Rainforest Foundation

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Who we are

The rainforest is a home, a habitat, a shelter, a pharmacy, a supermarket and an ecosystem that supports many lives and livelihoods. For the indigenous people and animals that inhabit it, the rainforest is everything. Yet most forest dependent people are unable to defend the lands on which they live from forest destruction, land theft and resource exploitation. The Rainforest Foundation UK aims to change this.

At RFUK, we tackle deforestation locally and globally. Locally, we help forest communities to gain land rights, challenge logging companies, manage their forests and protect their environment. Globally, we campaign to influence national and international laws to protect rainforests and their inhabitants.

Our approach differs from that of other organisations in that it is committed to both human rights and environmental protection. Instead of purchasing land or conserving forests purely for their biodiversity value, the RFUK promotes the establishment of community rights over rainforest lands, tackling the root of the problems related to deforestation and paving the way for local people to benefit fairly from the use and protection of forest resources.

Indigenous peoples' participation as well as their knowledge of the local ecology are now recognised as the most effective way of protecting the environment. We have been helping indigenous and local communities to protect millions of hectares of rainforest over the last 28 years and we will continue empowering forest people to secure lands and sustain lives for future generations.

About Us

We believe that the best way to protect the rainforest is through empowering the indigenous peoples to defend their ancestral lands.

We promote the establishment of community rights over rainforest lands and tackle the root of the problem related to deforestation and paving the way for local people to benefit fairly from the use and protection of forest resources.

Indigenous communities rely on the forest for food, water, medicine, shelter and they are strongly entwined spiritually and culturally to their rainforest. Yet most forest dependent people are unable to defend the lands they live upon even though they have long served as ‘protectors’ of the rainforest.

The Rainforest Foundation was founded in 1989 by Sting and his wife Trudie Styler, after they saw first- hand the destruction of the Amazon Rainforests, and the devastating impact it had on the lives of the indigenous people who lived there.

Since our inception, the Rainforest Foundation has helped indigenous communities and local communities to protect more than 12 million hectares of rainforest.

Our Mission Statement

The mission of the Rainforest Foundation UK is to support indigenous peoples and traditional populations of the world's rainforest in their efforts to protect their environment and fulfil their rights to land, life and livelihood by assisting them with:

1. Securing and controlling the natural resources necessary for their long term well-being and managing these resources in ways which do not harm their environment, violate their culture or compromise their future. 2. Developing means to protect their individual and collective rights and obtain, shape and control basic services from the state.

Our vision and values

The threat of deforestation far from over. In the next 30 years the world will need to clear around 200 million hectares of land for farming, fuel production and fibre production which will predominately originate from the rainforest in developing countries. The search is on for resources from oil to minerals, particularly in South America and the Congo basin which has led to the development of new large scale infrastructure such as ports, railways, new roads and pipelines which has the potential to fragment habitats. Governments are eager to tap into these resources to develop their economies; however this comes at the cost of displacing indigenous communities from their ancestral lands.

The rainforests are the single largest repository of biodiversity on earth; we are still unaware what benefits are hidden in the forest in terms of new medicines, food products and new species. More importantly, the rainforest is what 50 million people call home.

We hope that, in the future, deforestation will have ceased in all major tropical forest regions; the Congo Basin countries will have adopted and enforced legislation to protect indigenous peoples’ rights and in South American forested countries, these peoples’ rights to choose their own form of development and governance will be fully respected. Ultimately we want to provide innovative solutions for the people who depend upon the rainforest for the next 25 years and beyond so that these communities have the appropriate capacity to defend their forest and no longer need our assistance.

Our values encapsulate everything we do:

  • Experience-We collate our experience and knowledge in this field and use our unique understanding/perspective of issues facing traditional and forest peoples which enables us to be ahead of the curve.
  • Passion- We care about the rainforest and the people who depend upon the for survival
  • Innovation- We actively seek out and apply new technologies, methods and concepts that help us deliver our mission
  • Integrity- Securing lands and Sustaining lives is at the heart of everything we do and we make no secret of it
  • Collaboration- We establish and maintain effective, long standing, mutually beneficial partnerships.


The Rainforest Foundation UK
233a Kentish Town Road
London NW5 2JT
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7485 0193
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7485 0315

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