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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Europe not doing enough to stop illegal logging imports says Greenpeace
(03/04/2014) Europe is failing to fully enforce its one-year-old EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), alleges Greenpeace, with illegally-logged wood still slipping into the continent, especially from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
REDD+ could fail without near-term financial support
(02/06/2014) An ambitious plan to save the world's tropical forests by valuing them for the carbon the store may fail to reduce deforestation unless governments and multilateral institutions significantly scale up financial commitments to the program, argues a new report published by the Global Canopy Programme, the Amazon Environmental Research Institute, Fauna & Flora International, and UNEP Finance Initiative.
Next big idea in forest conservation? Integrating forest conservation, use, and restoration
(01/10/2014) The next big idea is to integrate the social and natural components of forest conservation, use of forest products, and restoration. In reality, these aspects are completely intertwined, but in practice they are completely separated. I believe (along with many others) that the scale at which we can begin to integrate these components is at the landscape scale.
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