The forests of the world are in danger. For centuries, forests have been destroyed for the sake of expansion, construction, and development. In 2017 alone, roughly 61,000 square miles of tropical forest (more than the entire state of Georgia) were lost due to deforestation. Compelling reasons to support the anti-deforestation movement include:
- to preserve natural biodiversity
- ensure the safety of indigenous populations
- mitigate harmful carbon emission and
- protect the future of the planet.
Rainforest Action Network
Commonly abbreviated to RAN, this non-profit promotes an optimistic view of the future when it comes to environmental and humanitarian concerns. They support the idea of a world that maintains healthy forests, respects all communities, and never seeks profit at the expense of the planet or its people. They abide by anti-oppression principles, as well as a practice of non-violence, to hold themselves accountable when engaging with various cultures and advocating for human and environmental rights. In researching and solving crises like deforestation, RAN openly acknowledges and celebrates biodiversity and the importance of natural environments such as rainforests.
The Amazon rainforest is one of the most celebrated ecosystems in the world, and it has become increasingly threatened over the years. Amazon Watch strives to target deforestation, challenge climate change, and support the rights of indigenous peoples living in the rainforest. They often promote education through social media, documentaries, and news coverage. Support them as they champion indigenous peoples and advocate for their rights while boosting indigenous autonomy and protections.
Trees for the Future
At a surface level, the practice most publicized by Trees for the Future is simple: plant trees to combat deforestation. However, this organization strives to not only restore the trees lost to deforestation but also to prevent more forests from suffering the same fate. The target of Trees for the Future lies in the agriculture industry, as a large percentage of deforestation occurs as the result of food production. In an effort to combat this phenomenon, Trees for the Future hosts the Forest Garden Program which teaches farmers how to sustainably restore their land, replant lost trees, and promote greater vitality in the soil as well as the produce they grow.
Other ways to show your support besides donating money:
- Check that the products you purchase are certified as sustainable by rainforest conservation groups such as the Rainforest Alliance
- Avoid products that contain palm oil (the harvesting of which increases deforestation)
- Reduce consumption of paper, wood, beef, and pork (huge tracts of rainforest are cleared to support these industries)
- Use your vote to support lawmakers and representatives who work for the health of the planet.