Thank you for coming to my fundraising page where you can help save the Maya Rainforest! You can join the fight to stop the march of deforestation and degradation in this globally essential resource in Belize, northern Guatemala, and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The good news is that with your help, this becomes a very attainable goal. Here's some story about our organization and why we are saving rainforests.
A handful of years ago, Integrated Leadership Systems began having increased discussions about sustainability, led by our founder, Steve. It started small. We already had recycle bins in our office but we graduated to composting office food waste, moved to reusable items for food and drink and eliminated our use of plastics in our coffee and bottled water. Since then, it has turned into a board position with The Nature Conservancy, education to our political leaders in D.C. and an extra graduate education in envorinmental sciences (Steve accounts for all three of these). Additionally, we as a team have bolstered our focus on reducing waste, having sustainable practices and have included our clients in the stewardship we believe in.
Currently at ILS, recycling, conservation efforts and sustainable practices have solidified in our lives and our relationships across the U.S. Personally, I have digitized a significant portion of my professional practice, influenced a community wide-recycling effort, paid for vital California acreage to be protected and raised thousands of dollars to protect this crucial biodiversity hotspot in Belize.
To date, one of our significant accomplishments at ILS is raising over $100,000 in three years to protect the Maya Rainforest. After working for several years on the establishment and management of a strong and effective system of protected areas in the Maya Forest of northern Guatemala, Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula, the Conservancy is now developing strategies to reduce deforestation in the unprotected corridors. TNC is working to protect half of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula forests by 2030 and an anonymous donor pledged $8M to help with this effort if ILS can raise an additional $160,000 in 2018. This is where you, the ILS team and I come in.
The Maya Forest provides refuge for countless rare and endangered species like white lipped peccary, tapir, scarlet macaw, harpy eagle and howler monkey. One can often spot jaguar tracks on the forest’s floor. It also harbors up to 400 species of birds, and in peak winter migratory months, as many as several million avian visitors.
Why are we trying to save 7 million acres (size of Massachusets) of Mayan rainforest with so much else going on in the world? With climate change underway and a global, societal effort to set a tone and example for the future: we need a model to replicate and scale that benefits all. The Maya Jungle is becoming a beacon on what is possible for the intersection of people, profits, sustainability and biodiversity. Put simply, the deliberate efforts in the Maya Rainforest will have a global payoff. It is worth noting that these 7 million acres of forest also sequester carbon, far beyond it's borders.
With funds, TNC education and intervention on-site in the Maya Jungle, the local Mayans are learning to:
1) Sustainably farm and deforest the land (net-zero deforestation at TNC working areas)
2) Profit from their practice
3) Protect themselves from poachers
4) Protect the thousands of endagered species who are most susceptible alterations in the ecosystem.
5) Protect indigenous people, protect 7 million acres and restore 2 million acres.
What we know so for sure is that any unsustainable decrease of habitat and species lessens their contribution to the ecosystem that allows humanity to thrive and survive. Let's scale this idea and prove to the world profitability, sustainability and conservation can work in harmony to benefit entire systems of society.
Please help me, ILS and The Nature Conservancy set the tone and example for the rest of the world.
THANK YOU so much for reading this and making a financial contribution!
If you want to be the change you wish to see in this world, there are so many small ways and large ways you can do it in regard to sustainability.