Brazil saves lives by reducing deforestation

Slash and burnA new study led by UBoC scientists at the University of Leeds shows that the recent drop in Brazilian deforestation rates has improved air quality across South America, saving thousands of lives.

Each year in the Amazon, thousands of fires are lit to clear trees and vegetation in order to prepare the land for agriculture. Smoke from these fires causes a polluted haze over large areas of southern Brazil with serious consequences for human health.

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Twice the Size of Wales!

UBoC’s long-standing partners, Size of Wales – a unique Welsh initiative tackling climate change by helping to preserve tropical forests – have made a bold decision to double their commitment – and protect an area double the size of the Principality.

Alice Davies & Juliet Muyama - Schools Links between Wales & Africa CREDIT Size of Wales
Alice Davies & Juliet Muyama – Schools Links between Wales & Africa CREDIT Size of Wales

‘The size of Wales’ is a term often used as a measure of tropical forest destruction, and UBoC worked with this Cardiff-based charity in 2012, on the Tongwe Trust’s Ten Million Trees in Tanzania project.

Size of Wales have spent the last 5 years successfully raising funds to help sustain approximately 2 million hectares, (4.9m acres) in both Africa and South America – supporting 15 local forest projects which ensure that forests are kept standing – to benefit local communities and also tackle climate change. This downloadable report details their recent work.

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UBoC visit Flamingo Land

Poster for Tanzania Community Crafts

Last week, members of the UBoC team visited Flamingo Land theme park and zoo to meet with members of the Collaboration for Integrated Research, Conservation and Learning (CIRCLE).

CIRCLE, a partnership between the University of York and Flamingo Land, carries out ground-breaking scientific research into conservation at both the local and global scale. UBoC have helped with CIRCLE’s conservation efforts by funding aspects of the Udzungwa Forest Project (UFP) in Tanzania. The UFP is based in the Magombera Forest and aims to conserve and research threatened species and their habitats, whilst improving the livelihoods of, and educating, local communities.

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LEAF Launches!

UBoC’s academic partners at the University of Leeds, the Leeds Ecosystem, Atmosphere and Forest (LEAF) research centre, officially launched on the 24th November 2014 with an event held in the School of Earth and Environment.


The aim of LEAF is to bring together all the forest-related research being conducted across the University of Leeds. By linking researchers across faculties, LEAF will strengthen existing collaborations and encourage new inter-departmental partnerships, establishing the University of Leeds as a leading national centre in forest research.

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The potential for solar cooking

Using wood for cooking leads to deforestation and air pollution that can cause or exacerbate health problems. For many poor people, obtaining wood is either time-consuming or expensive. Where conflicts have led to displaced people, wood shortages can become acute, leading to often violent clashes between locals and refugees. For many refugee women this makes collecting wood a high-risk activity.

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