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

Virunga discussed in parliament

Allegations of human rights abuses and corruption, associated with SOCO International’s oil exploration in and around Virunga National Park, were discussed in the UK parliament this week. In the House of Commons on 17th December 2014, Pauline Latham MP OBE raised the Question: “Will the Secretary of State tell us what her Department has done to address the serious and well-documented allegations of bribery and violence committed by SOCO International in the Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of…

Your Century!

On 21st November, Synchronicity Earth invited over 100 12 to 18 year olds and their families to an event that marked a milestone in young peoples’ environmental leadership. Your Century! - a multi-workshop and knowledge base experience – gave participants the space to actively explore their relationship to the planet as never before through encounters with environmental activists, spoken word artists, film-makers, artists and explorers – all seeking to challenge prevailing myths and nurture a more engaged way of living.…

White-bellied heron workshop

Synchronicity Earth has organised a workshop bringing together conservationists to protect the Critically Endangered White-bellied heron. Our species portfolio lead, Gemma Goodman, is in Guwahati, India, and last night welcomed participants from across the range states of the world's second largest, but highly threatened heron: I’d like to welcome you all here to the opening of the White-bellied heron conservation-planning workshop. Thank you to all of you for being here. Many of you have come from far and wide to…

Your Century!

By Lucilla Partridge In the spirit of engaging young people who are involved in conservation, please see below a new blog from Lucilla Partridge who is giving her own perspective. On the 21st of November, Your Century! took place at the Royal Geographical Society, London. It was so much fun, and I really felt part of something. At school, not everyone feels the same way I do about Earth, but at Your Century! I felt at home. We collected special…

The Biophilia Auction

Benefitting Synchronicity Earth and the IUCN Red List, Disappearing Nature presents a diverse range of work from a selection of leading contemporary artists, wildlife conservationists and photographers, including Andy Goldsworthy, Dan Holdsworth and Marcus Coates. Each piece is connected through the artists' insights into nature and its relationship with humankind. Culminating in the Biophilia Ball, the online auction ends this Friday (21st November 2014). Click here and watch the video below for more information. Biophilia Artist Film from Synchronicity Earth…

Red List week!

This week, we are marking the 50th anniversary of the IUCN Red List – the world’s most comprehensive information-source on the global threat status of species. The Red List is the starting point for all conservation action, yet it is woefully underfunded and unappreciated. We have planned a week of activities for people of all ages to increase awareness. Most of these are happening in and around London – some further afield: all will be visible online, via event videos…

Invaluable Health Check-up for our Environment

By Peter Bosshard In the spirit of engaging with our partners please see below a blog by Peter Bosshard. Peter is the Policy Director of International Rivers. In the 1950s, thousands of Baiji river dolphins plied the waters of the Yangtze, Asia’s mightiest river. The Chinese river dolphin had evolved over 20 millions of years, and was revered as the goddess of the Yangtze. By 1994, fewer than 100 individuals remained, and by 2006, the dolphin had become extinct. A…

Your Century! and Digital Explorer

As part of our week of activities to mark the 50th anniversary of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Synchronicity Earth is hosting Your Century! - an event for 12 to 18 year olds – featuring environmental luminaries, explorers, spoken word performers, applied theatre artists, film-makers, social entrepeneurs and more. Your Century! will give participants the confidence to imagine and create a different world to the one they stand to inherit if we continue as we are… it is…

Brazil’s Tapajós River dam complex: lessons from the failures of Belo Monte

By Christian Poirier In the spirit of engaging with our partners please see below a blog by Christian Poirier. Christian is the Brazil-Europe Advocacy Director for Amazon Watch. This blog first appeared as a blog post on the Development Progress website. In the last decade, the Brazilian government has advanced an Amazon hydroelectric dam building program of unprecedented proportions. The construction of dozens of large dams is projected across the basin in the coming years, portending untold destruction to one…

Virunga Screening

On 7th October Synchronicity Earth organised a screening of ‘Virunga’ at the Electric Cinema in London in conjunction with Global Witness. Virunga, in the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC), is Africa’s oldest and most biodiverse national park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is home to Mountain Gorillas, Grauers Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Okapi and Elephants, supporting a wealth of cultural diversity, while providing homes and livelihoods for thousands of people in the region. Yet Virunga’s inhabitants are under threat from activities believed…

Personal story - Lucilla Partridge

By Lucilla Partridge In the spirit of engaging young people who are involved in conservation, please see below a new blog from Lucilla Partridge who is giving her own perspective. I have never really told anyone why I care. Some may think there is no point. That animals and our world don’t matter, but they do. It all started in year 5. When I realised that my school was serving an endangered fish: Cod. I told my parents, I researched…

Human evolution

By Lucilla Partridge In the spirit of engaging young people who are involved in conservation, please see below a new blog from Lucilla Partridge who is giving her own perspective. In the beginning, there were just innocent animals and nature. But then we came along: humans. We became smarter and smarter, and as time passed we discovered more. But look at what we have created! War. Global Warming. Animals are under threat. We are animals ourselves – the top of…

Dams will not solve all Africa’s energy problems

By Rudo Sanyanga In the spirit of engaging our partners, please see below for a blog by Rudo Sanyanga from International Rivers. A native of Zimbabwe, Rudo holds a PhD in Aquatic Systems Ecology from Stockholm University. She is the Africa Program Director of International Rivers and is based in Pretoria. This article was first published here. THE world's water experts convene in Stockholm on Thursday where King Carl Gustav will present the city's Water Prize to John Briscoe, a…

Partner updates

Over the past few months we have been updating our website with information on some of our existing and new project partners, including Nancy Sullivan and Associates in the Forest portfolio, Mangrove Action Project in the Oceans portfolio and Eradicating Ecocide in our Human Systems portfolio. We will be making more updates in the upcoming weeks so please do keep an eye on our portfolios page as we'll update the map as partners are added. If you would like more…

Shark Trust

This week is the annual ‘Shark Week’ on the Discovery Channel. First appearing in 1988, Shark Week was originally developed to raise awareness and respect for sharks. Though now many of the shows take on a fictitious style (no a 50 foot Megalodon does not exist) the promotion of sharks during this week is still valuable. Facing threats all across the globe, it is estimated that 100 million sharks are killed every year. Unfortunately very few species of shark are…

Petition on land grabs in Papua New Guinea

NGOs and local communities in PNG are collaborating to oppose the vast land-grabs currently underway on the island. In total more than 5 million hectares of land (around 11 per cent of the country) have been taken from local communities using a mechanism known as Special Agriculture and Business Leases (SABLs). As a result, forests have been destroyed and rivers degraded; human rights abuses have been reported. The PNG Government declared that it would cancel all SABLs in June 2014…

World Bank moves to undermine the rights of indigenous peoples

Earlier this week Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) and the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) (one of Synchronicity Earth’s partners) provided a statement to the World Bank highlighting the serious concerns indigenous peoples have regarding the World Bank’s proposed (leaked) new standards for projects impacting on indigenous peoples, and specifically a shocking new ‘opt-out’ clause. Read FPP and AIPP's press release below for more information. Bangkok, London, Tuesday 29 July 2014 In an unprecedented move, the World Bank will be proposing…

Massacres of indigenous forest people in the DRC

Our partner DGPA (La Dynamique des Groupes des Peuples Autochtones) is a platform representing 43 organisations, including indigenous forest peoples’ groups (as well as those working with these groups) across Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It works to strengthen the capacity of these groups to manage their forests and provides advocacy for their interests, rights and traditional practices. There are thought to be between 600,000 and 2,000,000 indigenous peoples living in the DRC. The four main groups are the Bambuti,…

Fossil Fuels

By Lucilla Partridge In the spirit of engaging young people who are involved in conservation, please see below a new blog from Lucilla Partridge who is giving her own perspective. In science, at school, we’re learning about fossil fuels and how they were formed. Fossil fuels were formed millions of years ago, but it looks like they won’t last long. Every day, people all over the world use fossil fuels. For transport, heating, and to create electricity by burning fossil…

Summer Newsletter 2014

It has been a whole 6 months since our last newsletter and much has happened in that time. We have further expanded our network of partners, strengthening the partnerships with those we already support as well as forming new alliances, particularly in our species and new human systems portfolios. To find out more about our new projects and partners please take a look at our portofolio pages. In October of last year we hosted What on Earth at the Whitechapel…

Press release: Communities protest that UK’s Equatorial Palm Oil is poised to seize land in Liberia

Synchronicity Earth supports Sustainable Development Institute for its work in Liberia to tackle large scale commercial palm oil development, which threatens forests and the biodiversity and communities that depend on them. The joint press release below – signed by Synchronicity Earth and a number of national and international partners – lends support to one particular community in Liberia, the Jogbahn Clan, who are protesting against one company’s palm oil operations. "The UK-listed company, Equatorial Palm Oil (EPO), which is threatening…

Civil Society press release: SOCO International decision to withdraw from Virunga

Since writing our blog yesterday, it has come to our attention that SOCO International is funding the ICCN delegation to the UNESCO annual session of the World Heritage committee starting in Doha on Sunday. This clearly raises further concerns about SOCO's intentions in Eastern DRC. We wrote recently about plans by the British oil company, SOCO International, to drill for oil inside and around Virunga National Park- Africa’s oldest and most biodiverse park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You…

IUCN Red List Update – More Species in Trouble

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has launched its biannual update - assessing the extinction risk of species, including newly assessed species and updates. As the world’s most comprehensive planetary health-check (now including almost 74,000 species), The IUCN Red List is used by governments, businesses and conservationists worldwide to guide their policies and inform their actions. Today's update suggests that the extinction risks to many species have grown since the last update: most disconcertingly, 90% of…

Four Elements Ocean Challenge

By Olivia Taylor In the spirit of engaging young people who are involved in conservation, please see below a new blog from Olivia Taylor who is giving her own perspective on Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. The inaugural 2014 Four Elements Ocean Challenge, an open water swim in Durban, South Africa took place in perfect conditions along Durban’s iconic beachfront on Saturday, May 3. The event saw 16 tough competitors conquer the 7 kilometre swim from Blue Lagoon to the Durban harbour’s…

Conservation Secrets

When it is necessary to withhold information for the good of a species? listen to the radio broadcast on the subject here. Monty Don talks about the conservationists dilemma, particularly in relation to rare orchids and rhinos, in this BBC radio programme. Simon Stuart, Chair of the Species Survival Commission for IUCN and Synchronicity Earth Advisor, talks about rhinos. He discusses when you must make locations of rhino populations or individuals known to the wider world so governments can take…

Disappearing Nature: Artists Supporting Life on Earth, Gallery 8, St James’s

By Chloe Courtauld As part of a programme of events throughout the year marking the IUCN’s 50th anniversary of the Red List, Synchronicity Earth, in partnership with Invisible Dust, an art and science organisation exploring the environment, co-hosted an art exhibition at the end of April at Gallery 8, St James’s entitled “Disappearing Nature”. The week long exhibition, curated by Invisible Dust’s founder and director Alice Sharp and guest curator Monica Chung, aimed to explore humankind’s relationship with nature and…

When our land is free, we’re all free

By Silas Kpanan'Ayoung Siakor and Jacinta Fay In the spirit of engaging with our partners please see below a blog by Silas Silas Kpanan'Ayoung Siakor and Jacinta Fay. Silas Kpanan'Ayoung Siakor is a campaigner on Community Rights and the founder of the Sustainable Development Institute/Friends of the Earth, Liberia. Jacinta Fay is a community worker and campaigner for the Community Rights and Corporate Governance Programme of the Sustainable Development Institute/Friends of the Earth, Liberia. Sustainable Development Institute is one of…

Palm oil

By Lucilla Partridge In the spirit of engaging young people who are involved in conservation, please see below a new blog from Lucilla Partridge who is giving her own perspective In this blog I am going to be talking how Palm Oil Plantations have a massive impact on our environment. It is not the Palm Oil itself that is the problem but the deforestation (and water pollution) caused by these Palm Oil Plantations. The forests being destroyed for Palm Oil…

The Goldman Environmental Prize 2014

Last week, the winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize 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. We are particularly pleased to see Ruth Buendía Mestoquiari from CARE (a local Peruvian group working closely with two Synchronicity Earth partners: Rainforest Foundation UK and International Rivers) win an award for her work in Peru. Ruth has worked tirelessly to unite the Asháninka people…

Violence increasing towards Environmental Human Rights Defenders

This morning I woke up to the sad news that Emmanuel de Merode, Chief Warden for Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is in hospital in a stable, but serious condition after being shot in an ambush whilst travelling from Goma to Rumungabo (where national park headquarters are based). Our thoughts go out to him and his family. This is the latest in a long line of attacks on rangers working to protect Virunga National Park…

Western Australia shark cull

By Emily Miles In the spirit of engaging young people who are involved in conservation, please see below a new blog from Emily Miles who is giving her own perspective on shark culling. On 26th January 2014, the Western Australian Government began a controversial shark-culling pilot programme. On 8th April, an application for a three-year extension was submitted to the federal government. The three-month trial period ends on 30th April 2014. It was initiated in response to growing fears for…

The Gathering Storm

Our oceans partner, Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) has released a new report 'THE GATHERING STORM: Climate Change, Security and Conflict.' This report finds that while climate change may not be the sole cause of conflict in the future, it will increasingly become one of the most important and decisive factors. In 2012 alone 31.7 million people were forced from their homes due to extreme weather events such as flooding and storms. Meanwhile earlier this week the UN Intergovernmental Panel on…

Project update!

Please check out the latest news from our freshwater partner, the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT). Since Synchronicity Earth started supporting WWT's Madagascan pochard project in 2012, the programme has come a very long way! Synchronicity Earth is proud to be funding WWT for the third time and for more information on the project please see here.  Madagascar Pochard at Lake Bemanevika (Photo: Iñaki Relanzon www.photosfera.com) Tweet

The actual costs of hydropower megaproject development

By Catherine Bryan In the spirit of engaging with others please see below a blog by Catherine Bryan. My name is Catherine, I have many years experience in the financial sector and I have always cared about and been engaged with the environment and conservation. Over the past few months, I have been working with Synchronicity Earth on a voluntary basis, exploring how we can get more information on the environmental impacts of large- scale dams considered more widely. Most…

World Water Development Report

The new World Water Development Report has recently been published. It focuses on the complex relationships and trade-offs between water and energy. It highlights the difficulties of providing the world's poor with access to clean drinking water and energy. The report discusses the impact of different forms of energy on water resources and the way in which energy commands a great many more resources than water. It highlights how market forces have a much greater impact on energy than water…

White-bellied heron

Synchronicity Earth’s species portfolio focuses on conserving forgotten and threatened species, as well as on building capacity of organisations and individuals working to save such species. Through our research, we discovered that the White-bellied heron is in a critical situation. If more conservation action and funding is not provided quickly, the species will be lost. However, simply providing money is not enough – this species requires a coordinated and collaborative response. Synchronicity Earth is working closely with local and international…

Do you ever wonder whether you can make a difference?

By Lucilla Partridge In the spirit of engaging young people who are involved in conservation, please see below a new blog from Lucilla Partridge who is giving her own perspective. Before I begin, I want to introduce myself. My name is Lucilla Partridge and I am 12 years old. I have always had a passion for the environment and endangered species; and I believe that we can make a difference if we speak up. Today I want to write about…

Harassment of Environmental Human Rights Defenders in Africa

Civil Society urges governments in the Great Lakes Region to stop harassment of Environmental Human Rights Defenders. Civil society groups in the Great Lakes Region of Africa (the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi) have released a statement urging regional bodies and national governments to enforce the laws that protect environmental human rights defenders; promote safe exploitation of natural resources and the protection of the environment; and put an end to cross-border natural resource disputes which could trigger…

Action for Rivers

Today is International Day of Action for Rivers. Thousands of people around the world will celebrate the world’s rivers and acknowledge those who strive to protect them. This year, International Rivers Africa – one of Synchronicity Earth’s partners – will be hosting a week of events in South Africa and beyond to create awareness about some of the threats to the region’s rivers. Young people in South Africa will be able to take part in a three-day camping and river…

Chocolate Seahorses

What do carpet, chocolate and seahorses have in common? It sounds like the opening to a likely bad if not unusual joke - in reality it was the opening launch of Expedition: Danajon Bank held at London Zoo in partnership with Project Seahorse. Danajon Bank in the Philippines is one of only six double-barrier reefs in the world (2 barrier-reefs, side by side), and is home to not only coral reefs but also seagrass habitats and mangrove forests. Danajon Bank…

UN World Wildlife Day

As synchronicity would have it Adam and I had the good fortune to be at the United Nations for the launch of World Wildlife Day on 3 March 2014. Listening to the different speakers, it seems like the crisis in wildlife trade is the nexus for people realising the inter-connectivity between conservation, development, political stability and human well-being. Building on our perception that the meetings in London two weeks ago were not just indulgent, there seems to be real commitment…

World Wildlife Day

Today marks the first ever World Wildlife Day, and is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora, as well as to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to people and planet. World Wildlife Day was proclaimed by the United Nations during the 68th session of the General Assembly and marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and…

Stopping illegal wildlife trade

Last week I attended a two-day symposium on Wildlife Trafficking in London. The symposium was initiated by United For Wildlife – a flagship project of The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry – which brings seven of the world’s largest wildlife NGOs into an unprecedented collaboration. The symposium attracted many concerned conservationists and NGO representatives, as well as a number of intergovernmental and multilateral organisations, such as CITES (the Convention on International Trade in…

United for Wildlife

This week, Adam and Jessica Sweidan - Synchronicity Earth's trustees attended the United for Wildlife Symposium with Gemma Goodman, our Species portfolio lead. The symposium showcased initiatives to counter wildlife trafficking. The conference was followed by a heads of state meeting which aimed to get high-level political commitment to tackle the illegal trade of several species, including rhinos, elephants and tigers. During the symposium Prince William took centre stage stating "Ours is not an exclusive partnership", he shared his hopes…

Dams and the World Bank

Last week, we reported that the World Bank had indefinitely withdrawn its support for the Inga III dam in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This seemed, at first, to be good news. However, on Monday our partners - International Rivers - reported that the World Bank now plans to develop the dam as a private investment through the International Finance Corporation (IFC), rather than as a public project. The scheme - now backed by the Bank's private investment arm…

Conservation success in motion

Last night, Synchronicity Earth hosted a small event about large-scale dams. During it, we showed Todd Southgate’s DAMOCRACY, a story of resistance against two of the world’s most controversial dams – the Belo Monte in Brazil and the Ilisu Dam in Southeastern Turkey. The film was recently screened at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Nevada and is attracting an international audience. As well as spreading awareness, DAMOCRACY symbolises the growth of a new global movement uniting local communities…

Who leads? Business or politicians?

Commentators routinely describe how corporate interests trump public concerns when laws are being made. They demonstrate why, for example, it is difficult to pass policy that could improve public health, even when the need to do so is self-evident (see under: the tobacco and food lobby). But what happens when the public is able to influence business? The case for a phase-out of deep-sea bottom trawling is economically, socially and environmentally compelling, and yet our partners, Bloom and Deep Sea…

Sengwer update

We recently wrote about the imminent forced evictions of Sengwer people from their forest homes in Kenya in the name of conservation. We are supporting FPP to work in this region to trial the Whakatane Mechanism which is working with indigenous peoples to develop a new approach to conservation. Last week concerns about violence and forced evictions became a reality. Kenya Forest Service (KFS) guards and Administration Police (APs) initially began burning houses in Koropkwen and Sinen areas. Violating Court…

Internship opportunity!

Location: South Kensington, London Duration: Ideally a minimum of 3 days/week for 3 months, although there is some flexibility Salary: Unpaid (some travel and subsistence costs covered) Deadline for application: 5pm Wednesday 5th February 2014 Start date: ASAP Organisational Background: Synchronicity Earth is a dynamic and exciting organisation, seeking to change the face of funding for wildlife conservation and striving for a planet in which all life is truly valued. Our mission is to be effective funders at the intersection…

Good news from US Congress

The World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank funded the Chixoy Dam in Guatemala, built in the 1970s and 80s. This dam resulted in some of the worst human rights abuses of our time - over 3,500 indigenous Maya Achi people were forcibly displaced from their homes and shockingly, more than 440 people were killed. Finally, after more than thirty years the US Congress has pledged to support reparations for the Guatemalan people who lost their lives, livelihoods and homes…

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species at 50!

Today marks the start of a year long celebration of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. For the past 50 years the IUCN Red List has been instrumental in guiding conservation action and policy decisions as well as providing a health check for our planet – a Barometer of Life. The IUCN Red List is the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species and their links to livelihoods. From the…

Meet our new advisor

We've updated our 'who we are' section to include information on the newest member of the advisory team, Dr. Jerome Lewis, Lecturer in Social Anthropology at UCL. Click here for more information.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Excellency Awards

By Olivia Taylor In the spirit of engaging young people who are involved in conservation, please see below a new blog from Olivia Taylor who is giving her own perspective on Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. The Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Excellency Awards for 2013 was held at the end of November in Durban, South Africa. I was really honoured to have been awarded the only external and individual award of the night. It is incredibly humbling to see the amazing work done…

Eviction for “conservation”: the case of the Sengwer in Kenya

In December, one of our partners, Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), informed us that the Sengwer are facing imminent eviction from their ancestral home in the Embobut Forest in the Cherangany Hills of Kenya. At the beginning of January, forest guards arrived in the area to begin forcibly evicting people from their homes. This is being done in the name of conservation; people living inside the Forest Reserve are seen as illegal squatters. In the past evictions in Kenya (and elsewhere)…