What we do

Rainforest Foundation Norway has a rights-based approach to rainforest protection. Research and our own experience have shown that the most effective way to protect the rainforest is to secure the rights and opportunities of its traditional populations to manage the forest for the long term.

Where we work

The Amazon

The problem

In the Amazon, a mighty battle for resources is under way. Deforestation and degradation of the Amazon is now happening at a pace that might bring the Amazon to the tipping point. That point of no return is a point at which so much of the forest has been cut down that it causes a chain of destruction. If all of the current plans for the exploitation of resources are realised, half of the world’s largest rainforest will disappear. The main drivers of deforestation in the region are industrial agriculture, including cattle ranching; the extraction of petroleum and minerals; logging; and various infrastructure projects such as hydroelectric dams.

What is RFN doing about it?

We see the Amazon as one large ecosystem. The Amazon provides the region with 50% of the rain, contains 1/3 of the known species and 10% of the world's biomass. To preserve this, the Amazon must be understood as an interconnected ecosystem. Large contiguous rainforest areas must be protected and sustainably managed. Traditional forest peoples are the best guardians of the forest. We stand with them and their civil society allies to promote collective territorial rights, supporting their monitoring and management efforts and addressing supply chains that threaten these unique and complex ecosystems.

Find out more about The Amazon

Map of The Amazon

Central Africa

The problem

If nothing is done, the large contiguous rainforests of the DRC – the second-largest rainforest on the planet - will soon disappear, devoured by large and small-scale agriculture, industrial logging, and wood energy. That would create significant problems for 40 million Congolese who are directly dependent on the forest. In addition, the Pygmy indigenous stewards of the rainforest are subjected to widespread discrimination, and their traditional knowledge and practices are ignored or ridiculed. Yet, we recognize that they are indeed DRC's most potent asset for sustainable development and rainforest protection.

What is RFN doing about it?

We are working to achieve a paradigm shift for sustainable development in DR Congo. Congolese policymakers must recognize that achieving sustainable development and preserving the integrity of the rainforest are two sides of the same coin. They require respect for the human rights of forest-dependent communities to place them in the driver's seat of their development. RFN supports indigenous activists in their struggle for the recognition and protection of pygmies' indigenous peoples' rights, for example, through a dedicated indigenous law. RFN also supports local communities in securing and managing their customary forests.

Find out more about Central Africa

Map of Central Africa

Southeast Asia and Oceania

The problem

The rate of deforestation in this region is now the highest in the world. Large, contiguous forests exist today only on the islands of Borneo and New Guinea. The devastation is due in large part to plantations, illegal logging, mining and the construction of dams for hydropower.

What is RFN doing about it?

Our work focuses on sustainable forest management and securing land rights for forest-based peoples. Through capacity building, alternative education and legal training, we seek to strengthen the role of forest communities in protecting their forest against destruction. Our other main priorities in the region are placing indigenous rights on national agendas, building the capacities of our partner organisations, combating corruption and demanding sustainability from the industries that are currently causing deforestation.

Find out more about Southeast Asia and Oceania

Map of Southeast Asia and Oceania