Let’s give climate change the chop, not forests

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From: Helen Whiteley, Station Road East, Oxted, Surrey.

I WAS thrilled to read that the UK is intensifying its commitment to tackling climate change (The Yorkshire Post, September 22) through funding to help stop deforestation.

This support complements the fantastic work carried out by charities like Farm Africa where I volunteer. We have been working with communities in Ethiopia and Tanzania to help turn back the tide of deforestation there.

The work is challenging because communities in both countries have traditionally earned their livelihoods from chopping down trees to make charcoal for sale to other local communities. But thanks to Farm Africa, these communities are now turning their backs on these sorts of unsustainable activities because they have learned they can make more money from other forestry resources like wild coffee, gums and resins, and honey.

To be successful, these activities need a healthy and growing forest which means that communities now have a real stake in growing and protecting the forest.

It shows that it is perfectly possible to both make money and protect forests, with all the important consequences that has for tackling climate change and protecting the planet for future generations.