At Rainforest Partnership, combating deforestation and working to protect and empower rainforest communities is our ultimate mission — but how we do this may surprise you.
As implied in the organization’s name, our work at the intersection of conservation, sustainable incomes, and regeneration efforts comes down to partnerships with rainforest partners in and around the Amazon and globally. These collaborations that address deforestation, climate change and biodiversity loss while highlighting basic human rights allow us to make deep-seated change on some of the pressing social and environmental issues of our time.
Rainforest Partnership’s endeavors incorporate six elements that together help us make the task of deforestation mitigation successful and sustainable. We integrate these elements into every one of Rainforest Partnership’s projects throughout the principle biodiversity hotspots in South America, all of which support several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Read more about our 6-pronged approach below!
1. Community Engagement and Empowerment
Ensuring local and indigenous participation and ownership is key to protecting the rainforest, because it creates a cohesive community that can withstand external threats. Rainforest Partnership does this through conservation education and capacity building training and workshops. This is built on an initial social assessment carried out working directly with each community. Founded on principles of collaboration and respect, our approach integrates both scientific and traditional community knowledge. In addition, by working with local and indigenous women to also contribute to generating an income, it leads to greater community stability, pride, and self efficacy. This is why we focus our efforts on all members of rainforest communities as active members of our projects, establishing close working relationships that will see sustainable results.
2. Sustainable Livelihoods
Rainforest communities are at the core of our work. We help them develop income-generating activities to fit their specific needs and strengths, while promoting conservation. Specifically, we work to build community capacity, train people, and conduct market research for services and products such as ecotourism, artisanal handicrafts, medicinal products, and local art, establishing a culturally appropriate entrepreneurial spirit within each locale. This provides each unique community with the economic means to prosper and protect the rainforests they call home against external interests.
3. Conservation Science
We produce scientific research both biological (about species, ecosystems, processes, etc.) and social (about stakeholders, partners, etc.) to support the creation of protected areas and actions for endangered species. As a data-driven organization, we conduct research and carefully choose our indicators of conservation success, to inform our decision making and to assess the progress of our projects so that the rainforest’s biodiversity can be protected for years to come.
4. Conservation Management and Governance
We believe that providing the legal designation for protected areas helps to safeguard the forest that communities live in and facilitate the development of future projects. That’s why we make it a priority to establish and reinforce protected area creation and management across local, regional, and national levels by way of developing Conservation Concession Areas, Regional Conservation Areas, and Biosphere Reserves. Creating different layers of protected areas not only helps reinforce and protect the communities that live on the land, but serves the vital role of preserving the biodiversity of the area and the ecosystem services the forest provides. Specifically, protected areas reap a multitude of ecological benefits including maintaining water sources, promoting pollination, protecting species, and sustaining carbon sinks. In some cases, they become conservation-based economic drivers as well.
5. Biodiversity Conservation & Forest Regeneration
Rainforest biodiversity has been negatively affected by unsustainable practices like the extraction of petroleum and minerals, as well as deforestation due to the expansion of agriculture and livestock. This is due to both external forces, like companies and migrants, and the local communities unintentionally misusing forest resources. Rainforest Partnership aims to reverse this damage by developing sustainable agroforestry programs and ecological restoration projects with community members so that they may thrive for years to come. Landscape restoration is done by aiding in the proliferation of new forest life and sustaining the current species. We collaborate with regional governments on policy plans to protect the local biodiversity, and develop key conservation actions for endangered species such as the yellow-tailed woolly and Andean night monkeys. This work simultaneously strengthens local economies, biodiversity, and carbon storage.
6. Global Activation and Engagement
One of the most important aspects of our work is to engage global audiences through education on the importance of rainforest conservation and activate a meaningful and effective response.
Rainforest Partnership hosts Films for the Forest, a global filmmaking challenge, every year. This competition shines a light on the importance of rainforests to people of all ages, offering participants and the general public a platform to engage, interact and think about their shared responsibility to conserve the planet. Films for the Forest (F3) has received film submissions spanning all seven continents.
Rainforest Partnership created World Rainforest Day, June 22nd as an annual day to focus attention on tropical rainforests and the outsize role they play on the planet’s well being. As founders and conveners of World Rainforest Day, Rainforest Partnership facilitates collaborative effort to raise awareness and encourage action to protect the world’s rainforests by partnering with individuals, organizations, governments and private sector companies all over the world to celebrate this precious natural resource and to spark our collective action to preserve it.
There you have it! For any climate action to have a long lasting impact, it must begin from the ground-up, and there’s no one more intimately involved in forest protection than the local and indigenous communities who live there. That’s why we’re dedicated to working directly and supporting our partners with the training, tools and resources needed to defend their homeland. When they protect their forests, they do it for themselves, and all of us everywhere.