08.13.09 Proud Galleries and the Rainforest Foundation UK, in association with Founding Patrons Sting and Trudie Styler present...



'The People of The Forest: 20 years of images from the Rainforest Foundation'

EXHIBITION RUNS: October 7 - 18, 2009
LAUNCH NIGHT: Tuesday October 6, 2009
PROUD GALLERY CAMDEN, The Horse Hospital, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AH. T: 0207 8394942.

Proud Galleries & The Rainforest Foundation UK, in association with Founding Patrons Sting & Trudie Styler present 'The People of The Forest: 20 years of images from the Rainforest Foundation', a retrospective exhibition of photographic prints from the Foundation's project sites, taken by some of the best photographers working in the field. Each of the prints will be available for sale as a limited edition, exclusive to this exhibition, and will be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by Sting. Only 140 prints will be available to purchase, with all proceeds from the exhibition directly helping the work of the Rainforest Foundation UK to continue.

This will be a truly exciting and emotional exhibition and a rare chance to see inside the work of a charity operating in some of the most remote, diverse and beautiful landscapes of the world. The images range from stunning portraits of indigenous peoples in their forest homes to beautiful, personal and often devastating aspects our rainforest projects, to striking images of the nature existing within these ecosystems, taken by some of the most renowned photographers working within these specific photographic genres. This intimate journey into the past 20 years of the Rainforest Foundation will be a fitting public celebration of what has been achieved, and help to explain the importance and relevance of this work's continued support.

Sting, Founding Patron, RFUK said: "It has been 20 years since we started and our call to action is still clear. We must reduce deforestation and call on those in power to deliver lasting forest protection, while securing the rights of the people who live in and depend on the rainforest for their everyday survival. But even the best schemes to keep forests standing will ultimately be of little use if industrialised countries don't commit to seriously reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The effects of climate change will spell doom for many areas of rainforest in any case."

Trudie Styler, co-founder with Sting of the Rainforest Foundation, said: "In the 20 years since we started the Rainforest Foundation, our work has expanded into 18 countries over 3 continents, and has protected over 115,000 sq km of forest. Current projects aim to save nearly one million square kilometres of rainforest - that's an area the combined size of the United Kingdom, Ireland and France. Tragically, none of this is enough. Rainforests now cover only 6 per cent of the earth's land surface, and are still being decimated. There is a real and imminent danger of this destruction reaching the point of no return, yet still we ignore all the warning signs. For the sake of the indigenous communities who live in the forests and protect them, and for the sake of all humanity, it's time for individuals, industries and governments to start putting the Earth first."

Simon Counsell, Director RFUK said: "This journey into the past 20 years of the Rainforest Foundation will be a public celebration of what has been achieved, and help to explain the continued importance and relevance of our work. We are at a critical point in time as the world grows to recognise the importance of climate change, and the need to protect rainforests as part of the effort to slow global warming. Visitors to the exhibition will see that working with local rainforest people, as the Rainforest Foundation has been for the last 20 years, holds out the strongest hope that we can successfully beat deforestation and prevent climate change."

Background

Every year an area of rainforest the size of England and Wales is cut down. This leaves local people homeless, drives animals and plants to extinction and releases more CO2 emissions, which cause climate change, than all of the world's planes, trains and cars. Tropical deforestation is an issue that affects us all. The Rainforest Foundation tackles deforestation locally and globally. Locally it helps forest communities to gain land rights, challenge logging companies and manage forests for their own wellbeing and protection of their environment. Globally it campaigns to influence national and international laws to protect rainforests and their inhabitants. Since it was founded in 1989 the Rainforest Foundation has helped indigenous and local communities to protect more than 100,000 square kilometers of rainforest.

The Rainforest Foundation was founded in 1989 by Sting and his wife Trudie Styler, after they saw first-hand the destruction of the Amazon rainforests, and the devastating impact it had on the lives of the indigenous peoples who lived there. The Foundation's first major initiative was to campaign for the protection of the lands of the Kayapo Indians in Brazilian Amazonia. This resulted in 1993 in the legal recognition and demarcation of an area of more than 27,359 square kilometres. Over the last 20 years the Foundation has expanded and diversified. Today there is the New York-based Rainforest Foundation Fund, which is generously backed by Sting. This provides funding, over USD 1.5 million in 2007, for three autonomous organisations - Rainforest Foundation US, Rainforest Foundation Norway, Rainforest Foundation UK. These organisations directly support projects in more than 20 countries that protect tropical rainforests and the people that live in them.

FOR FURTHER EXHIBITON INFORMATION, PRESS PICTURES, INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES CONTACT: Clare Morgan at the Rainforest Foundation UK: +44(0) 20 7485 0193 | email clarem@rainforestuk.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE RAINFOREST FOUNDATION UK PLEASE GO TO: www.rainforestfoundationuk.org.
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