Eco-conscious electric racing series, Extreme E, is marking World Rainforest Day today with exciting updates on its Amazon legacy programme. Despite not being able to race in Brazil this year due to Covid restrictions, the sport for purpose championship has pledged to continue its vital legacy work with its team that includes Cambridge University Amazon deforestation expert, Dr Francisco Olivieira and its conservation partner, The Nature Conservancy (TNC).
It’s well known that Brazil, Pará State in particular, currently has the world’s biggest deforestation rates due to land grabbing and expansion of cattle ranching, illegal logging and mining – approximately the equivalent of 56 football pitches worth of trees is lost here every hour. This not only destroys the already vulnerable habitat but also contributes to rises in carbon dioxide levels and therefore increases in overall temperature. If this culling of trees is not controlled, severe droughts will become normality, and the landscape will change beyond recognition eventually becoming a savannah-like ecosystem.
Extreme E has teamed up with TNC which works across the Amazon to provide opportunities for restoration. TNC’s Forest Cocoa Project in the Pará region is already on course to extend its support to 300 agroforestry farmers by the end of 2021 and, with Extreme E’s help, aims to add another 50 cocoa family farmers to the project.
And that’s not all, the eco-driven series is also funding an additional 100 hectares of cocoa agroforestry replacing the degraded pasturelands – a simple but effective premise that allows farmers to harvest higher value commodity beans and create a sustainable living.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “We are so pleased to be part of World Rainforest Day. At the very heart of Extreme E is our pledge to give back environmentally to all the regions that we visit in our series and leave them in a better condition than when we arrived.
“Even though we aren’t able to race in Brazil this year, this has not stopped us from continuing our work in the area, including the reforestation that we started thanks to TNC and Dr Francisco Olivieira. I’m just delighted that the project is already proving to be such a success and really look forward to being able to travel there in the not-too-distant future to see the fantastic progress with my own eyes.”
Dr Francisco Olivieira, Extreme E’s Amazon scientist said: “Rainforests are vital to the climate balance of the planet. We chose to support TNC because we share a vision of development for the Amazon that values the forest, and this project contributes to the Amazon continuing to be a carbon sink, by restoring degraded pastures with agroforestry systems; it also helps reduce extreme poverty in the region and generates improved quality of life for small rural producers, and finally helps maintain biodiversity and more sustainable landscapes. A drop in the immensity of the largest tropical forest in the world, but with the collaboration and engagement of more people we can make a big transformation for those who live there and for the planet.”
Extreme E – a sport for purpose – races in remote locations affected by the climate crisis, and in each of those areas aims to leave a long-lasting positive impact through its Legacy Programmes. Alongside this project in the Amazon, the series is supporting turtle conservation along the Red Sea coastline, an educational programme in Greenland in collaboration with Unicef and mangrove planting in Senegal.
To learn more about Extreme E, visit – www.Extreme-E.com