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Rainforest Alliance Claims Power In The Collective This World Rainforest Day


This World Rainforest Day, the Rainforest Alliance is
reminding consumers that individual actions can help fight
deforestation, no matter how small, and that there is power
in the collective. This comes following reports that rates
of deforestation have accelerated in recent years, and
scientists warning that this could make us more vulnerable
to future pandemics[1].

Melanie Mokken, Markets
Transformation Manager Australia/New Zealand for the
Rainforest Alliance said,

“Unfortunately,
deforestation rates are accelerating—triggering a global
chain reaction of increased greenhouse gas emissions, rising
temperatures, and devastating forest fires. Nearly half of
the Earth’s original forest cover has already been lost, and
each year an additional 32 million acres are
destroyed.

“Deforestation puts not only the health
of our planet at risk, it also puts human health at risk.
This has been made even more apparent during the current
COVID-19 pandemic, which leaders at the UN, WHO and WWF,
amongst many others, agree is linked to deforestation. When
forests are destroyed, it misplaces wildlife species,
putting them in closer proximity to each other and also to
humans. Scientists have been warning for years that this can
increase human exposure to new infectious diseases and make
us more vulnerable to pandemics similar to what we have
experienced with COVID-19. By reducing deforestation of
tropical forests and supporting the communities that live
there, it is possible to reduce the risk of future
pandemics,” said Ms Mokken.

Agriculture is one of
the largest drivers of deforestation, responsible for over
80 percent of tropical deforestation alone. With an
exploding global population (projected to reach 9 billion by
2050), it is profitable for businesses to cut down forests
to plant ‘cash crops’ such as soy and oil
palm.

“The best thing we can do to fight climate
change is keep forests standing. We often hear that our
individual actions don’t matter, however that is not the
case. Everyone can make a difference in the fight to save
forests and it can be as simple as making informed daily
choices. There is great power in the collective, and when we
act together it is possible to make a difference. We can do
this by amplifying each other’s voices and signalling to
political and business leaders that sustainability is
important to us and by making small changes in our everyday
lives.

“The Rainforest Alliance works with farmers
to advance a variety of strategies, such as increasing
productivity (growing more food on less land), and with
traditional forest-dwellers to develop livelihoods that
protect forests and ecosystems. By looking for products with
the Rainforest Alliance green frog seal consumers can be
assured that the product is sourced from producers committed
to using land management practices that protect nature while
boosting rural livelihoods, said Ms Mokken.

The
Rainforest Alliance also works with governments, companies,
and local and international civil society organisations to
advance far-reaching policies that support rural producers
who invest substantial time, labour, and financial resources
in sustainability transformation.Our work with both
public and private-sector stakeholders aims to raise
awareness and influence decision makers to support
change.

An example of this is the Cocoa and Forests
Initiative, of which Rainforest Alliance is a supporting
partner: a multi-stakeholder initiative including the
governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana and 35 leading cocoa
and chocolate companies. This includes New Zealand and
Australian favourites such as Whittaker’s, Haigh’s, and
Palmer’s, as well as international brands such as Mars,
Ferrero and Nestlé who also source Rainforest Alliance
Certified cocoa. Together they aim to end deforestation and
restore forest areas.

What you can do today to
help

Purchase mindfully

By buying foods grown
on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms and products which
show the Rainforest Alliance’s green frog seal, consumers
can be confident they are making choices that are better for
people, and for nature. Coffee, tea, cocoa, bananas and
other fresh fruit products that bear this seal all come from
more sustainable farms where nature is protected and
communities thrive.

The Rainforest Alliance has just
launched its Take Action platform, Let’s
Grow Together
, providing consumers with the inspiration
and tools they need to make more sustainable choices and
changes every day on an individual, collective and global
level. This practical platform provides guidance on a range
of topics, including choosing certified products,
sustainability at home and using your voice.

[1] https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02341-1

About
Rainforest Alliance:

The Rainforest Alliance is an
international non-profit organisation working in more than
70 countries at the intersection of business, agriculture
and forests. The Rainforest Alliance is creating a more
sustainable world by using social and market forces to
protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest
communities. By bringing farmers, forest communities,
companies and consumers together it addresses some of the
most pressing social and environmental challenges of today.
The organisation changes the way the world produces, sources
and consumes, with a focus on cocoa, coffee, tea, bananas,
forest products and palm oil through its certification
program, tailored supply chain services, landscape and
community work and advocacy. In 2019, more than five million
hectares of land and more than two million farmers were
certified according to the Rainforest Alliance or UTZ
standards, which are designed to improve economic,
environmental and social
sustainability.

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