people who are involved in conservation, please see below a second blog from Henry Ficklin, aged 10, who is giving his own perspective on the New Zealand kakapo and bees. You can find Henry's first blog on why conservation is important here. The kakapo is a large nocturnal parrot that lives on the ground and cannot fly. It has yellow and green feathers, except around the head where it is grey,…

Conservation and Land Grabbing: Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?

As part of our work to map out urgent threats facing freshwater and tropical forest ecosystems, Gemma and I attended a conference on land grabbing at the end of March at London Zoo, along with around 80 other participants. The 2013 Poverty and Conservation Learning Group (PCLG) Symposium "Conservation and Land Grabbing: Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?" was organised jointly by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the International Land Coalition (ILC), the Zoological…

What an action packed 6 months!

Six months ago we held a one of a kind event at London Zoo in aid of the Zoological Society of London’s (ZSL) EDGE of Existence programme and the unique and endangered species it works to conserve. We had penguins and champagne, llamas and cocktails and a bicycle rickshaw ride around the zoo. A lot has happened in the six months since the event- over £80,000 was raised from the event with the majority of this going to support EDGE’s…

The overwhelming economic case for protecting our seas

By Alasdair Harris In the spirit of engaging with our partners please see below a blog by Alasdair Harris. Alasdair is the Research Director of Blue Ventures, one of our partners within our oceans portfolio. Easter weekend saw the end of the UK government’s 3-month public consultation on the designation of new marine conservation areas around the coasts of England and Wales. As a nation we have a lamentable track record in marine conservation, and currently protect just 5 sq…

CITES CoP 16 – a step in the right direction in preventing the trade of endangered species

The recent meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP 16) for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has been hailed, by some, as the most successful CITES CoP in decades. The previous CITES CoP, held in 2010, is well remembered for its failure to list any of the proposed six deserving marine species. During the CoP, the most well-known and threatened of these species – the Atlantic Bluefin tuna – was…

Réseau CREF

We are very excited to provide details for the last of our recently funded projects. Synchronicity Earth is supporting Réseau CREF (Le Réseau pour la Conservation et la Réhabilitation des Ecosystèmes Forestiers / Network for the Conservation and Restoration of Forest Ecosystems) to develop and support community forestry initiatives in the Beni-Lubero Region, North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo. Click here to read more. To see any of our current projects please vist our Portfolio and Project Pages.  Tweet

Risk of Extinction for the World’s Reptiles

A study has been carried out estimating, for the first time, the global extinction risk of reptiles by using a short-cut method by sampling 1,500 species (16% of all known reptile species). This study included lizards, snakes, turtles/ tortoises, amphisbaenians (“worm lizards”) and crocodiles. While, overall reptiles are less threatened than amphibians (the most highly threatened group), they are nevertheless experiencing a worrying level of threat with an estimated 19% of reptiles at risk of extinction. Localised extinction risks for…

Rhino poaching and conservation, South Africa

By Quinton Paul Josop In the spirit of engaging young people who are involved in conservation, please see below a second blog from Quinton Paul Jesop who is giving his own perspective on Rhino poaching in Africa. In South Africa we are currently faced with the problems of rhinos being killed for their horns and The Bush Meat Trade (killing of wild animals for meat). Poaching and The Bush Meat Trade have been happening in Africa for a very long…

Why Conservation?

By Quinton Paul Josop My name is Quinton Paul Josop. I'm currently in my second year studying advanced nature guiding and conservation in northern KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. I have a keen interest in the natural world, especially birds, trees, mammals, insects, flowers and the marine environment. I'm also inspired by people that promote conservation and see why it is so important to save and protect our wildlife. This year I finish my studies and will hopefully be doing work…

Olivia the Bearded Vulture: Not everything goes well in conservation…

By Olivia Taylor The Bearded Vulture is dying out in Southern Africa. One day, all we will have are photographs to remind us of the amazing creatures that once flew in our skies. Regrets and the further erosion of our environment is highly unnecessary. There are less than 100 bearded vulture nesting pairs left. The Ezemvelo Bearded Vulture Project commenced in 2000 to ensure the well-being and conservation of bearded vultures in Southern Africa by tracking these beautiful birds and…

Time to Celebrate - International Rivers Recognised for Exceptional Creativity and Effectiveness

One of our freshwater project partners, International Rivers, is one of only 13 organisations (and only two environmental groups) to be awarded the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. This award recognises the excellent work of International Rivers in protecting important rivers from the damaging impacts of large-scale dams. This award is designed as an investment in International Rivers’ long term effectiveness and will help them build their capacity by building their operating reserve, boosting their communications and fundraising…

BLOOM Association reveals public subsidy of French overfishing

Synchronicity Earth partner BLOOM Association published a report last week looking into the accounts of Scapêche, France’s largest deep-sea fishing fleet. Scapêche is owned by Intermarché, a large supermarket chain. Bloom’s analysis shows that Scapêche had €19 million (£16.4m) in recurring losses from 2002 to 2011, despite receiving nearly €10 million in French and EU subsidies and €20 million in debt write-offs. Claire Nouvian, Bloom’s founder, said that ‘Scapêche’s accounts reveal a cynical view of “fishing” which is no longer…

Capturing Photos, Hearts and Minds in Haiti

By Robin Moore The Co-Founder and Creative Director of Frame of Mind, as well as a powerful voice in amphibian conservation and a skilled wildlife photographer. Few places reflect the mirrored fortunes of the environment and people as poignantly as Haiti, where thin topsoil washes into the ocean in dirty red plumes from hillsides once cloaked in verdant forest. But protecting the last forest remnants in a country teetering on the brink of ecological collapse is beyond challenging when people…

Rainforest Foundation UK publishes report on commercial palm oil expansion in the Congo Basin

Rainforest Foundation UK has published a report about the worrying expansion of commercial palm oil plantations throughout the world’s second largest rainforest, the Congo Basin. “Seeds of Destruction” identifies half a million hectares of industrial oil palm projects that are getting underway in the Congo Basin rainforest, much of which is driven by the companies who have already destroyed forests in Malaysia and Indonesia for palm oil. Whilst concessions in Liberia and parts of Cameroon have received national and international…

TFT

We're pleased to provide details about the tenth of 12 recently funded projects. Synchronicity Earth is supporting TFT (formerly the Tropical Forest Trust) to provide core support for the Centre for Social Excellence in Cameroon. Click here to read more. More to follow on Wednesday so watch this space for details on our other funded projects and new partners.

Major Breakthrough in Protection for Indonesia’s Remaining Rainforests

Synchronicity Earth has partnered with Greenpeace in the past and we wanted to share with you this exciting press release from earlier this month: Jakarta, Indonesia, 5 February 2013 - Greenpeace hailed today’s commitment from Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) to end deforestation as a major breakthrough in efforts to save Indonesia’s rainforests, after a decade of public pressure and recent negotiations with Greenpeace. APP, one of the world’s largest producers of paper and packaging, has published a new ‘Forest…

BLOOM Association

We're pleased to provide details about the ninth of 12 recently funded projects. Synchronicity Earth is supporting BLOOM Association in its campaign to end deep-sea bottom trawling in Europe. Click here to read more. More to follow on Monday so watch this space for details on our other funded projects and new partners.

Meet our new Youth Advisor

We have a new youth advisor, Olivia Taylor. She started up Four Elements Conservation.  To read more about Olivia click here or watch this video.  

Sustainable Development Institute, Liberia

We're pleased to provide details about the eighth of 12 recently funded projects. Synchronicity Earth is supporting the Sustainable Development Institute, Liberia and its work to address commercial palm oil expansion which is threatening important forests and the livelihoods that depend on them. Click here to read more. Also for those of you who are interested we have added some project updates following the recent confrence Synchronicity Earth helped to support. More to follow on Wednesday so watch this space…

MEP’s say ‘Yes’ to fixing Europe’s fisheries

MEPs yesterday voted overwhelmingly to reform the Common Fisheries Policy. The reforms – which aim to end overfishing by 2015 and restore fish populations by 2020 – were adopted in the European Parliament by 502 votes in favour to 137 against. The CFP reform includes a number of key measures: stocks must be fished at sustainable levels; a discard ban will be phased in; Member States can stop fishing in protected sites; and access to information will be improved. Environmental…

Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust

We're pleased to provide details about the seventh of 12 recently funded projects. Synchronicity Earth is supporting the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in its collaborative effort to bring the Critically Endangered Madagascan pochard back from the brink of extinction. Click here to read more. More to follow on Monday so watch this space for details on our other funded projects and new partners. Tweet

Environmental Justice Foundation

We're pleased to provide details about the sixth of 12 recently funded projects. Synchronicity Earth is supporting the Environmental Justice Foundation and its programme to combat illegal fishing in West Africa by supporting community surviellence. Click here to read more. More to follow on Wednesday so watch this space for details on our other funded projects and new partners.   (Photo: Environmental Justice Foundation) Tweet

Wetlands International

We're pleased to provide details about the fifth of 12 recently funded projects. Synchronicity Earth is supporting Wetlands International to carry out a user needs assessment. This initiative is the first stage of a much bigger project, currently known as the Global Wetlands Observation System (GWOS). Click here to read more. More to follow on Monday so watch this space for details on our other funded projects and new partners. Tweet

The Mekong’s First Mainstream Dam Project Pushes Ahead

Laos and its Thai investors (as well as the majority power purchasers) are pushing ahead with the $3.5 billion Xayaburi Dam, despite significant resistance from Vietnam and Cambodia, as well as international concern for the Mekong’s main channel. Many fear that the dam will significantly impact downstream fisheries and agriculture, threatening livelihoods and causing species demise. It is estimated that this dam alone could stop up to 100 fish species from migrating and likely damage, amongst others, the already Critically…

Looking back at projects

As our support for the Senior Policy Advisor post at The London Zoological Society (ZSL) comes to an end, we look back at how supporting this position has helped conservation. Katherine Secoy successfully secured her position at ZSL as the Senior Policy Advisor in Jan 2012 and has since made significant progress on ZSL’s policy impacts and their fundraising targets. Katherine has worked hard to raise the profile of ZSL through attendance at various conferences (including Rio+20, the World Conservation…

Blue Ventures

We're pleased to provide details about the fourth of 12 recently funded projects. Synchronicity Earth is supporting Blue Venture and its programme to develop and scale innovative models for marine conservation within the poorest tropical coastal communities. Click here to read more. More to follow on Friday so watch this space for details on our other funded projects and new partners. Tweet (Photo: Blue Ventures)

International Rivers

We're pleased to provide details about the third of 12 recently funded projects. Synchronicity Earth is supporting International Rivers and its programme to protect the Congo River, focussing on the Inga Dams and Congo’s Energy Divide. Click here to read more. More to follow on Wednesday so watch this space for details on our other funded projects and new partners. Tweet

Bank Information Center

We're pleased to provide details about the second of 12 recently funded projects. Synchronicity Earth is supporting the Bank Information Center (BIC) to carry out a detailed case study to demonstrate gaps in current policies and protections of World Bank financed infrastructure projects, such as dams. Click here to read more. Watch this space for details on our other funded projects and new partners. Tweet

Rainforest Foundation UK

We're pleased to provide details about the first of 12 recently funded projects. Synchronicity Earth is supporting Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) to investigate and raise public awareness about commercial palm oil expansion in the Congo Basin. Click here to read more. Watch this space for details on our other funded projects and new partners.   Herakles Farm palm oil concession, Cameroon (Photo: Samuel Nguiffo of Centre for Environment and Development, Cameroon)  Tweet