Mission & Approach

Rainforest Foundation UK is committed to both human rights and environmental protection when it comes to tackling deforestation. Locally, we support forest communities to gain land rights, challenge destructive industries, manage their forests and protect their environment. Globally, we campaign to influence national and international laws and policies that protect rainforests and their inhabitants.

Instead of conserving forests purely for their biodiversity or carbon values, RFUK promotes the establishment of community rights over rainforest lands, tackling the root causes of deforestation and paving the way for local people to benefit fairly from the use and protection of forest resources. We deliver our work through long-term partnerships with local and indigenous peoples’ organisations so that capacity is sustained in rainforest countries.

Since our founding in 1989, the Rainforest Foundations of the UK, US and Norway have supported communities to secure and protect more than 84 million hectares of tropical rainforest — an area roughly the size of England and France combined.

OUR MISSION IS TO SUPPORT INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND OTHER COMMUNITIES OF THE WORLD'S RAINFOREST IN THEIR EFFORTS TO PROTECT THEIR ENVIRONMENT AND FULFIL THEIR RIGHTS TO LAND, LIFE AND LIVELIHOOD

Our values

Self Determination

Self-determination & inclusion

Self-determination & inclusion

Self-determination is an inalienable human right. We believe that fostering meaningful participation of forest communities, in particular marginalised groups such as women and indigenous peoples, is the best way to achieve this. To ensure that our projects reflect the priorities of communities and local partners, we apply the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and co-creation. Involving them to the largest extent possible in the design and execution of projects and campaigns is key to ensuring long-term impact at the macro-level as well as on individual communities.

Integrity

Integrity

Integrity

We will shine a light on corruption, malpractice and negligence, even where this may be detrimental to our own funding or favour. We will not receive funding, or otherwise endorse or receive endorsements from industries, organisations and companies that contravene our mission statement and values, or that are most directly responsible for the climate and ecological crises. In our partnerships with local and indigenous organisations, we shall be humble and reflective about our role as an international NGO and seek to reverse power dynamics that exist in international development.

Innovation

Innovation

Innovation

We believe in the power of new information and communications technologies to bring about positive social and environmental change in an interconnected world, especially when these are grounded in rights-based participatory approaches. We will strive to continue to find innovative ways to empower forest communities, increase information flows to and from forest areas, combat forest crime and hold powerful interests accountable.

Environmental protection

Respect for the environment

Respect for the environment

We believe that the promotion of human rights and social justice is essential to tackling the climate and biodiversity crises. We will tackle environmentally harmful practices and reduce the impact of our own operations such as through participating in the circular economy, sustainable procurement and minimising air travel, and codifying all this in our environmental policy.

Transparency and accountability

Transparency and accountability

Transparency & accountability

Through a diversity of means (e.g. technological innovation, research and campaigning), we promote the transparency and accountability of governments, international institutions and companies to forest communities as being essential to good governance. In our own operations, we strive to be accountable to the communities we serve, to the local partners we work with and to our own staff, supporters and associates. As part of this effort, we commit to publish a public version of this strategy, our annual accounts and evaluations of our projects.

Efficiency

Efficiency

Efficiency

We promote better use of climate, biodiversity and ODA funding and strive to deliver value for money in our operations in ways that do not compromise the sustainability and quality of our work.

OUR Strategy

The founding principle of Rainforest Foundation UK is that the most effective, just and sustainable way to protect forests, is to entrust them to the local and indigenous communities that live in and depend on these areas. To achieve this, our organisational strategy and theory of change are built on eleven guiding pillars: 

Our impact

RFUK has successfully campaigned for a moratorium on new industrial logging concessions in the DR Congo, protecting as many as 70 million hectares of intact rainforest — an area twice the size of Germany.

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Our sustainable conservation and human rights campaign and exposes of the human cost of Central Africa’s protected areas have triggered a wave of global reforms of biodiversity policies and funding. 

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Through simple, low-cost technologies, our award-winning MappingForRights initiative has supported more than a thousand communities to produce highly accurate maps of their forest lands, providing much needed proof of their traditional ownership.

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Our ground-breaking work on community forests and participatory land use planning in the Congo Basin, and indigenous-led projects in Peru, provide proof that forests under community control are more sustainable.

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Spend breakdown