Rainforest Alliance

In Brief

1987, New York; RA Certified seal; biodiversity, sust. livelihoods

Description

(1987, New York and elsewhere; www.rainforest-alliance.org).

Mission: “To conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.” Works with forward-thinking farmers, foresters and tourism entrepreneurs via training and certification to promote healthy ecosystems and communities in some of the world’s most vulnerable ecosystems and to ensure the long-term economic health of forest communities. The Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal is an internationally recognized symbol of environmental, social and economic sustainability. As detailed in an interactive map, the Alliance has a worldwide reach with 95M acres of forest under sustainable management, certified by the Alliance as an example of its impact.

Five action areas: 1) Keeping forests standing (preventing deforestation and forest degradation, increasing forest cover and conservation areas, and generating goods and services); 2) Curbing climate change (certified farmers are prohibited from deforesting their land; they must also maintain healthy soils, protect native ecosystems and decrease their use of energy, water and agrochemicals, thus reducing GHG emissions and increasing carbon stored in vegetation on their farms; Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification criteria leads to decreased greenhouse gas emissions through reduced impact logging techniques, fire prevention and other practices); 3) Protecting biodiversity (providing communities with tools, technical assistance and training, and evaluation services to ensure that forestry and agricultural businesses are protecting soils and waterways, monitoring wildlife populations, conserving migratory pathways, saving breeding grounds, and prohibiting trafficking of wild animals.); 4) Alleviating poverty (works with farmers and forest managers to provide tools and know-how to manage their natural resources to become Certified to differentiate their products, reach new markets, negotiate better prices, improve access to credit, and lift themselves and their communities out of poverty; also helps indigenous groups and local communities to establish and operate sustainable tourism businesses, which can provide an economically viable alternative to deforestation.); 5) Transforming business practices (wildlife and ecosystems are protected on Certified farms and forestlands, workers receive decent wages, good housing and healthcare, and their children have access to education; companies identify sustainable sources for the materials they need and minimize disruptions to their supply chains; makes tourism more sustainable by protecting the natural treasures that attract tourists and contributing to the economic health of communities by employing local people.). Also provides a business portal and supply chain management services for enterprises in forestry, agriculture, and tourism. Publishes Annual Report 2014: The Elements of Sustainability (34p, online). FY2015 budget: $53M, including $12.7M in Certification fees. Staff and directors: 43; offices in 9 countries; President: Tensie Whelan.

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