Using crowd funding, Israeli group saves nature one reserve at a time

TiME (This is My Earth) manages to pool in enough money to purchase two plots of land in Kenya and Belize and turned them into nature reserves thanks to the help of generous supporters

Noa Fischer|Updated:
Israel's TiME (This is My Earth) group is raising money in order to purchase land around the world and turn it into nature reserves. In 2021, it had raised enough money establish two new nature reserves.
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  • TiME has bought 749 acres of land in the tropical Rosewood Forest in Belize and 183 acres in Maasai Mara in Kenya.
    4 View gallery
    בעלי חיים במסאי מארה שבקניה
    בעלי חיים במסאי מארה שבקניה
    Maasai Mara, Kenya
    (Photo: Shutterstock)
    This land is home to the African eagle, black rhino, Maasai giraffe, lions, African elephant, jaguars, pumas and hunter falcon, all of which are facing extinction.
    The organization was established in 2015 by Prof. Uri Shanas of the Biology and Environment Department at the University of Haifa-Oranim, and with the help Prof. Alon Tal they're aiming to roll back the extinction process and combat climate change.
    The idea behind the organization is simple: Each year, a scientific committee comprised of experts from all over the world joins and chooses three land plots that are considered biodiversity hotspots with a high risk of extinction.
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    אוצלוט ביער המאיה בבליז
    אוצלוט ביער המאיה בבליז
    Belize
    (Photo: Ya’axché Conservation Trust)
    TiME, which is completely run by volunteers, then launches a crowd-funding campaign to mobilize as many people as possible for the cause. The group happily accepts any contribution, from a single dollar donation to active participation in its projects.
    Every supporter has a voice and can vote for one of three land plots destined to become the group's next project.
    As of today, TiME has over 6,000 contributors and it ensures that 100% of the donations go towards purchasing and upkeeping the land.
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    פקארי ביער המאיה בבליז
    פקארי ביער המאיה בבליז
    Belize
    (Photo: Ya’axché Conservation Trust)
    This year, the group managed to pool in enough money to purchase two plots of land thanks to the help of a generous young Israeli couple, as well as hundreds of other supporters.
    The first land is the Rosewood Forest in Belize is home to 337 species of birds, 20 species of fish, 93 kinds of mammals, 92 reptiles, and hundreds of various kinds of flora. The area is at risk due to poaching, extensive logging and looting of Mayan ruins.
    The second territory is the Maasai Mara in Kenya. It is rich in wildlife, water sources, and flora.
    4 View gallery
    בעלי חיים במסאי מארה שבקניה
    בעלי חיים במסאי מארה שבקניה
    A lioness chasing a herd of zebras in Maasai Mara
    (Photo: Shutterstock)
    Their habitat shrank by 58% in recent years after much of the land has been seized by private investors. This has sent populations of giraffes, buffalos and warthogs plummeting by a whopping 73-88%.
    "I'm calling upon anyone, who holds nature preservation near and dear and anyone who is concerned about climate change, to join us... Together we can prevent the extinction of entire species and greenhouse gas emissions," Prof. Shanas said.
    "It's already the sixth year in which we're proving that our strategy, after being initially perceived as naïve, is working and succeeds in changing reality beyond expectation."
    First published: 22:48, 03.06.22
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