COP27: Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) and partners obtain major funding for rainforests and forest peoples

Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) and partners will receive $ 8 million (NOK 80 million) from the Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA) over the next three years, as part of the “Forests, People, Climate initiative” (FPC) backed by US philanthropist Ballmer Group.

By Chris Lyngaas.

On Monday, November 7, Ballmer Group announced it is investing a total of US$ 149 million in four global organizations committed to stopping deforestation to prevent dangerous climate change.

“We are deeply grateful for the commitment by Ballmer Group to stopping deforestation, and we commend the vision and effort by the CLUA in highlighting the importance of standing rainforests in fighting climate change,” says Toerris Jaeger, Executive Director of RFN.

The equivalent of 1.5 billion Norwegian Kroner is dedicated to protecting tropical forests and supporting Indigenous Peoples and local communities. The announcement was made at the COP27 climate conference
in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt.

Standing rainforests have been shown to be one of nature’s best defenses against climate change because they sequester carbon dioxide and store carbon effectively. A growing body of evidence shows that the most cost-efficient way of protecting rainforests is by supporting the Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLC) who live in these forests.

Despite this, an RFN report shows that less than 1 % of international climate aid went to supporting IPLC land tenure and forest management. The same report shows that, of that amount, less than 17 % is likely to reach Indigenous Peoples' organizations.

The investment by CLUA and Ballmer Group is a much-needed boost for indigenous peoples and local communities, who stand on the frontlines of the fight to stop deforestation. Toerris Jaeger, Executive Director of RFN, elaborates:

“Last year, our report, Falling Short, shined a light on the urgent need to fill the funding gap towards indigenous land rights as a response to climate change. Catalytic, philanthropic funding is a needed, fit-for-purpose response to the issue. The support we have received will allow RFN to upscale our support to Indigenous Peoples and local communities and intensify our efforts to ensure that governments and private companies contribute to a sustainable future, not short-term gain and long-term destruction."

Since its foundation over 30 years ago, RFN has built a unique network of indigenous and environmental partner organizations in six of the world’s most important rainforest countries. RFN also takes targeted action aimed at shifting finance and markets to favor standing forests, strengthen public support and advance sustainable policies. This model has contributed to important results.

“I believe it is this history of long-term consistent partnerships with in-country rainforest organizations that attracts support from international donors and philanthropists. The synergies between engagement with local rainforest communities on the ground and targeted advocacy and policy actions have made RFN one of the world’s most efficient organizations in the field of rainforest protection and indigenous peoples’ rights,” says Nicolas Delaunay, Director of External Relations and Resource Mobilization at RFN.

Tørris Jæger

Executive Director
(+47) 476 55 132