Interfaith Rainforest Initiative

Welcome to the global faith-based movement to protect rainforests

We are focused on rainforests because they represent the very best of the planet’s beauty, supporting life and providing billions of people with food, shelter, livelihoods, medicine and clean water. They are also among the best climate solutions we have.

Tragically, tropical deforestation is rampant. This destruction is unnecessary and it is deeply undermining efforts by the international community to address climate change, sustainable development and human rights. We see the deforestation crisis as a moral and ethical concern of the highest order.

Over the last decade, a broad coalition of governments, indigenous peoples, scientists, NGOs, businesses and civil society partners have been working together on this agenda. But we have seen that more is needed. We need help to inspire people in new ways, to appeal to their core values, and to make the ethical case for urgent and concerted action to protect rainforests.

We believe that the leadership, moral authority and unparalleled influence of the world’s religions may be the missing piece that will help end tropical deforestation. This partnership is based on an informed belief that there is a commitment across faiths to achieve this goal.

We will use this newsletter to provide you with updates on the global and country work of the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative, as well as relevant news, resources and educational materials on rainforests, climate change and indigenous peoples issues. In this first issue, we take a look back at the groundwork that was laid for the initiative in 2018.

We hope you will join us and add your voice and commitment to this partnership. We look forward to working with you, and genuinely appreciate your interest and engagement.

Country programs launched in Colombia and Peru

In the last month, the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative has launched country programs in Colombia and Peru. The launch events brought more than 125 leaders from a diversity of spiritual traditions together with indigenous peoples, NGOs, multilateral and government partners for trainings, workshops, and multi-stakeholder planning and dialogue on how religious leaders and faith communities can bring their considerable influence to bear on halting and reversing tropical deforestation in each country.

Declarations were prepared and delivered at public launch events, capturing the shared commitment of religious leaders to take on the issue, in full partnership with indigenous peoples and the range of actors already working on forest protection. Proposals were made on concrete actions that the country programs can take in the areas of education and awareness raising, advocacy campaigns and public outreach, influencing government policy and legislation, and influencing the policies and actions of the private sector, all of which will be captured in country strategies and action plans that will be developed and overseen in the coming weeks by Advisory Councils in each country.


Uniting people of all faiths to end tropical deforestation

The Interfaith Rainforest Initiative brings the commitment, influence and moral authority of religions to efforts to protect the world’s rainforests and the indigenous peoples that serve as their guardians.
Visit the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative website


Above: H.E. Ola Elvestuen, Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, briefs His Holiness Pope Francis on the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative at the International Conference on the Third Anniversary of Laudato Si’, July 5-6, 2018 – Vatican City, Rome

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