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What we do

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Our Story

The Rainforest Foundation was founded with a radically new idea:

What if Indigenous people of the rainforest–those intimately connected to their ancestral lands–had the legal right to protect the forests we all depend on?

At the time, environmental organizations didn’t focus on Human Rights. In fact, people were frequently seen as part of the problem. But Sting and Trudie Styler listened to the Kayapo, an Indigenous community living deep in the Brazilian Amazon and decided put their might behind the Indigenous defenders that were fighting to protect their rainforest lands just as they always had.

“‘I really worry that my children are going to say ‘what did you do to save the rainforest, dad?’ I have to have a good answer. ” –Sting.

The latest satellite images and drone footage prove this wasn’t just ethical, it was by far the best strategy. Today, we know that rainforests protected by Indigenous communities have the lower rates of deforestation than any other forests in the world including national parks, nature preserves, government land, and private sanctuaries.

Indigenous communities
are protecting the rainforest

This map of Peru demonstrates just how effective Indigenous communities are at protecting the rainforest when they are given the legal right to do so. Notice how few pink areas (Areas of Deforestation) coincide with the green areas (Indigenous Communities).

Take Action

Just $5 saves an acre of Rainforest!

Why we do it

Human life depends on the rainforest. It is home to more than ½ of the world’s animal and plant species, the source of life saving medicines, a powerhouse that cleans the earth’s air and water, and one of the keys to keeping global climate stable. Yet, our rainforests are disappearing. Once covering 14% of our land, today rainforests make up only 6% our planet.

But there are people making a difference. Indigenous communities of the rainforest are fighting back–insisting the world recognize their right to their ancestral lands and their own unique cultures. They are at the frontlines– protecting their lands, heritage and the rainforests.

We can’t promise to change the world. But with your help, we can make sure that indigenous communities have legal right to their ancestral lands, that millions of acres of ancient forests remain standing, and that the jaguar has a place to roam and the eagle a world in which to soar.

Make a difference

Just $5 saves an acre of Rainforest!

Helping Indigenous Communities protect their rainforest land- It’s not just the right thing to do, it works!