4 Nonprofits with 4 Ideas on How to Save the Amazon

In a bid to protect one of the world's most precious resources, these four nonprofits use different methods to preserve the Amazon rainforest for future generations.

Jun 25, 2015

Tree frog in Yasuni National Park, Amazon rainforest, Ecuador [Shutterstock]

The Amazon rainforest is one of the New 7 Wonders of the Natural World, covering an expansive area and home to millions of diverse species and plant life. Running through Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Guyana, Bolivia, Suriname and French Guiana, the Amazon represents 54% of the total rainforests left on Earth.
While the natural wonder may seem less important to people in distant locations, the Amazon rainforest accounts for more than 20% of the Earth’s oxygen and is often referred to as the lungs of the planet. As a result of climate change and excessive deforestation, the Amazon rainforest is in a precarious position - its mass is shrinking and endangering the plants, animals and people who live in its surroundings.
These four organizations are working to save the Amazon and ensure that the health and longevity of the rainforest is preserved and maintained – each in its own unique way.  

1. WORKING WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF THE AMAZON

WHO: Amazon Watch
HOW: Around 250,000 Amazonians currently live in the rainforest and are comprised of 215 ethnic groups with 170 different languages. Due to the influx of outside companies and government organizations that are developing and profiting off the rainforest, many indigenous people are losing their homes and way of life. Amazon Watch is their advocate, partnering with indigenous groups and environmental organizations in campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability and the preservation of the Amazon’s precious ecological systems.

A petition to protect the Amazon from a large petroleum company. [Facebook]

2. BUYING LAND IN THE AMAZON IN ORDER TO PROTECT IT

WHO: Rainforest Trust
HOW: This veteran nonprofit has a different approach when it comes to saving the rainforest - it identifies land areas that are in the greatest danger of immediate extinction and then purchases them privately, allowing trusted local nonprofits to manage and tend to the land. Rainforest Trust provides training to employ local Amazonians to be reserve guards, wildlife monitors and eco-tourism guides, creating a community-supported base that stewards their own land to protect biodiversity within the forests.

An example of deforestation which the Rainforest Trust is looking to prevent by buying endangered land. [Facebook]

3. CERTIFYING AMAZON-SAFE PRODUCTS 

WHO: Rainforest Alliance
HOW: This 28-year-old nonprofit created an internationally recognized symbol of environmental, social and economic sustainability to mark products or ingredients that are sourced from the Amazon and are part of the Rainforest Alliance Certified farms or forests. Using a symbol of a leaping frog, Rainforest Alliance is changing consumer behavior by promoting products and businesses that undergo rigorous standards to ensure that they are safeguarding the rainforest ecology while also supporting local businesses.

This funny video shows the work of Rainforest Alliance and how each person can do their part.

4. RAISING AMAZON AWARENESS THROUGH ART, SCIENCE AND MULTIMEDIA

WHO: Amazon Aid Foundation
HOW: This nonprofit uses documentariesmusic and partners with artists to spread the message of rainforest preservation. Amazon Aid Foundation works with a number of respected forest ecologists who serve as scientific advisors, ensuring that the information disseminated is accurate and up-to-date, to protect the Amazon rainforest.

A musical benefit by the Amazon Aid Foundation. [Image by Rick Stillings]

Shoshana radiates doing good, driven by a love for people and community. Among many topics, she writes about friendship, creativity and healthy living.