The Rainforest Project Charter
We, the founders of The Rainforest Project collectively share a deep concern for the future of the Earth and all of its inhabitants. We acknowledge the existence of an expanding ecological crisis that has at its core the belief that human beings are the central or most significant species on the planet, and that this is now profoundly embedded in many modern cultures.
We hold the conviction that all species of life have an inherent right to co-exist and that any and all of our actions that cause non-human species to become extinct are wrong. As we all jointly depend on ecosystem services provided by other species and as we have no right to drive them to extinction, it is our common obligation to act in their defence.
While rainforests cover less than 6% of the Earth they contain as much as 50% of our terrestrial biodiversity. Therefore our commitment to conserve biodiversity focuses on the protection and restoration of all rainforest species and ecosystems.
Just over one generation ago tropical rainforests covered 14% of the world's land surface, now less than 6% remain. Currently nine million hectares are destroyed annually and on this current trend all tropical forests will be gone by the middle of the 21st century, apart that is, from those we save now for our future generations.
Deforestation of tropical rainforests is a major contributor to climate change as CO2 is released when rainforests are degraded and destroyed. While we need to dramatically reduce the burning of fossil fuels, we won’t adequately address global warming without saving our rainforests. They have sequestered huge amounts of carbon and currently absorb a sixth of all human made emissions.
Saving our rainforests will further prevent immense human suffering in coming decades through mitigating climate change. Many of the world’s poor communities also inhabit alongside and rely upon the intact rainforest ecosystems for food, shelter, medicine and livelihood.
We recognise our present ecological problems calls for the simultaneous resolution of the inequity, conflict and violence existing within human society. This can and should be achieved through a commitment to nonviolence. We resolve to nurture an ongoing interest in exploring the meaning of, and applying a deepening commitment to, nonviolence in our relationships with each other and other people, both locally and around the world, as well as in our relationships with non-human species and nature as a whole.
We seek a higher evolution in the organisation of human society based on mutual respect. Each individual can and should take control of their daily life and make a positive contribution to their community, society and the natural environment. Therefore we seek to engage individuals in making conscious choices that improve their lives that lead to the conservation of our rainforests.
This commitment to equity also informs our relationship with Indigenous peoples and, gives consideration, and provides support to, the realisation of the aspirations that they themselves hold.
Our shared worldview, reflected in The Rainforest Project, will instil values in a developing human culture that supports connection with, and stewardship for, the Earth.
Our identity, founded in our conviction to these environmental and ethical philosophies provide the foundation for The Rainforest Project.
4th of September 2014