New research shows indigenous peoples and local communities live on at least 3.75 million square miles of land spanning most of the world’s endangered tropical forests—yet have legal rights to less than half of these lands.
Rainforest Foundation US (RFUS) partners with indigenous peoples to protect vital rainforest ecosystems and address the climate crisis. We provide support to indigenous communities and organizations to secure their rights to their traditional lands and livelihoods. As an organization, RFUS prides itself on being nimble and flexible, engaging with our partners over the long term on initiatives based on their priorities and aspirations.
The following are among the key ways RFUS supports its partners:
RFUS’s territorial monitoring program, called Rainforest Alert, provides training, tools and financial support to indigenous organizations to map, monitor, and secure their territories using cost effective technology like smartphones and drones.
RFUS advises communities to build participatory, bottom-up land management plans to protect their forests and to set the stage for sustainable livelihoods that respect their values, beliefs, and ways of life.
Policy & Advocacy
RFUS supports partners to advocate for national and international policy change as it relates to indigenous peoples’ rights, forest protection and restoration, natural resource management, climate action, and biodiversity preservation.
RFUS invests directly in indigenous peoples’ organizations, and partners with them to strengthen their: integral governance; communications; and administrative, management, and financial capacities.
Land Titling & Legal Intervention
RFUS works with indigenous peoples to obtain legal representation to secure land rights, settle disputes, and seek justice for human rights violations perpetrated against environmental defenders.
To blunt climate change, Guyana has pledged to aggressively expand the amount of rainforests protected within its borders. But as the threat of big oil looms, indigenous peoples’ land rights need to be recognized in order to meet this goal.
A government grant awarded to RFUS and the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests will strengthen the Alliance’s governance structure, it’s access to finance, and its women and youth programs.
Support Our Work
Rainforest Foundation US is tackling the major challenges of our day: deforestation, the climate crisis, and human rights violations. Your donation moves us one step closer to creating a more sustainable and just future.