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An intro to Rainforest Foundation US

Rainforest Foundation US are one of the incredible charities we support via the Net Zero Fund. You can read this post, watch the video below, or check out their website to learn more about what they do.

To date, we have lost more than half of Earth’s original rainforests and climate researchers agree that at our current rate of deforestation we will lose them all to ecosystem collapse within our own lifetimes. 

“If the tree mortality we see continues for another 10–15 years, then the southern Amazon will turn into a savannah.”

Carlos Nobre, climate researcher at the University of São Paulo

If that happens, it would not only affect the hundreds of millions of people in the region. It would also mean billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide will be emitted into the atmosphere as trees die and vegetation burns, diminished rainfall and altered weather patterns globally, and the extinction of countless animal and plant species.

Rainforest Foundation US recognizes the indigenous peoples that have called these rainforests home for millennia as the best defenders of their ancestral territories, which comprise around 25% of the remaining Amazon rainforest. Multiple studies have shown us that indigenous controlled rainforests have the lowest rates of deforestation, half the rate of  that of national parks. Yet these peoples have been marginalized and pushed out of their ancestral lands in the name of modernity and the myth of progress. 

Founded in 1989 by Sting and Trudie Styler, Rainforest Foundation US is part of a family of organizations with offices in New York, London and Oslo. Rainforest Foundation US partners with indigenous communities in Central and South America to support their visions for protecting their ancestral lands and fighting the climate crisis.

With current programs in Peru, Brazil, Guyana, and throughout Central America, Rainforest Foundation US works on the ground with indigenous communities and partners with indigenous-led organizations to:

  • Fight for the respect of indigenous territorial rights at local, national and international levels
  • Strengthen governance and capacity at the community and regional levels
  • Provide support to indigenous communities seeking legal tenure of their territories
  • Train and equip communities to utilize technology such as satellite data, smartphones and drones to map and monitor their territories for illegal deforestation
  • Create community land management plans that are sustainable, respectful of the land and traditional customs, and lay the groundwork for economic empowerment initiatives

Swift, decisive action and large-scale investment is needed if we want to curb the worst effects of the climate crisis and thwart a man-made mass extinction.

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