As we mark Earth Day, now in its 52nd year, we face a changed world in ways that no one anticipated 52 years ago.
Increasingly urgent reports from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) share irrefutable data about the impact that climate change is already having on our planet, people and ecosystems.
While we don’t yet have solutions at scale to meet this challenge head on, scientists and policymakers alike are increasingly prioritizing an existing solution that is extremely effective at storing carbon and mitigating the accelerating impacts of climate change: forests.
Our planet’s own natural technology, readily available at our fingertips, waiting for us to actively embrace it.
In fact, the UN Climate Conference 2021 (COP26) in Glasgow last November recognized the importance of saving forests with an unprecedented declaration on forests and land use and a clear goal: end deforestation by 2030.
Protecting standing forests now is a critical piece to creating a balanced, thriving future. Not only do forests act as an incredible carbon sink, but they also regulate weather, cycle freshwater, protect biodiversity, provide medicines, bolster economies, and sustain cultures and communities. Protecting forests now buys us critical time for the development and implementation of new technologies and other nature-based solutions.
But our forests are in danger. In my lifetime alone, we have lost half of all tropical rainforests. We need urgent action for forest protection, and we need to reconfigure the systems that bolster conservation of our remaining standing rainforests.
At Rainforest Partnership, we have been leading the mission to end deforestation by 2030 for 14 years. Our unique conservation model identifies the root causes of deforestation, targeting local and global drivers on the ground and around the world. We focus on collaboration with local and indigenous rainforest communities to achieve tangible, long-term results, and we’re using the power of collective action to build a global community united for rainforest protection.
At Rainforest Partnership we are incredibly proud of our 14-year track record as a powerhouse for impact. While we are keenly aware of the challenges to ending deforestation by 2030, we also have a clear vision for achieving ground-up and global-scale conservation that can provide the sweeping and rapid impact we need for forests and for our climate. After all, partnership is in our DNA.
The time really is now. No one organization, country or community can meet the challenge alone.
To achieve our critical goal of ending deforestation by 2030, I am working alongside like-minded, aligned and experienced rainforest conservation organizational leaders. Rainforest Collective creates unprecedented collaboration between rainforest organizations and is developing an innovative mechanism to channel major funding directly to local projects, indigenous and local communities, and small organizations working in partnership with them. This new system will accelerate work on the ground and support communities on a massive scale.
The window of opportunity to end deforestation is closing, and we must reverse the trajectory of our forests. We must continue to empower and equip local and indigenous communities—who inhabit less than three percent of our planet’s surface—to continue their work as proven protectors of their lands and environments. For too long, the burden of protecting rainforests has been left to these communities and to organizations like ours, but the time is now for intense collaboration and action. Rainforests may not be in our own backyards, but the responsibility to protect them belongs to all of us as a human family. Our collective future depends on them.
This Earth Day, the forests are calling. Are you listening? Join us today and help protect rainforests, the lungs and heart of our planet.
How to get involved: