Fundación Natura Bolivia, the indigenous people of the Bajo Paragua forest, and Selfless by Hyram have joined forces to hold the line on deforestation in the Amazon, announcing the creation of the 2.05-million-acre Bajo Paragua San Ignacio and Concepcion Municipal Protected Areas. With support from the partnership, the communities will manage the new protected areas which are also home to spider monkeys, jaguars and at least 1,273 vertebrate species. Conservation of the forest permanently locks up 337,162,504 metric tons of carbon dioxide which would otherwise contribute to climate change.
“The Bajo Paragua forest is ground zero in the fight to save the Amazon Rainforest,” said James C. Deutsch, Ph.D., CEO of Rainforest Trust. “The Amazon, home to indigenous peoples and more plants and animals than anywhere else on Earth, is burning, threatening our hopes for a safe climate. Establishing new parks and supporting indigenous communities is the best way to halt the destruction.”
As Rainforest Trust was raising funding to conserve this area of Bolivia, Selfless by Hyram reached out and wanted to help. Hyram Yarbro, co-founder of Selfless by Hyram and “the Gen Z Whisperer” who has built a 12 million-plus following through his honest and informed reviews of skincare products, has joined forces with the founders of The INKEY List to launch a skincare brand with a focus on positive change. The brand partnered with Rainforest Trust with a goal to make a direct, positive impact on the planet—protecting forests and fighting climate change.
Two months into the partnership and with a significant contribution to Rainforest Trust from Selfless by Hyram, the Bajo Paraguá San Ignacio and Concepción Municipal Protected Areas are now safely under conservation protection and indigenous stewardship.
“With so much of the Earth’s rainforests threatened, we wanted to make a direct, positive impact—protecting forests and fighting climate change,” said Yarbro. “One product and one person at a time. Everyone can make a change and have an impact.”
“We are awed by and grateful for Hyram and Selfless by Hyram’s incredible partnership and commitment to conservation and mitigating climate change with nature based solutions,” Deutsch added.
Just over one-and-a-half times the size of Delaware, the Bajo Paragua San Ignacio and Concepcion Municipal Protected Areas lie on the Amazon’s deforestation frontier, with massive fires and forest loss to the south and some 5-10% of the park itself burnt in 2020 as part of intruders’ efforts to convert the forest for pasture and agriculture. Rainforest Trust, FundacionFundación Natura Bolivia and Selfless by Hyram are providing fire-fighting equipment, training and technical support to the indigenous residents to manage the protected areas.
Comprised of swamp, riverine and floodplain forest habitats, the Bajo Paragua is rich in endangered Amazon species. The proposed protected areas will safeguard at least 1,273 species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and many charismatic large mammals. These include the Crowned Solitary Eagle (EN), Black-faced Black Spider Monkey (EN), Giant Otter (EN), Tapir (VU) and Jaguar (VU). The site also houses globally threatened timber species like Broadleaf Mahogany (VU), Umburana Do Cheiro (EN) and Spanish Cedar (VU).
A newly described golden bat species will also benefit from this protection. Although its conservation status is yet to be determined, it is highly likely to be classified as Endangered and endemic given its limited range and increasing habitat loss. Species numbers are still preliminary and likely to increase, as much of the biodiversity in the area is still unknown to science.
To date, Rainforest Trust has safeguarded more than 37 million acres around the globe, and Selfless by Hryram’s commitment has not ended. The two partners will continue to channel the power of social change to establish new protected areas across the tropics targeting high impact forests, rich in biodiversity and for the carbon they store.
Selfless by Hyram identified Rainforest Trust as a partner that shares its vision of a future where every person can have impact through their choices. Beyond Yarbro’s extensive skincare knowledge lies a passion for commitment to use his platform and voice to raise awareness of issues that have affected him personally as well as those that are having the greatest impact on the planet. It’s this passion and ability to speak to these issues candidly and with compassion that has allowed him to connect and engage with his audience in a way that transcends skincare.