Insights · September 11th, 2009
The Prince and the Frog – it’s not what you think.
Prince Charles envites you to embrace the frogs, and in doing so save the tropical rain forest. It’s not a fairy tale, but an SOS to save a crucial part of the planet, upon which we all depend.
The rainforests, where these frogs live, are the lungs of the planet. Not only do they produce a majority of the world’s oxygen, the tropical forests also act as carbon sinks, sequestering approximately 20% of greenhouse gas emissions internationally. But now, the voracious speed of rainforest destruction, coupled with the emissions produced in the course of the deforestation (which, on a global level, amounts to more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire international transportation sector combined!), are pushing us ever closer to a point of no return.
So Prince Charles wants you to take a good look at that frog. It’s the mascot for the Prince’s Rainforest Project. We’ve known about the Business and Environment Programme offered through Cambridge University/Prince of Wales College for awhile – I participated in one of the North American gatherings last summer. This initiative to save the rainforests is more targeted, and, if possible, even more urgent. If the tropical rainforests become too compromised, other efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change, or to slow its progress, will likely fail. As go the tropical rainforests – and their frogs – so go we, Princes and all.
The UN Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, coming up in December, will address a program to provide financial incentives to reduce rainforest deforestation. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) will help to lay out the ground work for a transition to more sustainable activities. However, the implementation will be years off. And we don’t have that time.
In the face of this, after a meeting of world leaders in London last spring, hosted by Prince Charles, the Informal Working Group on Interim Financing for REDD (IWG-IFR) was formed to address this crucial gap.
And now, the Prince—and his frog—are sending you a SOS asking for your support for these emergency interim measures to curb deforestation, and to help spread the word on the connection between tropical deforestation and climate change. We have joined in our support of this, and urge you to do so as well (www.rainforestsos.org). They are working to gain one million signatures. You can join at Futurist.com (see the form below or link on the home page), or at their site. See the nice series of YouTube videos as well, with celebrity/frog cameos.
Sign up. This is a cause worth supporting. Let’s make this one story that ends happily ever after.
Glen Hiemstra is a futurist speaker, consultant, blogger, internet video host and founder of Futurist.com. To arrange for a speech contact Futurist.com.