Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification


Securing Rights. Protecting Lands

aka Rainforest Foundation US

Brooklyn, NY


The mission of the Rainforest Foundation is to support indigenous and traditional peoples of the world's rainforests in their efforts to protect their environment and fulfill their rights. We assist them in:

Securing and controlling the natural resources necessary for their long term well-being and managing these resources in ways that do not harm their environment, violate their culture or compromise their future; and

Developing the means to protect their individual and collective rights and to obtain, shape and control basic services from the state.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Ms. Suzanne Pelletier

Main Address

1000 Dean Street Suite 430

Brooklyn, NY 11238 USA


indigenous rights, human rights, rainforest protection, environment, climate change





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Forest Conservation (C36)

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

International Human Rights (Q70)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Today, indigenous peoples make up just 5% of the global population, but live on, and protect, lands that support 80% of the Earth's plant and animal species; this is no accident. Yet indigenous people continue to be pushed off of their ancestral lands by agricultural interests, mining, oil exploration or by loggers eager to exploit the last stands of old-growth forest.

The world's rainforests are at risk; once 16% of the land was covered in forests, today the number stands at less than 3%. Without our rainforests, climate change will be largely unchecked, and we will lose most of planet's remaining biodiversity. By ensuring indigenous peoples' land rights, we do more than uphold human rights we protect our planet.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

General Program Focus

Information Into Action

Protecting 1 Million Acres in Panama

Protecting forests through protecting rights in Guyana

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

We protect both the incredibly rich biological diversity of the rainforest and the cultural integrity of the peoples whose lives and livelihoods are inextricably linked to those forests.

*Protecting Lands: We support indigenous leaders as they assert their rights with local & national policy makers.We provide indigenous peoples & local NGOs with the legal and technical support necessary to analyze programs and policies that affect their communities & define their priorities. We share information about climate change science, indigenous rights & international policy.

*Influencing Policy: We partner with indigenous communities to help them obtain legal rights to their ancestral lands. We train communities to use technology to protect the rainforest for future generations. We provide legal & technical support, including: mapping & documenting land claims. We train leaders to navigate administrative and legal procedures & negotiate effectively with government officials.

*Strengthening Leadership: We develop and implement customized community training strategies, workshops, and tools, ensuring that communities are administratively and financially prepared to manage successful social and economic development projects. We aid communities in formalizing their traditional governance practices to ensure they are respected by the State.

There was a time when environmental organizations didn't focus on Human Rights. In fact, people were frequently seen as part of the problem. But Sting and Trudie Styler listened to the Kayapo, an Indigenous community living deep in the Brazilian Amazon and decided put their might behind the Indigenous defenders that were fighting to protect their rainforest lands just as they always had.

Today the Rainforest Foundation has almost 30 years of experience partnering with Indigenous communities, giving us a track record of protecting the rainforest and partnering with Indigenous communities that no other NGO can match.

We work as partners with Indigenous communities, building long term partnerships ensuring that: communities' land rights are recognized and our rainforests are protected.

Helping Indigenous communities protect their lands isn't just the right thing to do-- It works!

The latest satellite images and drone footage prove this wasn't just ethical, it was by far the best strategy. Today, we know that rainforests protected by Indigenous communities have the lower rates of deforestation than any other forests in the world including national parks, nature preserves, government land, and private sanctuaries.

We primarily measure our success by:
•Lands titled or otherwise demarcated as under control by Indigenous communities
• Proposals and policy recommendations for and by our Indigenous partners that are addressed by the government.
• Government statements and commitments on land tenure security and forest protection.
• Recommendations of international human rights bodies provided to governments regarding forest and climate schemes.
• Extent to which forest and climate policies, laws and programs protect Rainforest and respect human rights.

We have helped protect 28 million acres of rainforest by securing long term rights to these lands to indigenous communities in rainforest countries around world.

We are working to protect the rainforest with Indigenous partners in Panama, Peru, Guyana and Brazil. For example, in 2017 we began protecting a vast corridor of rainforest in Northern Peru comprised of over 30 different communities committed to guarding and protect their forests from illegal loggers, drug traffickers and mining on their lands.

External Reviews




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  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?