July 01, 2013
On an occasional basis mongabay.com highlights a video or film. Any views expressed in these clips are those of the filmmaker/producer and do not necessarily reflect the views or endorsement of mongabay.com.
This video by Conservation International features an amazing woman who shares her home with over 200 rescued sloths. Monique Pool, founder of the Green Heritage Fund Suriname and CI partner, has been rescuing sloths for the past few years after an area of forest in Paramaribo, Suriname, was being cut down for raising cattle. After anticipating rescuing only 14 sloths, she and her team ended up moving 200 animals due to the scope of the region being cleared.
This one instance is an example of the struggle that the country of Suriname is facing. Suriname is part of the Guiana Shield, a tropical wilderness spanning six countries, which contains about 25% of the world’s remaining intact forest and produces as much as 10–15% of the world’s fresh water. This area is threatened by deforestation due to the demand for cleared land for raising cattle. The Green Heritage Fund’s goal is to show people that nature brings benefits through tourism, and in turn that beneficial economic combination will create a green, clean, and healthy Suriname. Monique’s organization, along with CI, is working to show the value that sloths have as a tourist attraction in order to get them their own park in the region.
In Paramaribo, Suriname, sloths displaced by deforestation are rescued and released with the help of Monique Pool and the Green Heritage Fund Suriname. © Conservation International/photo by Becca Field.
A happy survivor. © Conservation International/photo by Becca Field.
Rebecca Field, the video production manager on CI’s visual storytelling team, had visited Monique Pool’s sloth sanctuary and had this to say: “Stories like these remind us of the importance of protecting the forests — not only for the benefit of these irresistibly cute animals, but also for us humans. The forests might be homes to the sloths, but they also provide us with many of the things we need to survive and thrive: clean air, fresh water, a stable climate and countless other benefits, both mental and physical. Together, with the sloths as our inspiration, we can help conserve what is important to us all.”