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Rainforest Concern and solar specialist Solarsense join forces to save endangered ‘Paddington bears’

Bristol-based Solarsense, one of the UK’s leading renewable energy contractors, has partnered with the Bath-based charity Rainforest Concern to protect rare rainforest habitat in the Tropical Andes, home to threatened species such as Andean bears, the inspiration for Paddington.

For every square metre of rooftop solar panels installed in the coming year, Solarsense will sponsor ten times the square metreage of rainforest to support the charity’s work. The partnership will help Rainforest Concern expand its Neblina Cloud Forest Reserve to create ecological corridors to enable threatened species such as Andean bears, of which there may only be 2,500 remaining, to migrate safely between protected areas.

The Tropical Andes is the most biodiverse region on the planet and home to more mammals, birds and amphibians than anywhere else on Earth. However, the region is under serious threat: in Ecuador alone, copper mining, unsustainable agriculture and roadbuilding are causing the loss of forest habitat at the rate of one football pitch every 1.5 minutes.

Rainforest Concern project manager Megan Witty said: “With world leaders gathering in Egypt for the COP-27 climate talks, and the United Nations Secretary-General warning that the world “is on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator”, it may seem that climate change is beyond our control, however, there are direct ways that businesses can help us protect our precious natural habitats.

“We are really excited about this new partnership with Solarsense, which will support our work protecting threatened rainforest. We would love to hear from other businesses who are keen to become more sustainable and are looking for positive ways to make a difference.”

Solarsense managing director, Stephen Barrett, said: “As a solar energy specialist we have always been passionate about protecting the environment and building a more sustainable future. We are delighted to be able to support Rainforest Concern in protecting endangered species and conserving the rainforest, which has a critical role in absorbing carbon and mitigating climate change.

“While we certainly need leadership to tackle the climate crisis at a national and international level, it’s also down to all of us as businesses and individuals to play our part. I hope that our partnership will make a real difference to the charity and might also encourage other businesses in the region to support their vital work.”

Established more than 20 years ago, Solarsense has designed and installed solar panels and other renewable technologies for more than 14,000 customers across the UK, helping to offset over 22,000 tonnes of carbon annually. In the coming year, Solarsense expects to install a further 16,000 square metres of panels, which will support Rainforest Concern to protect 160,000 square metres (approximately 40 acres) of threatened habitats.

Solarsense is also exploring the possibility of providing and installing solar panels at one of Rainforest Concern’s overseas projects. The company has previously helped to set up a number of refurbished solar PV systems in Madagascar to power a Bristol Zoological Society research and conservation station.

Image by Linnaea Mallette reproduced under CC0 Public Domain licence

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