BirdLife: The Magazine Jan-Mar 2018 - Page 11

performs invaluable ecosystem services for the surrounding community. Spanning nearly 2,000 square kilometres, it plays a key part in storing rainwater, preventing soil erosion, sequestering carbon and even regulating the local climate. Yet, astonishingly, this incredibly diverse hotspot has no formal protection, leaving it completely vulnerable to the encroachment of uncontrolled logging, illegal charcoal burning and forest clearance for agriculture (to name but a few). In 2009, disaster loomed when an energy company proposed clearing 500 square kilometres of woodland to grow a single cr f"&gVVF2FW7G'V7FfR7VGW&PF&VFVVBFv7FRFf7B7vFW2bVVR@&V6W2&FBf'GVFVǒgFW"V'2bF&VW72&'p'GW&RV&&DƖfR'FW"#"FRVद"#( "&&FƖfPvfW&VBfǒ&VV7FVBFR&V7B'WBFRf&W7N( 0gWGW&R2f"g&6V7W&RFFFRC"6VGf&W7B66WG2fR&VVG&V@FR6fVwV&FrbFRFF6vFB&VVfW0fR&VVF7G&'WFVBF&fFR62vF7W7F&PFW&FfR6RFW6RfR&VV66VB'V6&W6W&6R6VG&RBW&6W76rBFPFvb&f'WBǒVv&V6vFbFRFF6vFN( 2W76VF&Rv6V7W&RG2rFW&7W'ffBvFV'VVB6VvF&W2F&26WGFW'7F66R662v"&'V6Rf&W7@Fv6&