Since the beginning, Rainforest Foundation Norway’s projects have produced concrete and visible results. Court cases against logging companies have been won, effective campaigns against palmoil and other drivers have rocked entire industries, indigenous groups have gained greater recognition for their rights and control of their rightful territories, and rainforest protection now tops the political agenda, both in Norway and internationally.
HERE ARE OUR MOST IMPORTANT VICTORIES:
Menkragnoti Indigenous Territory established
The Rainforest Foundation’s initial project effects the coordination of the first ever privately funded demarcation of indigenous land in the Amazon region. 49,000 square kilometres of traditional land, the Menkragnoti Indigenous Territory in Pará state in Brazil, is demarcated, and then legally titled to the Kayapo people by the Brazilian government in 1992. Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) provides 25 percent of the finances for the campaign.
The Yanomami gain their own territory
The Yanomami people gain their own 96,000 square kilometre indigenous territory – larger than Portugal – after 15 years’ struggle. The support of the Norwegian Programme for Indigenous Peoples for these efforts since the mid-1980s played a significant part in this outcome, and Rainforest Foundation Norway immediately joined the international campaign.
Xingu Indigenous Park protected
RFN's pilot project to monitor the borders around the Xingu Indigenous Park in Brazil combines advanced satellite monitoring with border expeditions undertaken by the Park's indigenous inhabitants. This project initiates an integrated programme for the defense of the 27,000 square kilometre territory, which, in spite of enormous pressure from loggers, cattle ranchers and soybean cultivators, remains intact today.
22 indigenous groups gain autonomy over their forest
22 indigenous groups in the northwestern Amazon, working in collaboration with Rainforest Foundation Norway, gain autonomy over their areas of forest. The Brazilian president signs the decrees which establish a number of indigenous territories along the Rio Negro river – home to 30,000 indigenous people and corresponding to the size of England.
Orang Rimba gain exclusive user rights to their forest
Together with our local partner organisation, WARSI, we secured the establishment of a 600 square kilometre national park in Sumatra, Indonesia, securing exclusive user rights for the indigenous Orang Rimba people in and around the park. This was the first time in Indonesia that an indigenous group was permitted to maintain its presence and continue its traditional hunting and gathering activities within the boundaries of a national park.
Logging project halted in Papua New Guinea
In Papua New Guinea, the highly destructive Kiunga-Aiambak project, a logging operation disguised as a road project, is halted. This follows years of advocacy work by CELCOR, RFN's local partner, with significant financial input from RFN. In 2011, the company responsible is sentenced to pay more than USD 100 million to local communities who have seen their livelihoods destroyed.
Historic judgement against illegal logging in Indonesia
The disclosure of corruption and illegal logging on the Mentawai Islands results in the first ever judgement in Indonesia in which anti-corruption legislation is employed to apprehend those guilty of illegal logging. Two bureaucrats are sentenced to prison terms. This follows a lengthy investigation by RFN’s partner organisation YCM, which uncovered and reported the illegal practices.
Norway assumes leading role in rainforest protection
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg announces at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali that Norway will grant up to USD 500 million annually for rainforest protection in order to halt climate change. The measure was proposed to the Norwegian government by RFN and Friends of the Earth Norway.
Plans for vast logging concessions in Congo Basin shelved
Following a request from Congolese indigenous groups working in partnership with RFN, the World Bank Inspection Panel warns that the Bank’s bias in favour of industrial logging will impoverish local peoples, and appeals to the Bank to uphold the traditional rights of forest-based peoples and promote rights-based alternatives to industrial logging. As a result, the Bank’s plan to grant 600,000 square kilometres of logging concessions in the DRC is shelved.
Peru given official warning to protect isolated indigenous groups
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights gives an official warning to the Peruvian government for its failure to protect the indigenous groups living in voluntary isolation in the Peruvian Amazon. The warning is a response to the complaint which RFN’s partner organisations AIDESEP and FENAMAD presented to the Commission in 2005, holding the Peruvian state responsible for the dramatic situation faced by the isolated indigenous peoples.
Illegal logging concessions rescinded in the Congo
Rainforest Foundation Norway’s partners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo play a key role in ensuring that a number of illegal logging concessions are rescinded. The area that is spared logging is larger in size than England.
Campaign achieves drastic reduction in use of palm oil
Rainforest Foundation Norway launches a campaign with two aims: to reduce Norway’s consumption of palm oil and to expose the link between deforestation and the production of palm oil. The campaign receives extensive media coverage, resulting in increased consumer awareness. Norwegian food producers respond rapidly and, by the end of the year, have cut their use of palm oil by two thirds.
RFN protects territory for isolated indigenous groups
Rainforest Foundation Norway is the main actor in the protection, by means of eight control posts, of a 60,000 square kilometre contiguous territory for indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation in Peru. The manned posts stop loggers and gold miners who illegally attempt to enter the territory of the uncontacted indigenous peoples.
Norway divests from palm oil companies
The largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), divests its shares in 23 palm oil companies that are considered to be responsible for tropical deforestation. The GPFG’s investments in the palm oil industry are thus reduced by more than 40 percent. This follows years of campaigning by Rainforest Foundation Norway for a reduction in the GPFG’s investments in the palm oil industry.
Norway to further reduce deforestation impact of investments
Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) strengthens its commitment to avoid investing in companies responsible for the destruction of the world’s rainforests, as part of its new climate change mitigation policy. RFN has challenged the GPFG to reduce the deforestation impact of its investments, and has given detailed input in the drafting of the new policy.
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund raises the bar on human rights
The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund has published a human rights policy for the first time. The fund expects companies to respect all human rights throughout all their operations, including in their supply chains. The publication on human rights by Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global, is significant as NBIM is a major player in global investment circles.
Ground breaking victory in Papua New Guinea
360 000 hectares of lush rainforest became a protected area made safe for future generations. Rainforest Foundation Norway has since 1997 supported the struggle to protect the Managalas Plateau where 21 000 people, speaking three different languages, live in small villages. The victory is an important example of how there are alternatives to plantations and logging, and the experience gained over the two last decades is invaluable to the entire country.
Listened to protests against oil concessions in Peru
Peruvian authorities withdrew oil concessions in a large area of the Amazon rainforest. The Canadian company Pacific E&P pulled out of the concession that had provoked opposition in Peru. Our Peruvian partners were among those who protested against the operation.
Backtracks on plans to open up Amazon forest
Rainforest protection groups hailed a victory as the Brazilian government announced a U-turn on plans to open up the Amazon rainforest to mining corporations. When Brazil announced a decree to abolish the Renca reserve, an area the size of Denmark, it sparked an outrage. Our partners in Brazil protested against the plans and contributed to the reversal. For now, the area is protected.
Historic win for indigenous peoples of Peru
A Peruvian court issued a ruling in favor of the Achuar people in the northern Peruvian Amazon. The court ordered the government to proceed with the collective titling of the Achuar ancestral territory. It is the first time an indigenous community in Peru is acknowledged the right to land, and hopefully the ruling with be precedent setting: Nine other communities are demanding the same rights in this part of the Amazon.