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Rainforest Trust: Creating a climate refuge in the Philippines

The southern part of the island of Palawan in the Philippines is covered in lush forests that store 204 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents per acre. This landscape, however, sits directly above one of the world’s largest nickel deposits, making it a constant target for commercial mining.

In February 2021, Rainforest Trust established a 19,924-acre protected area in this region of Palawan after reaching their fundraising target for the project. This new protected area not only stores over 4 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents, but also safeguards Atabay Lake: a sacred watershed for the local indigenous Tagbanua tribe.

This project is typical of Rainforest Trust’s successful conservation model, which uses the expertise of its in-country NGO partners and the knowledge of the local indigenous communities for the benefit of people and the planet.

The project was funded, in part, by a grant made from the Global Returns Project in January 2021. This funding was quadrupled by two committed supporters of Rainforest Trust, meaning that (including the match-funding) the grant protected 2,960 acres of rainforest habitat and safely stored over 600,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents.