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28 June 2016

WWF Cymru celebrates Size of Wales success

The current phase of our partnership is ending and now we're celebrating the project's success.

Protecting tropical forests is critical to tackling climate change because they absorb a fifth of man-made CO2 emissions. They're habitats for loads of amazing species and wildlife, and they support thousands of communities and livelihoods.

That's why Size of Wales, which aims to protect an area of forest across the world the same size as Wales has given up to £30,000 a year since 2013 to support WWF's work in Kenya on the eastern coast of Africa.

And now the current phase of the project is ending, we're celebrating its success.

WWF has been helping to get protected status and better management in important areas of biodiversity in coastal forests. These include sacred sites in northern Kenya, the ancestral homes of the Aweer people, and the Kaya forests of the south, ancestral homes of the Mijikenda people. With WWF's help, these indigenous groups are getting the message across to the media and their government about why their forests need protection.

We have also been promoting the idea that communities have a say in the management of the natural resources around them. That helps ensure that everyone can be involved in decision-making, share in its benefits and work together to use their natural resources in a more sustainable way.

Our work involves helping people and nature, so we've also been working with local communities and county governments to help people use forest products more sustainably. For example, communities have often relied heavily on kerosene and unsustainably-sourced charcoal for fuel, which have a negative effect on the environment and people's well-being. With WWF's help, markets are being created for sustainably sourced charcoal and communities are adopting cleaner and more sustainable energy sources like solar lighting and fuel-efficient cooking stoves.

So what's the point of all this? Head of WWF Cymru Anne Meikle said the support of the people of Wales through Size of Wales has helped our colleagues in WWF-Kenya to develop their work of helping people and nature thrive in harmony in Kenya's coastal forests."

If you'd like to contribute to the effort, go to www.wwf.org.uk/sizeofwales.

WWF's terrestrial work in coastal Kenya has been supported by Size of Wales and the UK Government through the Darwin Initiative and the Department for International Development. All content and opinions expressed are solely those of WWF and Size of Wales.

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