In the last several
decades, the intensity and scale of forest
exploitation have increased significantly. A
large number of developing countries experiencing
increasing deforestation trends are also facing
acute shortages of fuel wood, fodder, industrial
timber, and other forest products for domestic USC.
Besides potential environmental degradation,
depletion of forests and trees may exacerbate
poverty, displace indigenous populations, and
impede agricultural productivity. Deforestation,
especially in the humid tropics, has serious
regional and global implications (potential
climate change, loss of biodiversity, and
degradation of large watersheds).
Experts agree that
by leaving the rainforests intact and harvesting
it's many nuts, fruits, oil-producing plants,
and medicinal plants, the rainforest has more
economic value than if they were cut down to
make grazing land for cattle or for timber.
The latest statistics
show that rainforest land converted to cattle
operations yields the landowner $60 per acre and
if timber is harvested, the land is worth $400 per
acre. However, if these renewable and sustainable
resources are harvested, the land will yield the
landowner $2,400 per acre.
If managed properly,
the rainforest can provide the world's need for
these natural resources on a perpetual basis.
Promoting the use of
these sustainable and renewable sources could stop
the destruction of the rainforests. By creating a
new source of income harvesting the medicinal
plants, fruits nuts, oil and other sustainable
resources, the rainforests are more valuable alive
than cut and burned.
Sufficient demand of
sustainable and ecologically harvested rainforest
products is necessary for preservation efforts to
succeed. Purchasing sustainable rainforest
products can effect positive change by creating a
market for these products while supporting the
native people's economy and provides the economic
solution and alternative to cutting the forest
just for the value of its timber.
THROUGH SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE, A SOLUTION THAT’S
farming and grazing -- already uses 38 percent of
the Earth's lands. Industrial agriculture is a
leading polluter and a rapacious user of water.
As population pressures increase everywhere, and
the pace of conversion from forests to farmland
accelerates, current practices will only continue
to accelerate the cycle of poverty experienced by
most farmers, especially in and around our
planet's most sensitive and unique ecosystems.
Rainforest Alliance Certified farms have
reduced environmental footprints, are good
neighbors to human and wild communities, and are
often integral parts of regional conservation
Under the auspices of
Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), an
international coalition of leading conservation
groups, the Rainforest Alliance works with farmers
to ensure compliance with the SAN
standards for protecting wildlife, wild lands,
workers’ rights, and local communities. Farms
that meet these rigorous standards are awarded the
Rainforest Alliance Certified seal.
Alliance Certified means:
as all sources of contamination (pesticides and
fertilizers, sediment, wastewaters, garbage, fuels
and so on) are controlled.
as farms implement soil conservation practices
such as planting on contours and maintaining
threats to the environment and human health
as the most dangerous pesticides are prohibited,
all agrochemical use is strictly regulated,
farmers must use mechanical and biological pest
controls where possible and strive to reduce both
the toxicity and quantity of chemicals used.
habitat is protected
as deforestation is stopped, the banks of rivers
are protected with buffer zones, critical
ecosystems such as wetlands are protected, and
forest patches on farms are preserved.
as farm by-products such as banana stems, coffee
pulp, orange peels, and un-marketable foliage are
composted and returned to the fields as natural
fertilizer. Other wastes, such as plastics, glass
and metals are recycled where possible.
as water conservation measures are applied in
washing and packing stations, housing areas and
efficient farm management
as the certification program helps farmers
organize, plan, schedule improvements, implement
better practices, identify problems and monitor
conditions for farm workers
-- who are getting fair wages, decent housing,
clean drinking water, sanitary facilities, and a
safe and wholesome work area. Workers and their
families have access to schools, health care,
transportation, and training.
profitability and competitiveness for farmers,
who have increased production, improved quality,
reduced worker complaints, and increased worker
efficiency. The Rainforest Alliance Certified
seal of approval gives the farmers more leverage
at the time of sale, product differentiation,
premium prices, and improved access to credit.
between farmers and conservationists
-- parks alone cannot save the world’s
biodiversity; we have to ensure that wild flora
and fauna find refuge outside of protected areas.
Because farmers control the fate of so much land
and so many critical habitats, their ideas and
willing participation are essential to any local
or regional conservation strategy.