weLOG #15


Dear weFAM,

It’s with a heavy heart that I send this out today. Why? Because a past entry of weLOG wasn’t sent out due to an internal mishap. So it’s been ages since we’ve been in touch with you. As a new and budding organization, our aspiration has been to facilitate a deep connection with our supporters. We haven’t been great at that, and that doesn’t make us — or you — happy. So I’m starting this log with a share that we’ve implemented ways to communicate better. By doing what exactly? I’m glad you asked -- by appointing Joanna to the role of sending monthly logs and reporting more frequently on our progress via our blog. Starting a nonprofit has not been an easy task — we’ve been reminded of this every step of the way, and one shortcoming on our end has been our communication. But what we can promise you is that everyday we’ve been working as hard as we can to achieve our goal of protecting and restoring as much forests as possible. We’re not perfect, but we’re diligently, with small steps, advancing every day. And to those of you who are still with us, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. What I don’t want to do is to end this message with apologies and excuses. So I’m going to share a little about what we’ve been up to. Before introducing a longer list, I want to start by sharing that we updated our mission. We got rid of it, and traded it in with a mantra that goes as below: weMORI exists to INSPIRE FOREST ACTION by making it easy, fun, and mainstream. Simple, short, straightforward — we hope you like it!

Every initiative we create will be built atop this mantra.

Exactly what initiatives are we talking about? Below is a little about what’s in progress:


APP

We’re adding projects — currently, we’re in the process of deciding exactly which ones We’ve about to roll out an updated payment system

NFT GALLERY We’re launching an NFT digital art gallery to harness the momentum in crypto towards conservation

PRODUCT COLLABORATION We’re launching our first product collaboration in Japan -- ‘sponge wipes’ which will be distributed through 170+ stores across the country. A portion of sales will be donated to tree planting projects in Borneo. We believe it’s one of the biggest such collaborations in the country, ever!

GLOBAL ORG OUTREACH We’ve conducted nearly 300 pages worth of research into deforestation in Latin America. We’ve compiled a list of a total of 120+ organizations and have started reaching out as part of an epic search to find projects and new partners.

ONLINE COMMUNITY

In Japan, we’re launching an online community, which we might deploy in English if successful. Joanna or I will be sharing about each in more detail over the coming weeks. For now, we’ll leave it at that.


AROUND THE WORLD

by Joanna


VOICE OF THE PEOPLE

As citizens, we have more power than we think. Citizens of the Selangor state in Malaysia recently stopped the state government from degazetting protected forests for housing purposes. Fifty-four percent of the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve was degazetted in May. This area is mostly peat swamp but is also the habitat for rare species such as the Malayan sun bear and Selangor pygmy flying squirrel. Though the Selangor state legislature previously voted against the proposal to degazette the forest reserve, the Executive Council chose to proceed with development plans. This caused the citizens, and lawmakers, to respond with protests and forcing the Selangor government to cancel the development of and re-gazette the forest reserve.

Further reading

DISCOVERIES AMOUNT

It seems like we know a lot, we’ve seen a lot, we studied and cataloged a lot of what lives with us on Earth. And yet, it is estimated that from nearly 9 million species on Earth, the vast majority remains unknown to us - 86% of all existing species and 91% of marine species. No wonder that each year there are discoveries made. 2021 hasn’t been different. Approximately 20 new species of bats are named each year, and the recently discovered one is the orange-furred bat. Who else joined the ranks of discoveries? Nano-chameleon - the tiniest reptile known, who interestingly, unlike other chameleons, doesn’t change colors; Rice’s whales - previously thought to be subspecies of Bryde’s whale, although characterized by different behavior, scientists didn’t have enough data, until a skeleton of Rice’s whale washed ashore and gave scientist a final confirmation. Follow the links below to learn more about these incredible creatures and their stories.


Further reading:

orange-furred bat

nano-chameleon

Rice's whale


CARCASSES OF VALUE

Decomposing bodies of vertebrates aren’t a sight most want to see while enjoying a stroll in a forest or national park. Increasingly, natural spaces are managed and carrion removed. Recent studies found, however, that leaving those behind comes with a great benefit to a wide array of species broadly referred to as necrobiome. Carcasses are biodiversity hotspots, and large carrion has shown to even increase the number of invertebrates in the area. A lot remains unknown about the food web and the role of carcasses in the process of the nutrient cycle. However, the question that remains unanswered is how deeply we should manage the environment: Should carcasses be removed? Should they be supplied? Further reading



Thanks for your patience and your continued support.

Oh, and please don’t ever hesitate to reach out and share your feedback!


We really, really love hearing from you.


Ian Shimizu-Pughe


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