Rainforest Foundation UK is committed to both human rights and environmental protection when it comes to tackling deforestation. Locally, we support forest communities to gain land rights, challenge destructive industries, manage their forests and protect their environment. Globally, we campaign to influence national and international laws and policies that protect rainforests and their inhabitants.
Instead of conserving forests purely for their biodiversity or carbon values, RFUK promotes the establishment of community rights over rainforest lands, tackling the root causes of deforestation and paving the way for local people to benefit fairly from the use and protection of forest resources. We deliver our work through long-term partnerships with local and indigenous peoples’ organisations so that capacity is sustained in rainforest countries.
Since our founding in 1989, the Rainforest Foundations of the UK, US and Norway have supported communities to secure and protect more than 84 million hectares of tropical rainforest — an area roughly the size of Scandinavia.
The founding principle of the Rainforest Foundation UK is that the most effective, just and sustainable way to protect forests is to entrust them to the local and indigenous communities that live in and depend on these areas. To achieve this, our organisational strategy and theory of change are built on eleven guiding pillars:
RFUK has successfully campaigned for a moratorium on new industrial logging concessions in the DR Congo, protecting as many as 70 million hectares of intact rainforest — an area twice the size of Germany.
Our sustainable conservation and human rights campaign and exposes of the human cost of Central Africa’s protected areas have triggered a wave of global reforms of biodiversity policies and funding.
Through simple, low-cost technologies, our award-winning MappingForRights initiative has supported more than a thousand communities to produce highly accurate maps of their forest lands, providing much needed proof of their traditional ownership.
Our groundbreaking work on community forests in the Congo Basin and award-winning indigenous livelihood project in Peru show why forests under community control are more sustainable.