By Saoirse Higgins
On October 9th 2019, the Róisín Dubh, a staple of Galway nightlife, is expected to be packed with nearly 600 people. The event in question will be a silent disco called “Rave for the Rainforest”. This event carries more weight than normal, as all money made from tickets goes towards saving land from deforestation in the Amazon.
Many became aware of the problem of deforestation in the Amazon over the summer, when rampant fires were destroying large parts of the forest. However, the problem of deforestation in the Amazon has been a dilemma for much longer than a couple of months.
60% of the Amazon rainforest is in Brazil and, since the 1970’s, deforestation there has been accelerating. Cattle ranching is the biggest perpetrator for this excessive deforestation. Although, in the mid-2000s, deforestation began to decline, due to government intervention and other factors, since 2012, this decline has become steadfast and deforestation has begun to rise again.
Gary Moscarelli, a 2nd year zoology student in NUI Galway, became fully aware of the problem in the Amazon when he started first year. When talking to SIN, Gary said he has been fundraising for World Land Trust over the past year. World Land Trust are a rainforest conservation charity and protect the world’s most threatened habitats. Sir David Attenborough is one of their biggest patrons.
Gary chose to work with World Land Trust as they are a large charity, with well-known eco–system projects. Their projects have shown how they have helped so many endangered habitats across the world, so the charity is one of the most reliable to work with for this cause.
While Gary’s ongoing fundraiser for World Land Trust garnered quite a bit of money, he felt that he was limited and that there must be a better way to raise more money.
So, in thinking about the best way to fundraise for the charity and with Galway’s infamous student life in mind, Gary came up with a charity silent disco.
The organisation of this event has been in action for months. Gary went through several sources for the process, including even calling the Mayor of Galway. Although the Mayor could not do much himself, he gave Gary the number for the owner of the Róisín Dubh.
Meanwhile, in the summer, down in Kinsale, Co.Cork, Galway–based band Rodney had their first gig. Gary, who is close friends with the band’s lead singer, Josh, went to support them and was blown away by the band’s talents. From there, a pact was made that Rodney would headline Gary’s fundraiser event.
From an idea to a 600 people event, the band had no idea that this would become as big as it is but look forward to diving head–first into the Galway music scene.
With half the tickets already sold by the time Gary had talked to SIN, it is almost certain the event will be a success, with hopefully €1500 raised for World Land Trust.
It is important for all of us to pay attention to the deforestation of our beloved rainforests. They are the ‘lungs’ of our planet and, with the threat of climate change forever looming over us, it is important we try and contribute in any way we can.
So, I recommend to those of you who can, to attend ‘Rave in the Rainforest’ or, if by the time you’re reading this, you already have, then you should know every €90 raised saved 1 acre of land from deforestation.
I would recommend Galway students to keep an eye out for Gary Moscarelli and Rodney, as I am certain we will be seeing plenty more from them in the future.