Purpose of the World Rainforest Fund and Methods of Accomplishing it
The World Rainforest Fund is a non-profit organization founded in 1984, dedicated to preserving biodiversity and saving rainforests worldwide, primarily tropical rainforest, and mainly in Latin America. Our focus is on the Brazilian Amazon, since this is the largest intact rainforest on earth. The methods we use are empowering indigenous people to help them save their rainforest homes; giving grants to worthy, qualified non-profit organizations doing projects of special value to conserve rainforests; and public education in the United States. Following is elaboration on the three major methods we employ to save rainforests.
The first method we employ, helping indigenous peoples, is based on scientific studies that have demonstrated that the most effective way to save rainforest is aiding and empowering the indigenous peoples of the rainforest (1, 2). This is because poor tropical countries often do not have enough money to pay for a sufficient number of rangers and amount of equipment to protect their national parks, which become “paper parks”—national parks in name only. So people cut and burn the forests and shoot the wildlife even when they are in national parks. Indigenous people, on the other hand, live in the rainforest and want to protect their land, and hence are essentially unpaid guardians of the rainforest. Additionally, scientific research has revealed that the lands of indigenous peoples have the highest number of animal and plant species...
The World Rainforest Fund has a very special current project that we need money to carry out. We intend to save a rainforest ecosystem in Ecuador that has the highest number of species per acre on the entire planet. This high biodiversity is the result of the fact that the low land Amazonian rainforest and the mountainous Andes ecosystems meet and overlap in this area, so that species from both ecosystems occur together here. It also has an unusually high number of endemic species (species found nowhere else on earth).
We are fortunate to have a connection with the government of Ecuador and the indigenous and local people through Fundacion OSA. This non-profit foundation is run by Jonathon Miller, who is well-connected with officials in the government of Ecuador and local and indigenous people in and near the rainforest we are trying to add to the national park...
We are supporting the non-profit, tax-exempt organization in Brazil called Hutukara. This is a coalition of indigenous tribes, led mainly by the Yanomami nation, fighting to save the lands of the indigenous peoples of the rainforests in the Brazilian Amazon. The Amazon Basin is the largest intact rainforest on earth, and the area with the highest overall terrestrial biodiversity—the largest number of species of animals and plants--on our planet. Hutukara needs hand radios and boats so the tribes can communicate with each other.
We are raising money to give them the radios, boats, and equipment, and to meet and hold conferences, needed to save their rainforest homes, and to remove the illegal destroyers of this diverse ecosystem. Among the primary goals of Hutukara is to remove the illegal gold miners and other rainforest destroyers from the lands of indigenous people. This battle can be won, since the Brazilian constitution recognizes indigenous people’s rights to their land. One key ingredient needed is to enforce their right to protect their rainforest homes...
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Evolutionary biologist, environmental leader
Walnut Creek, CA
Small business owner, environmental activist
Sleep technician, clean energy and biodiversity advocate