Sky Rainforest Rescue – the six-year partnership between Sky and WWF – has raised over £9 million to help keep one billion trees standing in the Amazon. Although this rainforest fundraising work concluded last week, Sky and WWF will continue to work in partnership to drive awareness of issues such as climate change and in support of Sky’s environmental strategy.
Sky Rainforest Rescue started in 2009 with the ambition of helping to safeguard an area of rainforest the size of Belgium in the north western state of Acre. A range of projects designed to help local people live sustainably from the rainforest without having to cut down trees was successfully established.
The funds raised – over £9 million – included £5 million donated by Sky customers and employees and a further £4 million in match-funding from Sky. Sky plc’s net profit was £938 million in 2014.
Through a number of themed programmes aired since 2009, Sky has brought the Amazon home to millions of people in the UK and Ireland, most recently Richard Hammond’s Jungle Quest broadcast on Sky 1 in September.
More than a million people visited interactive rainforest installations across the UK, 80,000 primary school children took part in the I Love Amazon Schools programme, and Sky viewers were encouraged to make forest-friendly changes to their everyday lives.
In the Amazon, WWF and Sky worked alongside the Acre state government to achieve a number of conservation successes, including helping to improve the market conditions and price for wild rubber, a sustainable resource that can be harvested from the rainforest without harming trees.
The partnership also worked with over 1,500 farming families to give them ways of keeping their soil fertile as an alternative to exhausting the land and cutting down more trees for crops. A schools programme raised awareness of environmental issues amongst the next generation of Acre farmers.
David Nussbaum, Chief Executive of WWF-UK said: “We’d like to thank Sky and their customers for joining us on this amazing six-year journey into the rainforest. Their generosity has made a real and lasting impact on the people and wildlife of the Amazon.
“Keeping the rainforest standing should matter to all of us, wherever we live. Globally, deforestation and forest degradation cause up to a fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions and are robbing future generations of rich, beautiful natural resources. By joining WWF’s conservation expertise with Sky’s vision and with the commitment of the Acre state government, we have found ways to help keep deforestation at bay in this fragile part of the Amazon.”
Jeremy Darroch, Sky Group Chief Executive, said: “We are incredibly proud of what our partnership with WWF has achieved over the last six years. Together we have raised over £9million and helped save one billion trees in the state of Acre.
“Through the partnership we’ve also inspired and engaged people on the issues of deforestation and have given 7.3 million people an increased understanding of climate change.”
Even though Sky Rainforest Rescue has come to an end, the funds raised will continue to support conservation projects in Brazil and other parts of the Amazon, where WWF is committed to ongoing work to protect the rainforest.