In honor of Rainforest Day (October 19th) we decided to spotlight a non-profit organization based in New York, that is focused on rainforest conservation. They are the Rainforest Foundation Fund, which is a charitable foundation dedicated to the preservation of the rainforest by defending the rights of the indigenous peoples living there. The fund supports the field-based projects of its three sister organizations: Rainforest Foundation UK, whose work focuses in Africa; Rainforest Foundation US, whose work focuses in Central and South America; and Rainforest Foundation Norway, whose work focuses in Southeast Asia. However, all three organizations have projects worldwide.
The fund works by granting money via these three organizations, and other NGOs, to programs and projects on the ground that support the attempts of indigenous rainforest peoples to assert and defend their rights, to define and promote sustainable development in their communities, and to challenge the activities and practices of governments or other entities which damage the environment and lands of the rainforest. The programs and projects are developed in partnership with local communities and representative indigenous NGOs.
The mission of the Rainforest Foundation US team is the belief that forest protection and human rights are interconnected. They recognize that many indigenous peoples around the world are currently living sustainably in what are considered the most “pristine” rainforests. This is not a coincidence. The people who depend on the forest for their livelihoods, culture, and spirituality are careful in their use of the forest. They believe there are no better forest stewards. The Rainforest Foundation team believes that the most effective way to protect rainforests is to ensure that the indigenous communities who have historically managed and protected those forests have secure and long term rights to their lands and resources.
Written by Timur Pozhidaev, 10/19/2015