"The founding board of The Rainforest Project has over 60 years of collective, grassroots experience in tropical rainforest conservation. Over that period we have seen the continuous degradation of our natural world and the dire need for conservation of what we have left. We recognise that to successfully conserve the rainforest ecosystem, all the incredibly diverse solutions have to work together in a collaborative and complementary manner"
CEO and Director
Charith has held the position of managing director of Rainforest Rescue International for the past 11 years. Over this period he has developed Sri Lanka’s first biodiversity corridor linking the last remaining rainforest fragments in the country using ecosystem restoration methods such as Analog forestry.
He has pioneered Sri Lanka's first community carbon offset process which explores the link between corporates and forest edge communities working to bring about improved forest edge ecosystem management. At the present over 1000 acres of rainforest buffer areas are being developed using this methodology.
His experience working with poor forest edge communities led him to believe that, a human solution has to be brought into rainforest conservation projects, so that poor forest edge communities can benefit by trading in market oriented sustainable and organic production that ultimately values local biodiversity .
Kelvin began working for the protection of rainforests and their biodiversity in 1990 as a member of the Melbourne Rainforest Action Group and in the decade that followed he was employed by some of Australia's largest nature conservation organisations. From January 1998 to June 2013 as CEO and Founding Director he developed Rainforest Rescue into what was then Australia’s largest rainforest not-for-profit organisation.
In July 2013 Kelvin founded Rainforest Connections, a social enterprise that raised funds for dozens of rainforest organisations helping them to grow and succeed.
To fulfil a bigger vision for the protection and restoration of rainforests both in Australia and internationally he co-founded The Rainforest Project in 2014 with friends Charith and Leif. His passion is to utilise his expertise for the benefit of rainforest not-for-profit organisations through developing their community engagement and fundraising potential. He is a member of the Fundraising Institute of Australia and has so far raised over $10m for rainforest conservation from non-government sources.
Kelvin stepped down from directorship after the organisation was launched and continues to support The Rainforest Project as a founding member in an advisory capacity.
Leif is the founder of The Orangutan Project and has been the President since its inception. He has worked hands on with and for orangutans for more than 25 years including the most successful breeding colony of orangutans in the world, orangutan rescues and the successful reintroduction of numerous orangutans included the first two ever successful zoo-born reintroductions. Leif has current positions as the President of Wildlife Asia, President of the International Elephant Project, President of the International Tiger Project, Conservation Fund Manager of the Silvery Gibbon Project. Leif has several academic qualifications, including a Masters of Science studying orangutans. He lectures at universities, is a seasoned public speaker, supervises university students and has published several papers on orangutans in peer reviewed journals. Leif is author of the book – Orangutans and their Battle for Survival. Leif’s years in the field have earned him respect within the conservation field. He has been a key player in developing conservation plans for orangutans and influencing positive change for orangutan protection and survival. This respect has given The Orangutan Project world standing in conservation, and allows Leif to successfully negotiate conservation agreements with the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry and other government officials.
Leif stepped down from directorship and continues to support The Rainforest Project as a founding member in an advisory capacity.