RAN's Forest Program & Strategy

For many of us, rainforests are a world away from our daily lives. And yet, they are essential to our survival. Rainforests provide livelihoods for millions of local communities across the globe. They are the last home for rapidly disappearing animal life. They keep massive amounts of carbon in the ground and out of our atmosphere. Rainforests are where millions of plants and animals wait to be discovered, where future medical breakthroughs lie, and where oxygen for future generations is created. Yet they are constantly under the threat of destruction, solely for the sake of quick profit.

Since 1985, RAN has fought against the biggest global drivers of deforestation—from the palm oil trade to the publishing industry; from high fashion labels to the biggest banks in the world. Our carefully chosen and highly effective campaigns target not just corporations, but entire corporate and financial sectors: the worst of the worst culprits responsible for this environmental and human rights global crisis. And we get results.

But we don’t do it alone. We depend on frontline communities, local partners and supporters from around the globe.

Find out more about our critical rainforest campaigns, the history of our work—and how you can take action today to be a part of the solution.

Conflict Palm Oil

No one wants deforestation in their kitchen. No one wants climate change in their ice cream. No one wants child labor in their child's snack food.

Palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil on Earth. It’s in roughly half of the processed food in your local grocery. Chances are, palm oil is present in some form in nearly every room of your home.

Because of this demand, palm oil is also one of the biggest threats to rainforests. And the search for cheap palm oil causes not only deforestation, but also human rights violations, massive carbon emissions, removal of Indigenous peoples from their land, child labor, forced labor — and the industry is pushing species such as the Sumatran Orangutan to the brink of the extinction.

To fight this crisis, RAN’s Conflict Palm Oil campaign has been targeting some of the biggest, most well-known snack food brands across the globe since 2007.

Find out more—and how you can get involved.

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Pulp and Paper

When global corporations look for cheap supplies to create toilet paper, packaging, or even books and clothing, our rainforests should not pay the price.

But massive logging giants — like Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) and Asia Pacific Resources International (APRIL) — have been destroying pristine forests for pulp and paper products for too long.

RAN put the U.S. publishing industry on notice in 2010, when we proved that children’s books sold in the U.S. were printed on paper linked to Indonesian rainforest destruction. And in 2014, RAN put the fashion industry on notice when we discovered similar links to the wood pulp used in the fabric sold through some of the best clothing labels sold in the boutiques and department stores across the U.S.

Find out how people like you helped us get deforestation out of children’s books — and how we can get deforestation Out of Fashion!

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Responsible Food Systems

Everyone wants to eat healthy food for a healthy body. But how can we create healthy food systems for a healthy planet?

Currently, our industrial food systems are creating havoc with our environment. Runaway climate change, increased levels of corporate control, high levels of food waste, forest clearing, soil erosion, water scarcity and pollution are just a few of the byproducts of our current food production systems.

We are also facing the extinction of key species, the disappearance of crop diversity, and increased food insecurity and racial inequity as a result of the way we produce the majority of food today. our industrial agriculture system is driving roughly one third of today’s global greenhouse gas emissions.

So how can we transform the global food system? Rainforest Action Network is exploring the intersection of agribusiness and climate change to identify where leverage exists to create large-scale systemic change. Find out more.

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Forests and Finance

Cutting down vast areas of forest for industrial development costs a lot of money. The world’s worst forest destroyers rely on big banks to finance incredibly expensive operations such as palm oil plantations or paper and pulp mills.

By connecting the dots between companies that operate the bulldozers and chainsaws and the financial institutions that fund this dirty work, we can hold banks and government agencies accountable — and apply pressure on them to change their policies and change their practices.

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Community Action Grants: Protect An Acre

Since 1993, RAN’s Protect An Acre program (PAA) has distributed more than one million dollars in grants to more than 150 frontline communities, Indigenous-led organizations and allies, helping their efforts to secure protection for millions of acres of traditional territory in forests around the world.

PAA grants support grassroots leadership and local organization in forest regions to protect threatened foreset lands and to protect the human rights of communities that have co-existed with and depended on these regions for generations.

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