The situation we are facing
The rainforests of the world are under increasing pressure from agro-industrial expansion, extractive activities, infrastructure development and industrial logging. They are also home to millions of people.
Indigenous and forest populations living in and around the rainforests depend on the forests for shelter, food, medicine and livelihoods. In many cases, the basic rights of these people are threatened or undermined by forest destruction, land theft and resource exploitation.
What we set out to do
The Rainforest Foundation is working to ensure the long-term protection of rainforests by securing the rights of indigenous and forest peoples to land, life and livelihood. We are working in 21 countries and across four continents, supporting hundreds of communities.
Our approach is working. Research has shown
that indigenous peoples’ areas in the Amazonian
rainforest are now better conserved than the national
parks. Significant evidence from the Amazon Basin
now shows that, where forest communities have
gained legal title to land, levels of deforestation and
forest destruction are far lower even than in strictly
protected areas such as national parks. To date,
we have protected over 11,700,000 hectares of
rainforest following this approach.
A new report published today by the Rainforest Foundation UK challenges current laws in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which ascribe all ownership of land to the State and deprive forest dwelling people of any right to own or protect forest for their own benefit.
The DRC is at a cross-roads. The passing of the long-awaited community forest decree, ongoing land reform initiatives, land-use zoning/planning and the development of very large-scale REDD projects, are all likely to have an important impact on the world’s second largest rainforest and its inhabitants.
Four Peruvian indigenous environmental and human rights activists, including outspoken Asháninka leader Edwin Chota, were brutally murdered on September 1st or 2nd, 2014, near the Brazilian border, presumably by illegal loggers from whom they had been receiving death threats.
Indigenous leader and Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) partner Ruth Buendía has been awarded the Bartolomé de las Casas prize for her commitment to standing up for the human and environmental rights of the Asháninka people in the Peruvian Amazon.
The rainforests of the world are being destroyed at an increasingly rapid rate. Not only are the forests the lungs of our earth, there are millions of people living in and around the rainforests who depend on the forests for shelter, food, medicine and livelihoods.
The Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) is working to ensure the long-term protection of rainforests by securing the rights of indigenous communities to land, life and livelihoods.
By mapping their land a community claim their rights to land and defend their forest home from threats
By highlighting the presence of otherwise 'invisible' indigenous peoples and forest communities, this project hopes to bridge the gap between remote forest communities and central decision making processes to eradicate marginalisation of forest dwellers.
In the Congo Basin, indigenous peoples and forest communities have become extremely vulnerable due to discrimination, exclusion from governance processes and rights violations.