Founded in 1989, Rainforest Foundation US supports indigenous and traditional people of the world's rainforests to protect their environment and fulfill their rights. We work at the intersection of environmental conservation and human rights and in full partnership with indigenous and traditional forest communities who are effective guardians of the rainforests they call home. In Brazil, government data from 1997 to 2000 showed that indigenous areas of the Amazon experienced a deforestation rate of only 1 percent, compared to a 24 percent destruction rate outside protected areas.
In the past 20 years, our indigenous partners in Central and South America have made tremendous gains – winning legal title to their land, advocating for policy reforms to strengthen their rights and protect the environment, implementing local sustainable development initiatives and monitoring and managing their natural resources. Many of our legal victories have set important precedents for indigenous rights around the world. Today, we continue to partner with communities to secure and protect their lands while also responding to critical new challenges such as climate change.