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£200k funding for Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh to save Tanzanian forests

9 February 2016

The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh has been awarded £200,0000 to begin a new project saving Tanzanian forests.

In Africa the pressures on forest resources are enormous. An estimated 73 per cent of the population is dependent on biofuels, African cities experience the highest urbanisation rate in the world and timber is exported to generate foreign revenue. Tanzania, in particular, faces massive forest degradation problems due to unregulated logging and this problem is increasing at an alarming rate.

Now thanks to support from players of People's Postcode Lottery, the £200,000 award will be an opportunity for scientists from RBGE to collaborate with Tanzanian experts to identify vulnerable forests and empower local communities in Tanzania with the knowledge and resources to safeguard forests for the future.

Head of Genetics and Conservation at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Dr Antje Ahrends, said: “This special award from players of People’s Postcode Lottery will help save Tanzania’s forests. Illegal timber logging costs Tanzania an estimated $60 million every year. But thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery plant scientists and botanists from Scotland can now work with local experts and communities to tackle forest degradation, delivering a lasting impact on conserving biodiversity and alleviating poverty.”

Head of Charities for People’s Postcode Lottery, Clara Govier, said: “Players of People’s Postcode Lottery will be very interested to see how scientists from Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh use the £200,000 Extra Award to make a real impact in Tanzania for both the environment and communities.”

Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh was also given a Surprise Award of £25,000 along with 56 other charities supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

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