The Body Shop heads for the Garo Hills of India

By Lucy Tandon Copp 6-Sep-2017

Company hopes to raise £140,000 to protect Indian elephants and western hoolock gibbons

The Body Shop is working with communities in Garo Hills

Indian elephants and western hoolock gibbons are the focus of The Body Shop’s latest Bio-Bridge project.

For two months from September, every purchase from The Body Shop will go towards protecting one square metre of rainforest in India’s Garo Hills, in the district of Meghalaya state.

The population of Indian elephants has declined by at least 50% over the past 70 years, while number of western hoolock gibbons has dropped by half over the past 40.

There are estimated to be as few as 2,600 of these gibbons left, living in restricted forested patches in certain north-eastern Indian states.

Christopher Davis, International Director of Corporate Responsibility at The Body Shop, said: “Here we have a fantastic opportunity to permanently safeguard elephant corridors and ensure the long-term survival of the Indian elephant and western hoolock gibbon, as well as the huge number of other species that call this area home.”

Western hoolock gibbon numbers have halved in 40 years

The Body Shop hopes to raise £140,000 for the project and is working with the World Land Trust and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) to build a bio-bridge in the hills.

The bridge – a regenerated corridor of land – will help the endangered animals pass safely through the Garo Hills.

Another threat to these animals and their habitats is a form of slash and burn farming called jhumming, which is the biggest threat to elephant corridors.

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WTI will work with communities to encourage them to designate the area as a Village Reserve Forest and create alternatives to jhumming.