Rainforest in Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia. (Photo by R. Butler)
INTERNATIONAL RAINFOREST CONSERVATION ORGANIZATIONS
By Rhett Butler
| Last updated July 11, 2012
Today international conservation organizations serve as environmental consultants for governments and large corporations interested
in reducing pollution, setting aside protected areas, and conserving biodiversity. Organizations like the International
Conservation Union (IUCN), The Forest Trust, the Rainforest Alliance, Conservation International (CI), the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) act as mediators between various development interests,
policy makers, local peoples, scientists, and activist groups in promoting conservation. These organizations initiate
and support a broad range of conservation-related activities, from arranging international conferences to establishing
community-based conservation projects to maintaining parks and reserves. Keeping attuned to economic realities,
they work to integrate the latest scientific findings into preservation efforts.
Articles on conservation organizations >>
Activist groups, like the Rainforest Action Network (RAN),
Amazon Watch, and Greenpeace are publicists and sponsors of rainforest preservation. They are watchdogs of projects that impact the rainforest, and they spread the the word to other organizations, peoples, and governments. They initiate campaigns against large corporations and governments responsible for deforestation and encourage consumers
to boycott their products. Pressure against these companies from environmental organizations, coupled with boycotts,
will often sway the firm to adopt more ecologically sound methods or abandon plans to clear forest lands for production.
While critics argue that successful boycotts in the North only lead to trade diversion to markets that remain open,
their campaigns draw public attention to deforestation and increase industry's sensitivity to rainforest issues.
Articles on activist groups and campaigns >>
Outside of governments and the general public, substantial amounts of funding for rainforest conservation funding come from private foundations usually started by wealthy individuals. For example, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is perhaps the largest private funder of conservation in the Amazon rainforest.
Articles on rainforest funders >>
- Does pressure from activist groups work?
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(07/23/2014) After exceeding an ambitious fundraising target to launch a near-real time forest monitoring system in the Congo Basin, a San-Francisco based start-up is now eyeing expansion in the Amazon where it hopes to help an indigenous rainforest tribe fight illegal logging.
APP: Indonesia needs a new business model
(07/04/2014) In response to news that Indonesia has now surpassed Brazil as the world's top deforester, the head of sustainability at one of Indonesia's biggest forestry companies is calling for a new business model in how the Southeast Asian nation manages its forest. In a letter published Friday, Aida Greenbury, Asia Pulp & Paper's Managing Director Sustainability, said Indonesia needs to take a more comprehensive approach to tackling deforestation.
Discarded cell phones to help fight rainforest poachers, loggers in real-time
(06/24/2014) A technology that uses discarded mobile phones to create a real-time alert system against logging and poaching will soon be deployed in the endangered rainforests of Central Africa. Rainforest Connection (RFCx), a San Francisco-based non-profit startup, is partnering with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to install its real-time anti-deforestation technology at sites in Cameroon. 30 RFCx devices — recycled from old Android handsets — will monitor 10,000 hectares or nearly 40 square miles of rainforest, listening for audio signals associated with logging and poaching.
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