The World Rainforest Fund (WRF) saves biodiversity. Biodiversity can be defined as the number of species of animals and plants in an ecosystem. The Earth is undergoing a great crisis of mass extinction of species and loss of biodiversity. It is caused by humans, and the leading cause is habitat destruction. The Fund works to stop habitat destruction. We lose huge numbers of species each year. Species are going extinct at a rate that is 100 to 1,000 times greater than the normal background extinction rate. The renowned evolutionary biologist, Dr. Edward O. Wilson, said in 2002 that if current extinction rates continue, one half of all species on Earth will be extinct in 100 years. Biodiversity is crucial to human welfare. Many of our medicines and industrial chemicals come from living organisms. Life stabilizes local and global climate. It holds the soil in place, preventing erosion. It is the source of our food supply. It is a source of beauty, spiritual rejuvenation, tourism, and scientific knowledge. And life has a right to exist for its own sake—we have a moral obligation not to destroy species.
Endangered Hyancinth Macaw of the Pantanal, Brazil. ©World Rainforest Fund
The World Rainforest Fund saves biodiversity in ecosystems that have the vast majority of it. Rainforests are home to half the land species on Earth, a major source of biodiversity. They have more species of animals and plants than any other terrestrial ecosystem on Earth. Tropical rainforests are being destroyed at the rate of 300 acres per minute worldwide. This is equivalent to the loss of an area half the size of the state of California annually.
The World Rainforest Fund focuses on rainforest conservation where they are most abundant in a continuous area, and where the preservation of them will last with the highest probability, such as the Amazon Basin. The largest area of intact rainforest is the Amazon Basin. World Rainforest Fund projects conserve rainforests in other countries, but focus on Brazil that has the largest amount of rainforest area. Saving the area on Earth with the most continuous rainforest will have the longest lasting effect. It is especially effective because this strategy saves the most corridors connecting areas where species live. Animals need corridors to keep their genetic diversity high enough to allow their survival. Without corridors, animal populations get isolated and undergo inbreeding, which can drive the species extinct due to lack of genetic variability.
Brazilian Amazon rainforest. ©World Rainforest Fund
The World Rainforest Fund empowers indigenous people to help them save their rainforest homes. Scientific studies have shown that the most effective way to save rainforests is by empowering indigenous people who live in them to save their rainforest homes. It saves the most rainforest land per dollar spent, and saves rainforest in the way that has the highest chance of lasting permanently. This is because tropical countries tend not to have the money to hire a sufficient number of guards to protect rainforests in national parks. Amazonia National Park in Brazil has only six rangers to protect its 3,300 square miles (8,600 square kilometers). Thus, poachers come in and shoot wildlife, cut trees, and mine minerals illegally in these national parks. On the other hand, indigenous people are natural guardians who live in the rainforests, passionately want to protect them, and do not even require a salary.
The World Rainforest Fund is exceptionally effective and efficient at putting your donation to work at its stated mission. All members of our board of directors and board of advisors, and many of our staff, are volunteers, drawing no salary. The organization is a non-membership organization, so no money is spent on newsletters or other expenses incurred by membership organizations; money that would otherwise be spent in these areas is instead put directly to work on saving rainforests. A greater percentage of money we receive from our donors goes to actually carrying out our stated mission. In fact, over ninety percent of the proceeds we receive go directly to work saving the Earth’s rainforests. Our track record of helping indigenous people, giving grants to organizations that save rainforest, educating the public on the need to save rainforests, and saving rainforests through partnering with other organization dedicated to saving rainforests is exceptionally impressive. We are a 501c3, tax-exempt, public non-profit organization and all donations you give are tax-deductible. Our advisory board has many well-known, distinguished people. Our staff and workers are highly knowledgeable and exceptionally dedicated.
The World Rainforest Fund recently granted Fundacion OSA $3,500.00 to attempt to stop an illegal road to a 10,000 acre rainforest in Ecuador that scientists at the Missouri Botanical Garden showed was the ecosystem with the highest biodiversity in the world, meaning it has more species per area than any other ecosystem on Earth. This is because the rainforest and Andes ecosystems overlap in this area, which therefore has species from both of these ecosystems. The road would have allowed loggers, miners, and other exploiters into the rainforest, and it would have been cut down. Fundacion OSA received no grant other than WRF, and would not have been able to stop the road without the grant. They used the money to send in an observer, who found the road was wider than approved by the government of Ecuador. They also used the grant to print up brochures to distribute to officials of Ecuador’s government that showed the beauty and value of the forest to people, the illegality of the road, and the destruction that would result if it were built. As a result, the government of Ecuador stopped the road. Given the high diversity and low cost of this victory, this is just one example of maximizing saving species of animal and plant per donor dollar.
Art of Conservation and Conservation Heritage-Turambe are very pleased to be working with such a small yet impactful organization like our ourselves! Learn more about our partners on our new website!