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Press

November 30, 2000

ECOLOGYFUND.COM LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO ESTABLISH NEW NATIONAL PARK IN EAST AFRICA

EcologyFund.com Joins Italian NGO & Tanzanian Government in Plan to Protect 250,000 Acres of Rare Habitat and Wildlife Including a 50,000-acre Closed Canopy Tropical Forest

Boston, MA - EcologyFund.com today announced their partnership with the Italian non-government organization Fondo per la Terra (Earth Fund) in an effort to secure an additional 70,000 acres that will be added to surrounding lands to create the new Saadani National Park in Tanzania. Fondo per la Terra (http://www.fondoperlaterra.org/) will purchase the Mkwaja North Ranch from a Swiss company and then donate it to the Tanzanian Government. The Tanzanian Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Zakira Menji, has declared her desire to add the donated land to the Saadani Game Reserve, the South Mkwaja Ranch and Zaraninge Proposed Forest Reserve to create a 250,000 acre national park. Full national park status will afford the land much stronger protection than at present, thus protecting the rare habitats and diverse species in perpetuity.

Internet users can make a free donation to the "Create a New National Park in East Africa" project by visiting the EcologyFund homepage (http://www.EcologyFund.com) and clicking on the donate button next to the project. Each time this happens, users will trigger a payment by the project sponsors to Fondo per la Terra resulting in the preservation of 43.2 square feet of land in East Africa. This "click-to-donate" model is working. Over 80,000 visitors per month view Internet ad banners in exchange for donations to create nature reserves. Since EcologyFund's launch in February, users of the popular site have enabled the purchase of over 3,450 acres (5.4 sq. miles) of threatened wilderness in the US, Canada, Mexico, Amazon Basin, and Patagonia.

"The donations secured through EcologyFund.com will help us to purchase this vital piece of land and finalize the plans for the new Saadani National Park," says Guido Gerletti, Chairman of Fondo per la Terra. "The establishment of this park is currently our primary goal in our worldwide conservation efforts for bio-diversity."

The protection of diverse habitats and species is vital to sustain our global environment.
The proposed 250,000 acre park will contain a mosaic of distinct and rare habitats including beach and salt grass flats, lowland coastal forests, mangrove swamps, coastal thicket, semi-arid scrub, grassland, river delta, wetlands and beaches. These habitats host numerous species of rare (more) wildlife that will thrive under the no-hunting protection of the national park system including lions, leopards, wildebeest, the Roosevelt sable antelope, zebra, eland, elephants, buffaloes, large antelopes, and the very rare Giant brown bat. In addition, the beach areas contain one of the last significant breeding areas in East Africa for the green turtle (Chelonia mydas).

In the western section of the planned park lays the most important biological asset of the whole area: the Zaraninge Forest. The forest contains 50,000 acres of closed canopy tropical forest, one of the larger coastal forests in Tanzania and is part of the "Eastern Arc and Coastal Forest for Kenya and Tanzania Hotspot." The area hosts several internationally scarce species including 8 mammals, 10 birds, a new species of reptile (dwarf gecko), one amphibian (Hyperolius parkeri), an endemic snail and many other species of invertebrates.

EcologyFund.com has already saved over 3,450 acres of threatened wilderness land.
EcologyFund offers non-profit land preservation partners the opportunity to post their most urgent projects on EcologyFund. Currently, the Rainforest Trust based in the U.K., the Wilderness Land Trust, The Wildlands Project, The Cascades Conservation Partnership and Kentucky Natural Lands Trust based in the U.S., Pronatura of Mexico, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and now Fondo per la Terra are official partners of EcologyFund and have projects benefiting from the site.

Visitors to EcologyFund primarily raise funds by clicking on the "donate" button for each of the seven available projects. The visitor then views a page of sponsor banner ads. Site sponsors pay a per-view fee each month to the individual non-profit land preservation groups. One hundred percent of the sponsors' payments go to EcologyFund's non-profit partners. Each visitor currently can save 281 square feet of rainforest and wild lands a day at no cost to them by clicking the donate buttons.

The greater number of sponsors, the more land saved. EcologyFund is proud to currently have thirteen site sponsors: Novica, CharityMall, L.L. Bean, WebReleaf.com, EnviroNetwork.com, iPrint.com, FinePrint.com, Café Canopy, Lucy.com, Flower.com, Botany in a Day, Etera, and Wine Accents. The Environment News Service is an official partner of EcologyFund.com. Links to sponsor Web sites can be accessed from the sponsor banner page on EcologyFund.com.

EcologyFund.com founder Tim Kunin is available for interviews: Kunin@EcologyFund.com or 781-461-6161.

PRESS CONTACT:
Jessica Frost, Publicity Director
CharityMall.com/EcologyFund.com
216 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104
ph: 734-213.7777
fx: 734-913-5555
jfrost@charitymall.com



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