Supermodel Lily Cole launches rainforest rescue

Model Lily Cole launched a campaign yesterday to save one billion trees in the Amazon rainforest.

The Cambridge University student, 21, was in Kew Gardens, south west London, to promote the Sky Rainforest Rescue campaign, a project aimed at preserving more than three million hectares of trees in Acre, north west Brazil.

The three-year scheme, run by broadcaster Sky with the conservation body WWF, working with the state government of Acre, aims to provide economic incentives for local communities to preserve the rainforest.

Almost all - 90 per cent - of the region is covered by dense tropical and bamboo forest and is home to species including jaguars, pink river dolphins, scarlet macaws, howler monkeys and giant otters.

Sky and WWF have called for donations to the campaign with every £10 helping to save 500 trees.

The broadcaster said it would match donations to the campaign pound for pound, up to a joint target of £4 million to get the project under way.

Cole said: "It's hard to appreciate the importance of the rainforest because it seems so far away but it's vital to the survival of the planet as we know it.

"The destruction of the rainforest is having a huge impact on our climate and on the millions of animal and plant species and the millions of people who live there.

"It's important we act now, so help make a difference by donating just £10 and help save 500 trees."