Our Community Projects
With our carefully selected rainforest communities, we help to develop income generating activities that fit the specific needs and strengths of the community. These economic activities are consistent with protecting rainforests and empowering the local community. We help to develop the infrastructure and provide the training needed for the projects.
Colibri Cloudforest Regeneration
Rainforest Partnership is supporting neighboring communities in the Colibri Cloudforest region in the creation of an ecological regeneration project that aims to both restore forest biodiversity on degraded lands and also establish sustainable coffee agroforestry systems that incorporate ecologically valuable shade trees. These communities will establish plant nurseries and carry out active planting techniques to help stabilize slopes experiencing degradation and erosion. At the same time, sustainable coffee agroforestry systems will support the livelihoods of these communities, while improving soil and increasing biodiversity.
This regeneration project is funded through the generosity of Paul Pittman’s family who wanted to honor Paul’s memory and his intense passion for our planet; Paul was a volunteer at Rainforest Partnership.
- Restore native forest biodiversity
- Establish sustainable coffee agroforestry practices that will help recover the ecological integrity of agricultural areas
- Support community livelihoods by expanding coffee production
The beekeeping project began when our partner community of San Antonio in the Colibri cloudforest region expressed interest in beginning work on beekeeping. They realized the important role honeybees play by pollinating the flora of the rainforest. We want to help the community further develop this beekeeping business to increase the bee population in the area and maintain the biodiversity of the region.
- Generate an income based on beekeeping products
- Contribute to maintaining the biodiversity of the region
- Help local farmers keep healthy crops
- Search for markets on the local and national level for bee products
Colibri Butterfly Sanctuary
This project was developed when the San Antonio community expressed concerns on the poaching and illegal trafficking of butterflies in the Colibri cloudforest to interested buyers in the West. They reached out to Rainforest Partnership with the idea of creating a Butterfly Sanctuary that would host endemic butterfly species. This project would curb illegal trafficking by creating an alternative source of income for the community while promoting butterfly conservation in the region.
- Expand economic opportunity in the Colibri community
- Establish a butterfly sanctuary
- Promote the breeding of local butterfly species
- Restore the butterfly population in Colibri region
Colibri Cloudforest Protected Areas
In addition to the projects within San Antonio and Calabaza that provide an alternative source of income to discourage deforestation, Rainforest Partnership has signed agreements with local lawmakers to create official protected areas of forest in the region. This creates an extra layer of protection for the Colibri Cloudforest region and means the projects in the community can work without intrusion from outside forces.
- Establish a comprehensive forest protection to this cloudforest region
- Strengthen collaborations and partnerships between multiple stakeholders
- Protect the critical habitat for the many endangered species in Colibri region
Colibri Cloudforest Ecotourism
The communities of San Antonio and Calabaza first approached Rainforest Partnership with the intention of further developing their ecotourism business. Each community runs an eco-hotel that houses tourists. Both communities recognized ecotourism as a way to preserve their forests while also getting an economic income. Our current work is related to improving roads and access to areas of interest for tourists. We are also looking to expand the model to other neighboring forest communities.
- Promote ecotourism in the region to build this source of income
- Expand the ecotourism program in neighboring forest communities
Achuar Traditional Medicine
The Traditional Medicine Center project was developed out of the Achuar people’s interest in preserving their unique knowledge of traditional medicine and plants. They reached out to Rainforest Partnership for support to create a traditional medicine center in the main town of the Achuar community. This would help to improve access to basic health care as well as create an economic opportunity that sustainably draws on natural resources.
- Create a socio-economic business model based on Achuar traditional medicine
- Preserve the Achuar traditional knowledge of medicinal plants.
- Provide training for new medical practitioners
- Promote the exchange of knowledge between different communities in the territory
Sani Isla Ecotourism – Ambassadors of the Amazon
Sani Lodge, owned and managed by the Sani Isla Kichwa community, provides an authentic cultural and educational experience for visitors from around the world. The economic benefits from the Lodge remain in the community, supporting improved health, educational, and sustainable livelihood opportunities.
Rainforest Partnership has partnered with Sani Lodge to enhance their ability to meet the needs and expectations of international tourists. Our joint goal is to strengthen the staff’s administrative and financial capacity, language skills, and technical knowledge of the Amazonian ecosystem and its biodiversity. Training in these critical areas will give the community the tools to continue protection of their territory while increasing income from their Lodge and their forest home.
- Promote Sani Lodge on a global scale to increase tourism
- Strengthen staff communication and business skills
- Increase environmental knowledge of the forest to ensure optimal visitor experiences
Sani Warmi Artisan Project
The project was developed when the women in the community expressed their desire to focus on revitalizing traditional handicrafts.The Sani Isla Kichwa Arts and Crafts project (Sani Warmi Project) empowers the women of Sani Isla to run their own business of artisan crafts made of local seeds, vines, and fibers. This business provides a sustainable source of income for the women while encouraging the protection of over 50,000 acres of pristine rainforest land from outside threats.
- Approach new communities neighboring Sani Isla on the banks of the Napo River.
- Find new groups of women interested in the conservation of their territory and increased community income.
- Boost the personal development of the women and empower them.
Films For the Forest
Films for the Forest is our annual international short film contest. Winning films are screened as a part of SXSW Film Festival Community Film Screenings. Films for the Forest has received submissions from filmmakers spanning four continents, been judged by an impressive list of award-winning filmmakers and environmentalists, and raised thousands of dollars for Rainforest Partnership’s projects with forest communities in Ecuador and Peru.
- Raise awareness of rainforests through creative ways
- Form an international community of artists dedicated to saving our forests
- Get our local communities interested in what they can do to stop deforestation
Our Youth Education Initiative aims to teach young students about rainforest conservation and empower them to take action at the local and global level. We introduce students to the indigenous communities we work with and connect students with volunteers who have been involved in our projects in the tropics.
- To inspire students with knowledge to get involved with forest conservation, in their communities and abroad.
Rainforest Listening is an augmented reality project that layers rainforest soundscapes in urban environments. Listeners access the sounds via mobile devices and sculpt their own experience by walking through urban environments and triggering geolocated soundscapes in iconic locations across the world. This project showcases the value of listening to natural environments in their current state of ecological uncertainty.
- Remotely connect people to the rainforest in order to strengthen the bond between human and nature to increase awareness of and interest in protecting the precious ecosystem.