2023 A Year in Review

0 M

Acres of rainforests monitored in collaboration with Indigenous-led programs

0 +

Indigenous and Local Communities served in the Amazon and Central America

0 M

Acres of traditional lands in Guyana protected with conservation plans

Supported Indigenous Communities Prove Land Ownership to Protect More Than 105,000 Acres of Rainforest

Our Indigenous partners are unable to protect their territory from the devastating impacts of illegal logging and mining activities without legal land ownership. Studies have shown that Indigenous peoples who hold title to their lands are the most effective guardians and stewards of the forest—titled lands show a 66% decrease in deforestation important in the fight to slow climate change.

The Gamboa community in Peru—a part of our Rainforest Alert program—received 17 land titles in record time through a low cost, high impact model developed in partnership with Rainforest Foundation US (RFUS) and the Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Rainforest (AIDESEP). 20 more are in progress for a total of 37 land titles. With our support, communities received the titles in 10 months, a process that normally takes 10 years. And for the first time, Indigenous partners had a seat at the table during these important negotiations.

This bottom up approach is one that AIDESEP—in partnership with RFUS—hopes to repeat in communities throughout the Peruvian Amazon. 

Read more.

Advanced Rainforest Monitoring and Protection through Tech Camps

RFUS organized two “Tech Camps” with our partners to share knowledge and provide training to advance forest monitoring, an important part of our Indigenous partners’ work in protecting rainforests. Seventy participants, including Indigenous partners from the Amazon Basin, US organizations, government officials, and academics came together to discuss successful projects from their respective geographies and showcase four new technologies that can be used by Indigenous partners to protect their rainforests.

Two of the technologies featured were especially exciting:

  • The World Forest ID sampling system is a technology through which tree samples are entered into the World Forest ID catalog to help trace the origin of wood through DNA and chemical analysis.
  • The Mapbuilder tool is a powerful software that allows Indigenous communities to turn their spatial data and imagery into an immersive story with interactive maps.

Both technologies will allow our Indigenous partners to improve monitoring and protection of their lands and forests.

Read more.

Provided Legal Training for Indigenous Communities’ Defense and Advocacy

With strategic guidance and financial support from RFUS, our partners at the South Rupununi District Council in southwestern Guyana launched a pilot program to train a team of 10 community paralegals. These Indigenous paralegals—experts in the local context and culture—serve as grassroots legal advocates who know, use, and shape the law to defend their rights. These paralegals fill a vital role in providing legal access to Indigenous communities in remote regions whose interests are often most impacted by decisions made by government officials, but who aren’t often consulted in the decision making process. Specifically, the 10 trained paralegals rotate through 21 communities to build community capacity on legal issues, including the Amerindian Act law reform and community engagement on carbon markets.

Read More

Indigenous representatives speaking at COP28 podium

COP28: Indigenous peoples should take center stage, and supporting their communities is key to effectively mitigating climate change

Rainforest Foundation US (RFUS) will participate in COP28, supporting Indigenous leaders from the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities (GATC), an organization that unites Indigenous peoples and local community (IP and LC) organizations from 24 countries in the Amazon Basin, Mesoamérica, the Congo Basin, and Indonesia, among other national and regional partners.


Indigenous Tech Camps: An Incubator for Indigenous-Led Solutions in the Peruvian Amazon

Rainforest Foundation US hosted events in the Peruvian Amazon to develop four pilot programs led by Indigenous communities to scale up effective conservation strategies. The Indigenous Tech Camps served as a collaborative platform, uniting various Indigenous organizations with academics, government officials, and international allies. These initiatives underscore our commitment to advancing Indigenous-led solutions in the Amazon.

RFUS in the Press

Pushback from rights experts after aid-funded carbon certifier rejects first appeal from Indigenous group

Josh Lichtenstein, Program Manager at Rainforest Foundation US, expresses disappointment at the rejection of the appeal from the Amerindian Peoples Association of Guyana (APA) by carbon certifier ART. “The issues raised by APA’s complaint and appeal are serious and ongoing, and have, if nothing else, clearly demonstrated that the ART validation and verification process is deeply flawed, and the grievance mechanism does not work,” he says.

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.

There is still time to double your impact

There is no planet B. Your support is crucial to help scale up Indigenous-led solutions to the climate crisis to protect rainforests and our planet’s future.

Every $1 you give will result in $2 to RFUS, thanks to a match offered by a generous donor!

Didier Devers
Chief of Party – USAID Guatemala

Didier has been coordinating the USAID-funded B’atz project since joining Rainforest Foundation US in April 2022. He holds a Master’s in Applied Anthropology and a Bachelor’s in Geography. Before joining the organization, Didier worked for 12 years in Central and South America on issues of transparency, legality, governance, and managing stakeholders’ processes in the environmental sector. Prior to that he worked on similar issues in Central Africa. He speaks French, Spanish, and English, and is based in Guatemala.