Thursday, April 2, 2009

Help raise money without giving a penny!

A proposal from American Bird Conservancy has become a finalist for a major $200,000 grant from the Green Mountain Coffee Company in their Changing Climate Change grant competition. ABC is one of five finalists in the "Threats to Coffee Growing Communities" category, and part of the selection process includes public input. In other words, we need your vote to help us win the grant! Follow this link and click the "Support it" button on the right of the web page.
Shade coffee plantations in the Andes Mountains are valuable habitat for wintering migratory birds such as the Cerulean Warbler, the fastest declining songbird in North America. The mature trees that grow alongside the coffee crop also act as a valuable carbon store. Unfortunately, shade coffee plants produce a lower bean yield than plants bred to grow in sun coffee farms that are devoid of trees, and thus they provide a lower income for farmers. As a result, shade farms are being converted to sun farms, and birds and the environment are paying the price.
ABC's proposed project, developed in partnership with the Colombian coffee federation (CENICAFÉ), will calculate the amount of carbon stored in shade coffee plantations versus the much lower carbon value of sun coffee plantations. It will then test a system to provide financial incentives to farmers to keep their coffee in shade using funding for carbon offsets paid for by corporations.
If successful, this project stands to benefit farmers across millions of acres of the Andes, and could be a major advance in the battle to save the Cerulean Warbler. The project will have multiple additional benefits for local communities in terms of the protection of watersheds and traditional farming techniques.
Please support ABC's proposal today (or please, no later than April 6). It will only take a moment of your time, so vote now!
Just click here, then click the "Support it" button on the right-hand side of the web page.
And don't forget to forward this email to a friend, too!
Thank you,
Michael J. ParrVice President,American Bird Conservancy

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