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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REDD+ program to cut deforestation gets final approval in Warsaw
(11/22/2013) Negotiators in Warsaw have reached formal agreement on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+), a program that aims to compensate tropical countries for protecting their forests. After seven years of discussions, countries approved the final REDD+ text on Friday at the COP17.
Redeeming REDD: a conversation with Michael Brown
(11/11/2013) In Redeeming REDD: Policies, Incentives and Social Feasibility for Avoided Deforestation, anthropologist Michael Brown relays a constructive critique of the contemporary aims, standards and modalities for mitigating climate change by reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD). Brown advocates for REDD as a viable mechanism for the long-term pro-poor conservation and restoration of tropical forests as well—but only if local forest dwellers and Indigenous. Peoples can join the negotiating table and act as forest stewards. Local people must first be empowered to make 'socially feasible' decisions that are necessary for their livelihoods and well-being. In other words, there can be no environmentalism without credible local leadership, which requires investment in capacity building at the local level for sustainable institutions.
Could camera trap videos galvanize the world to protect Yasuni from oil drilling?
(11/07/2013) Even ten years ago it would have been impossible to imagine: clear-as-day footage of a jaguar plodding through the impenetrable Amazon, or a bicolored-spined porcupine balancing on a branch, or a troop of spider monkeys feeding at a clay lick, or a band of little coatis racing one-by-one from the dense foliage. These are things that even researchers who have spent a lifetime in the Amazon may never see. Now anyone can: scientists at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station in Ecuador's Yasuní National Park have recently begun using camera trap videos to take movies of animals few will ever view in their lifetimes. The videos—following years of photo camera trapping—provide an intimate view of a world increasingly threatened by the oil industry.
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