Children’s Tropical Forest UK is an non-profit charity which operates on a voluntary, unpaid basis to save and preserve rainforests for our children and successive generations, forests which may otherwise be destroyed by deforestation. We do this by raising money for existing conservation bodies across the world, enabling them to locate, buy and maintain rainforests and the exceptional biodiversity they contain.
Children are the most readily educated and the most enthusiastic about the forests’ inhabitants. It is our children and our children’s children that will be most affected by the depletion of the world’s tropical forests. The loss of this habitat and thereby its resources has a significant adverse effect on the world’s economy, climate, and environment.
Action by the supporters of CTF (U.K.) both young and old has already achieved the purchase, conservation, and reforestation of large tracts of forest throughout the world. As a result, we have projects in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, and Thailand.
How it all started
In March 1988, having ‘discovered’ Costa Rica, with American friends the previous year, Tina Jolliffe, and her husband Robin along with their three young children revisited this country for a holiday. Robin was chairman of the conservation committee of RSPB at the time and was particularly interested to find some good rainforest with its unique birdlife.
They had already heard that there was a biological reserve in the central mountains of the continental divide called Monteverde, so they visited it. Really beautiful, this Cloud/Lower montane forest was pristine and held a terrific range of species unique to intact forest of this type. Then came the shock that the only intact forest was on the top of the hills, everywhere else had been cleared by felling and burning to create cattle pasture. They later learnt that this destruction was happening at an increasing rate, and unless action were taken to arrest the forest clearance, most rainforest would have gone in Costa Rica within twenty years.
Tina was profoundly affected by the sight of the destruction and resolved to take some sort of action to help with the cause of rainforest protection in Costa Rica. Through Robin’s contacts in conservation, they discovered that a group of local people in Monteverde had formed a non-profit organisation called the Monteverde Conservation League and were seeking funds to buy and conserve rainforest in and around Monteverde. A group of Swedes were already helping with a little organisation called “Children for the Rainforest”, Tina and Robin decided to get in contact with them and soon after setting up Children’s Tropical Forests (UK), which in 1992 became a fully registered British charity.
Thirty years later, Bosque Eterno de Los Ninos extends to over 50,000 acres and is owned and run by Monteverde Conservation League (MCL), purchased with funds largely raised by Children’s rainforest groups around the World, including CTF (UK) which has provided over $1,000,000!
There is a memorial to Tina, erected by MCL, deep in the forest at Monteverde. She died in 1992 at the age of forty-six.