Rainforest Foundation UK News
On the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, RFUK talks to Ruth Buendía, the President of the Central Ashaninka del Rio Ene (CARE), our main indigenous partner organisation in Peru.
Ruth was born and raised in the indigenous Asháninka community of Cutivireni, along the banks of the Ene river. As a young girl, she experienced tremendous hardship: her father was murdered by the Shining Path terrorist movement, forcing Ruth, her mother and her sister to flee into the depths of the jungle – which is now a part of the protected Asháninka Communal Reserve. Ruth eventually moved to Satipo, a nearby town,, and then to Lima, the capital, but at seventeen she returned to the forest of her origins to find her family, and set her mind to studying.
By the age of twenty-seven, Ruth had run and successfully been elected as the first female President of CARE, which represents seventeen communities of around ten thousand indigenous Ashaninka people
Friday, 9th August marks the 19th International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, a commemorative event established by the United Nations in 1994 which aims to raise awareness of communities around the world whose struggles, lifestyles and rights are often overlooked or ignored.
The Rainforest Foundation UK works closely with indigenous peoples and is committed to putting their interests and insights at the forefront of sustainable development and human rights advocacy. Our work is currently focused on the Congo Basin rainforest area in Central Africa, the second largest rainforest area in the world, and the Peruvian Amazon. In both these areas, the projects we run are based on what indigenous peoples and their support organisations want us to do.. All RFUK’s work is aimed at ensuring forest peoples’ rights to define their own path for development.
"RFUK and the rights of indigenous peoples", our basic information leaflet on our work with indigenous peoples in the Congo Basin is now available to download in both English and French. It provides a general overview of our work and plans for the future, as well as of the challenges that indigenous peoples face and how we tackle them.
"Community Lawyers Programme: Building legal capacity to protect forests and forest communities' rights" is another information leaflet covering the need for legal capacity in the Congo Basin, what we are doing to tackle the problems faced by forest communities as well as what we have achieved so far and aim to achieve in the future.
Indigenous federations’ grave concern at lack of consultation in the revision of Peruvian law on Communal Reserves results in promise of a more inclusive process
Peru’s indigenous people have condemned new governmental plans to adopt revisions to a national law on Communal Reserves in Peru, expressing concern at the lack of consultation with them during this process. This has resulted in the process of revising these laws being halted, with promises to make way for more indigenous participation.
Having destroyed vast areas of rainforest in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, palm oil companies are now expanding into the rainforests of the Congo Basin in Africa, home to lowland gorillas, chimpanzees and elephants.
For this reason, we have launched our ‘Appetite for Destruction?‘ campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the impacts associated with the production of this common food ingredient.
In the new research carried out jointly with Ethical Consumer magazine, over 50 of the UK's biggest biscuit manufacturers were surveyed on their use of palm oil or its derivatives. The most ‘ethical’ companies revealed by the survey include Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury's, Waitrose and United Biscuits.
However, a divide is now emerging on the issue of palm oil between these more progressive companies and those bottom-scoring, mostly American-based companies including Asda/Walmart, PepsiCo and Kraft, makers of Ritz and Oreo biscuits.
The product guide on biscuits adds to the information already provided on chocolate and bread.
The Rainforest Foundation UK launches Rainforest Defenders
If you have been following our recently launched Appetite for destruction campaign you will be well aware of the latest threat to the Congo Basin – Palm Oil. New threats to rainforests are emerging all the time and we need to act quickly.
To defend the Congo rainforest from the companies that cleared 7 million acres of rainforest in Malaysia and Indonesia we need urgent funding and we need to know we have long term support.
Unlike many larger charities the Rainforest Foundation UK doesn’t have many regular donors. This year we have set a target of 100 new regular donors.
If you could spare the price of pint each month (or a round, its up to you) then please join us and become one of 100 new Rainforest Defenders this year.
Regular and reliable income is so vital to our work so we assure you your commitment is not just a direct debit; it’s a very special direct debit – one that will make a difference to the future of rainforests and the people and wildlife that rely on them.
For the first time in Peru, a large forest area will be protected according to plans which indigenous forest people have helped to draw up. The ‘Master Plan’ for the Ashaninka Communal Reserve, which covers nearly half a million acres of mostly pristine rainforest, has been approved by the Peruvian government. This follows several years of work and a lengthy process of consultation with the Ashaninka people, which has been supported by the Rainforest Foundation.
RFUK’s application to become a member of the International Land Coalition (ILC) was approved at the ILC Assembly of Members on April 25, 2013 in Antigua, Guatemala.
The ILC’s vision is that Secure and equitable access to and control over land reduces poverty and contributes to identity, dignity and inclusion. It is composed of 152 members in over 50 countries, including civil society and farmers’ organisations, United Nations agencies, NGOs, and research institutes.
Bank holiday Monday saw the launch of the Rainforest Foundation’s London Overground advertising campaign.
For the first time in history rainforests are on the London Overground.
However, you don’t need to be on a train to make a difference anyone anywhere can help by texting PROTECT to 70300 to donate £3 to help protect an acre of Congo Basin rainforest.
For more information on our campaign visit our Appetite for Destruction page here.